Archive for the 'Philosophy' Category

A Thanksgiving Musing

November 25th, 2010, Posted in Philosophy

I would like to venture into philiosophical realms on this Thanksgiving Day. We take a moment to contemplate “Thanksgiving” and some may be challenged to feel the theme of gratitude in these challenging times. The ego feels overwhelmed, maybe overshadowed, and cannot easily see what is worth giving thanks for. Yet, we must transcend that which overshadows us and find a handhold onto the truth that lies beyond. In truth we will find gratitude.

I ask the question often these days, “what is happening here in our country in these last years?” One of the expressions I find accurate and darkly humorous at the same time is, “The country is having a nervous breakdown!” Many believe our foundations are failing. There’s nobody to look to for leadership. Capitalism or materialism fails to take care of us. And we are left with great fear. And fear freaks us out!

Certainly, the Bush years promoted reactionary fear-based responses. Greed became ever more frequent as the ego said, “I have to get mine!” Our deep, core issues of separation/judgment increasingly polarized our interpersonal relationships and in extension, have created the most political polarization that we’ve seen in a long time. Fear also summons deep karmic themes from the inner darkness. It’s that first chakra survival theme that’s kicked into full expression. When the threats of losing one’s home, or not being able to care for one’s family, the result is we lose our sense of groundedness. The ego is threatened severely. Add to that the mass consciousness of this collective triggering of deep emotional energies, we will often project blame outward. President Obama becomes the target. Government becomes the target. And all of us that have acted unskillfully, or that have expressed our fears in harmful ways transfer/project those karmic responsibilities onto those that are “supposed” to take care of us. It becomes their failure, not ours. So we fire them and bring in a new collection of political hopefuls. It will not solve the deep issues underlying our collective neurosis.

In the sixties we had a similar astrological t-square configuration with Saturn-Uranus-Pluto. It was a time of war, revolution against the establishment, and innovation that changed our consciousness. A new spirituality emerged, especially in the west, when Eastern spirituality began to interface with western beliefs.  From India, Japan and China ancient knowledge was re-formulated for western audiences. I see it as a seeding of new ideas, new techniques of inner discovery, a catalyst that sparked fertilization of new spiritual possibilities. Out of the darkness of fear came a revolution that changed all of us. I believe that the current heavenly t-square configuration is catalyzing in the same ways. It is taking us through another revolution against the establishment. This time led by the right-wing. Fear is still the big issue. Fundamentalism is always pushed toward more extremism when fear is paramount. If there is a sense of threat to one’s belief system, one’s religious life, or to the status quo, there will be an active defense put into motion. Change becomes dangerous to the ego. The ego’s job is to defend one’s sense of self-definition: to maintain control of who I think I am and my personal reality. However, the soul may have a different agenda. The soul does not care about your belief system, it only cares about that growth-experience that moves you to liberation. For that matter, all of our souls are putting us through these times and these opportunities to help us learn how to care for ourselves and each other so we can come home again. If that means to enlightenment or back home to God/dess, then the inner work must accomplish that goal. As in the sixties, growth-producing innovation can become grounded in available forms. At this time in history there is more spiritual knowledge available than ever before, more schools of the soul, more techniques for inner work, and many competent, inspired teachers. In the midst of revolution, pathways of healing and transformation are available.

If we adopt the belief that God/dess is greater than human beings can conceive and that we may not always understand or agree with the mysterious journey we are passing through, we are asked to pay attention in the midst of our incomprehension. To keep the awareness open and to the best of our ability, to strive for non-attachment to the dramas we experience. To cultivate a faith in Spirit that keeps the spiritual energy in motion which will act like a compass to navigate the storms. There is inherent meaning on this journey through our lives. There is inherent meaning in our personal roles and in those relationships we have chosen willingly or unwillingly. There is inherent meaning is our being. By taking time to dwell within, that meaning will permeate your awareness and more easily be demonstrated in your life. This is one critical function that helps to ground us to our beingness. When we are grounded, fear cannot pull us out of the present moment into the uncertain future. Fear loses it’s power over us. Change is no longer a threat. The ego relaxes somewhat, transcendence becomes more spontaneous, and we come home to ourselves.

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to come back to ourselves. We give thanks for the mystery. We give thanks for our lives and all of those that have served us for our betterment which includes everyone. Because we are all in this moment together, as One, as that collective force that has a profound intelligence to move us toward Liberation. May we bow our heads and open to That and give heartfelt thanks.

OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,

Rick Phillips

The Grace of Forgiveness

November 25th, 2010, Posted in Philosophy, Teachings

Life can be seen as a learning process, like going to school. This long journey is one of earned evolution and transformation. Difficulties arise; these are trials that test what we have learned and, those areas that need more work are tested further. We call them opportunities for growth. These stumbling blocks are our emotional issues that we have not quite mastered yet. Themes like judgment, anger, fear, intolerance, and all those other sticky, repetitive, overshadowing energies that we can’t seem to shake loose from our lives. Sometimes these feelings become quite dark; we lose the light of clear consciousness and these energies take us over producing a drama of pain and suffering. It is usually certain that they become harmful. The more overshadowing they become, the more we fail to see the lesson structured within them. They are assured to come back again and again until we “get it.” Then the dawn of realization arrives with a deeper grasp of the purpose and perfection of what that emotional issue was all about.

But there is another piece of this artful process. Do we have the ability to let the dramatic energies release their grip on our emotional body? This “letting go” process is a necessary step in our personal growth. We must find some degree of resolution in the difficulty, and feel the energetic release of the drama, past and present, with a feeling of freedom for the future.

In my experience of true healing, both personally and professionally, the greatest virtue in service to our liberation from past attachment is the energy of forgiveness. This is undoubtedly a profound healing spiritual energy. It has the ability to free us from the attachments to the past. Whenever there is a drama full of pain and suffering, the themes of separation and judgment will be in play. If I’m hurt by someone’s words or behavior, or I have hurt someone in a moment of confusion or fear, my emotional body reacts. Also, I may have harmed myself through the viciousness of my own self-judgment. In every case, separation has occurred. Hopefully I notice the distance increasing between myself and the other and take corrective action. But usually, the defenses are activated, barriers are created, and judgment is imminent. Judgment furthers the separation and erodes the sense of connection I had with the other, along with the ability to communicate from our hearts. This is the fertile ground of emotional drama and it creates a situation that my ego feels justified holding onto. This is where that feeling of holding a grudge comes from. It is the ego-certainty that I am right and the other is wrong. Sometimes the loss of trust in a relationship or loss of our sense of safety will reinforce our polarized, opposing position. The ego uses any trick in the book to maintain the separation and perpetuate the drama. This is one of the most unfortunate tendencies that human beings possess. Therefore, our tendency toward polarization and the dramatization of life must be a powerful lesson for all of us to learn.

Spiritually, we have within us that Inner Knowing which is always available, (though we may doubt it), which can provide the opportunity and pathway to a way through these dilemmas of our stuck ego. The spiritual virtues are energies that are specific remedies for our low-vibration attachments. Forgiveness is that specific vibration that neutralizes the separation and judgment in our life. When I forgive, I let go. When I forgive, the energy moves again and I am no longer stuck to what happened before. When I forgive, my heart opens again to its essential nature and I feel peace. I return to a state of nature which acknowledges our inter-connection and interdependence. We play roles for each other; even unconsciously we are part of the teaching. Spirit moves us around in each other’s life as part of the grand theater of evolution. Forgiveness comes when we sense this purposefulness. The blessing of forgiveness comes to move us across boundaries to embrace life more fully.

Forgiveness is not a mental choice. It is an emotional healing. I may think I should forgive but that isn’t going to create genuine forgiveness. My heart is the source of forgiveness. It comes by itself in its own time, when the timing is right. It comes in the midst of an expansion of consciousness. As I watch the clients go through their processes, some gracefully and others with angst, I notice that time is needed to effectively release the blocks that allows forgiveness to be possible.

One aspect of forgiveness that many people misunderstand is the idea that when I forgive that somehow I’m trying to forget what has occurred, condoning the act, or in some way, “giving in.” This is not the case. Forgiveness is not a form of victimization or self-sacrifice. Its dignity lies in the fact that forgiveness is an act of strength which purifies the heart of the heaviness of past suffering. I can disagree with what may have happened and at the same time free myself from its associated burden. Spiritual energies, such as forgiveness, elevate the consciousness. We manifest a new point of view; one that brings more clarity. From that point of view there is no need to punish another or ourselves any longer. My heart is free.

A Forgiveness Prayer

Dear Sweet Spirit,

Please remind me of your mercy,

Help me to see that I am forgiveness,

That I have the divine power to let go of past suffering.

Forgiveness is that elegant healing that brings me back home.

As I forgive, separation dissolves,

As I forgive, I experience unity once again,

As I forgive, love gently arises.

I feel this blessing with such gratitude.

The Spiritual Self

November 13th, 2009, Posted in Philosophy, Teachings

The Spiritual Self Workshop: Opening Lecture


Rick Phillips

November 12, 2009

When we look back through time, history shows us the evolution of consciousness. We see the human imagination of higher forms. We see the fascination in stargazing, the rising and setting of the sun and moon, the wonder of the celestial forms, the natural forces and cycles. We see the movement through time attempting to understand the world we live in and our place in it. We see the evolution of gods and goddesses, the mythologies that create larger than life characters and their stories that reflect the challenges we strive to overcome. Through the lens of history we see the progressive changes, that evolution of the human being and the evolution of our different cultural philosophies, the evolution of our world and cosmic view. And we imagine where that evolution may lead us.

Through the millennia, we must notice an important theme. Life demands adaptation to a continually changing world. Paradoxically, change is a certain, unchanging reality. And in order to survive and progress in this realm, we must find a way to handle change. It is interesting that our ego’s normal response to the stresses of this world is to try to maintain control and keep the status quo in place. We constantly resist change, we encourage habit, we try to protect ourselves in countless ways in order to preserve out-dated customs and the ignorance of ages past. Suffering continues despite our efforts. Like Zysiphus in Greek mythology, he continually attempts to push the boulder up the mountain over and over again, even though it crushes him each time it slips from his grasp.

Yet, this realm of suffering has purpose. And that purpose can be seen and heard in the perennial wisdom of the ages. What we see through time is a different strategy for human success, the ability to adapt, to learn, and expand consciousness in the midst of a challenging world of change. This human realm offers each soul that incarnates within it a divinely designed environment conducive to facing that pain and suffering. We are asked to see the opportunity within the crises of life challenges, those karmic themes that by their nature come to us repetitively, unless miraculously we solve the task at hand immediately, which is rare, if at all possible. We need the reoccurring presentation, always slightly modified, like a variation on a theme until we know it, heart and soul. Our soul incarnates and enters into the collective karma establishing itself individually to face the struggle as it presents to us personally. We all desire happiness though we are surrounded by unhappiness. We all desire love though we dwell in a world of separation and judgment. We desire for wisdom but we are programmed in ignorance. And to make it even more challenging, souls get overshadowed, overwhelmed, shocked by the intensity here. And, we enter with the past memories, the past karma that is unresolved and already active on our current agenda. This is a significant burden right from the beginning. But even though we carry this burden on our back, we are also coming in with the greatest gift of all, a Spiritual Self. This Spiritual consciousness, or what I call Higher Self, is our source for personal transformation. It is a reservoir of the pure energies, the spiritual inner knowing, that guidance which will lead us to liberation. Higher Self is the designer of our life’s lessons, so the Higher Self is the perfect teacher to show us the Way. Even though our karmic themes create potent difficulties, we must know that we have a source of inspiration and guidance. It may not be an easy path, but we can do the inner work to open the possibilities into realities. Our karmic themes are the opportunities for growth, the grist for the mill, that environment in which we will transform. In other words, we can use our Spiritual Self to guide us through the difficulties and create liberation by learning and practicing the lessons they teach us.

The Creative Intelligence of our Spirit offers a new way to approach the age-old problems. We not only flow with the adaptation to a constantly changing world, but we evolve in skill, we evolve to a higher form ever approaching a life of enlightenment. One that is a model for our fellow beings.

But what is the Spiritual Self? This has been the question for the ages. Most would agree that it is transcendent. It is beyond description, indefinable, no words can ever truly say what it is, though we may try. It does not seem to be a “self” at all since it is formless and beyond any concept a limited mind can create. But it certainly fills me with deep feeling to speak of it in my life. So I want to keep trying. How would I ever stop searching for it?

For me, the Higher Self calls me forward, like the grand attractor that pulls me toward infinity. Imagine the gravitational pull of a great star and as I approach it I accelerate toward it. Though I may have been in orbit around it for countless ages, each revolution around it brings me closer where I feel its radiance, and at some critical point I let go of my tangential journey and hurtle into communion with my source.

At first the Higher Self needs to be personal, not because it is, but because I want it to be. It is my personal God/dess. And I use the descriptions of religions to imagine such a Being. But as I begin the journey of personal experience, religion gives way to a personal spirituality that has even more meaning. I find the mystics speaking to me of their experiences and I use them to help understand my own. Not all of it is comparable or even useful, but it is in the search and the attempt to communicate where I find progress. Finding words where none are ever enough, recognizing spiritual energy with such diverse and beautiful expression, it becomes a constant reminder that Spirit is within all things, nowhere is it permanently hidden. To notice the Divine Intelligence makes me happier than almost anything. So it becomes part of my practice to see Spirit consciously wherever and whenever I can. To practice putting Spirit into life, living it as both the witness and the protector, the guide and my patient confessor. This ideal form embodies the highest imagination that is possible for me and I always know I cannot begin to imagine such a form, and then my heart takes over and just starts loving. And then I realize that I don’t have the stamina to maintain the ecstasy limited as I am in this human body. But there are moments of a brief taste so exquisite that I am content to wait for the next and the next, knowing that Spirit is continually opening the Way for me and all others.

In this I am full of gratitude.

The Multidimensional Inner Experience: Past Lives & Symbolic Stories

August 1st, 2009, Posted in Philosophy, Teachings

The Multidimensional Inner Experience:
Past Lives & Symbolic Stories
Rick Phillips
January 2009 Lapis Lazuli Light Magazine – Singapore

Over the last 26 years I have had the chance to witness an aspect of human consciousness that few encounter: the individual’s inner experience of past life recall. I have no idea how many of these have been communicated in my facilitation of the Deva Sessions’ altered state of consciousness, but it is probably approaching 1000. Certainly, there has been enough to draw some conclusions regarding the benefits of these truly multidimensional experiences.
It is almost impossible to prove that the stories my clients tell me are indeed true past life memories; they may be entirely symbolic dressed up as past lives or they could be composite stories drawn from many actual past life experiences. Or they may be self-created stories, essentially constructed as a symbolic reflection of one’s current life situation. Sometimes you can draw conclusions about their purpose and personal meaning based on how such experiences are presented or how they are intuitively felt. From my point of view it does not affect the therapeutic and deeper purpose of such profound inner work. With the help of the Facilitator, and the symbolic interpretation of the experience, the client can gain valuable insight into the previously unconscious material. The stories are about bringing the karmic memories to consciousness, identifying the recurring themes and relating them to our present life situation. As we become more conscious of the underlying karmic themes that are repeating, whether consciously or unconsciously in our lives, we can open a choice whether or not we want to make a change to those patterns. We can only take action once we bring the problem areas into consciousness and make a choice to work on it. If we are not aware, then we are powerless to make changes. Past life work is all about finding the themes and “peeling the onion” of imprinted memory to the source of our suffering.
So let me take you through some of the benefits as I see them:
Whenever a person expands consciousness and begins to see beyond the limits of the ego boundaries (which occur during these sessions) they will notice that they are more than just an ego defined by this particular lifetime in this particular locus of time and space. I may be identified as an ego currently, but at the same time I may notice another past lifetime(s) coexisting within my consciousness. And (hopefully) I notice that I am more than an ego, but actually a soul that orchestrates those egos, and beyond that a Spirit that is all-encompassing, and beyond that …
The experience of my multidimensionality allows me to disengage the narrow vision of ego-reality and look from new points of view. (Don’t worry, this will not make you schizophrenic or cause multiple personality disorder, and if you are schizophrenic or suffer MPD, it may help bring you back together) For example, if I’m a man, I can switch to looking through the eyes of a woman. I can feel the body, the emotions, the different programming of what it feels like to be a woman. If I’m the victim in the current life, I switch the viewpoint to being a victimizer; if human I can switch to being non-human, alien, an animal, a rock, a planet, etc.
Past life or multidimensional experiences allow one to experience a different reality than the habituated reality of the current waking state. One can experience other states of consciousness and their realities: The “real” versus “symbolic”, “out of body” vs. “in body”, afterlife vs. waking life, high (spiritual) consciousness vs. normal human consciousness, etc.
One of the most practical benefits of experiencing past lifetimes is the releasing the fear of death. After a few experiences (regardless of the nature of one’s death) of birth, life, death, afterlife, and rebirth, the person remembers the nature of life transition, that effortless, natural way of continuation.
The language of the inner world is symbolic. As the experiences unfold I begin to expand my understanding of symbolic meaning and thereby fathom archetypal forces at work on the level of my soul. The past begins to release deeper meaning and relevance to the present. My attachments to past imprints are communicating on a more holographic level than my habituated mental, linear viewpoint. This expands my view to a bigger picture, enabling broader perspective, helping to detach and open to greater possibilities of response which leads to an easier transformation of self and, of course, a better understanding of the nature of the self and what it is that is continuing to incarnate life to life.
As I watch the symbolic “stories” unfold, somewhat like watching a fascinating movie in a special theater, I discover that there is an aspect of myself that is silently observing, an unattached “witness”. This is the pure consciousness, that essential nature of Self.
Because of this unbounded, unattached perspective, I can experience a safe and appropriate environment to experience the unspeakable. This is one dimension of what is called the “shadow”. This is normally an experience that the ego needs to control, to repress, to avoid and deny. The Sessions give us permission to explore, to understand and to transform the shadow with the spiritual energy. For example, if a man is in great conflict because he is energetically and psychologically attached to the karmic theme of rape and violence toward women and has abused his power repeatedly through lifetimes, the past life experiences allow him to become conscious, to step out of his habit, his ego guilt, and learn how this karmic habit affects himself and others. Through the Sessions, this man can now witness himself playing this theme out on the level of consciousness rather than destructively in his current life. The expanded consciousness also allows his Higher Self to clearly guide him in ways to stop the negative pattern, to release his guilt, and to heal the past.
Related to the opportunities the shadow may present, there are those deep attachments, dependencies, addictions, and destructive patterns that may possess and control my life. The Sessions can open awareness to discover their origins in the past, their development through lifetimes, and the consequences of their expression. Again, looking through unbiased eyes of the Higher Self to see clearly, to face the shadow, and empower courageously to take the necessary action required to exorcise the imprisoned self is not only possible but essential to the overall empowerment necessary to walk through life without fear and separation.
Whenever we have the opportunity to expand our perspective, to see a bigger picture of ourselves moving through our personal history, we can look at the evolution of a specific or our multiple life-themes through time. Noticing the choices, the development, and the refinement of our wisdom is essential to understanding our purpose through lifetimes and thereby, coming back on track to that purpose in the present lifetime.
Past life work can provide a unique perspective into the nature of relationship. To experientially know that you have traveled with this person together before, probably countless times, and to see both the differing roles and the commonality of connection can help to deepen, or better understand the current relationship. The discovery of the karmic themes between you and another can provide important insight to understanding the dynamics currently in play. The imprinted roles of the past have a way of inappropriately showing up in the future. Past life work can expose the habits that may again be in play today, though today we may have taken a new role with the other. Instead of being the Mother, this lifetime I may be the daughter, the son, the husband. The roles of the past may need to be energetically and consciously disengaged to free one of old habits or dependencies. (How this process succeeds in this endeavor, its dynamics and results, need to be discussed at a later date.)
Past life work cultures and begins to stabilize multidimensional phenomenon. What I mean by this is best described by an example: The inner work client lies down on a massage table to begin the process of going within. At first he or she is probably only aware of the physical body laying there breathing, listening to the sound of a fan blowing a cool breeze across the body. The person may have thoughts of himself/herself, the history of the current life, and begins to speak out the experience coming into the mind. The client is aware of the Facilitator’s questions and comments. Then simultaneously there is the thought or the emergence of a story arising in the mind. A story begins and the client begins to speak out what is happening on the level of consciousness. A character, and/or other characters emerge in the story which the client may identify with in the story. There may be the feeling that I am watching myself in another time and place. The past life experience unfolds, which includes his/her story or history. There may be experiences of entering differing or contrasting roles within the story. Maybe I become the ego of the child in the story and look through a child-like perspective, or I become one or more of the adults in the story. I continue to change places, jumping into the experiences of other characters. And while all this is happening, I may be aware of my physical body feeling tense or full of energy, and on the spiritual level, I have awareness of the Higher Self present with me. All of this can exist in the session simultaneously. This is one possible experience of the cultivation of multidimensionality, many different points of view and simultaneous levels of transformation all held within the container of consciousness. So I may be aware of the many dimensions: I have physical body in awareness, while my mind is aware of the flow of the memory which my mind describes, the soul is subtly communicating the symbolic meaning of these experiences and their relevance to my current life, and may be bringing me celestial support in the form of spiritual guides or supporters as I go through the discoveries, and beyond it all is the quiet or communicative presence of the Higher Self. This is important because our nature is not one of isolated, separate being but of an all-inclusive, interdependent Oneness. By breaking out of the constricted linear awareness of ego, we free ourselves from habituated constraints. We experience more universality, we realize that we are everything and empty at the same time. We learn to let go, to transcend identity. Multidimensionality means to experience all things in the hologram of Unity-consciousness, and to use this invaluable experience to integrate our humanness with the galactic, the microscopic with the macroscopic, the 10,000 things and my ego locus in space-time.
Time has conditioned our mind to become linear. Multidimensional inner work helps to de-condition the mind to be free of temporal constraints and possibly to open awareness to not only the past, but possible futures. The Higher Self can produce experiences of possible choices and the outcomes or futures they create. By freely moving forward or backward in time I can experience the flow of time and my relationship to it. The Sessions bring consciousness to the interplay of past-present-future so that I can release any attachments to time and discover “no time”. This experience empowers the mindfulness of living in the moment and its consequent freedom.
The evolution and development of the soul through time can also manifest in the expression of talents, abilities, and “knowings.” Inner work sessions can connect one to a history of expertise, whether it is physical or emotional expression, intellectual or artistic development, or the skill of multidimensional healing. I may retrieve valuable teachings or a sense of my soul’s purpose in order to apply the knowing of the past into the needs of the present. As we cultivate the inner vision, imagination, and creative intelligence that promote the expansion of consciousness, we learn to bridge the inner experience to an integrated outer reality. The transpersonal, astral, etheric, and other dimensions can then viably communicate to the mundane human dimension. These experiences cultivate the symbolic, allegorical, metaphorical levels of consciousness into real-life interpretations and useful conclusions that warrant resulting benefits.
As we experience, navigate, process, and integrate non-ordinary states of consciousness, other dimensions, other databanks of information, or intelligence, to open communication and relationship with other beings, entities, and life-forms, we personally demonstrate the potential of opening consciousness completely to the extent possible.
Finally, multidimensional experiences open the higher octaves of incarnate life to the numinous, the ecstatic, those heavenly realms of bliss and God-experience. The transcendence of the innate limitations of bodily form and the binding influence of past attachment lead to the unbounded state of liberation and the clear experience of Spirit.