We Are All One...

"We all live within the same illusion and are, in our own way and in our own time, trying to understand the truth behind it all. Some may not be looking at the moment or even in this particular life, but ultimately we will all wake up from the dream and remember who we really are. Ultimately, we will all become one..."

- Aaron Hutchins

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mysterious Orbs, Triangular Lights & The Doors of Perception

I had a strange experience the other night. I was standing in a dark football field of a local highschool & was trying to match up stars & constellations to my Google Sky Map app on my phone. At around 1:00 AM, directly overhead, I saw what looked like just another distant star, but it was moving rapidly across the sky. I quickly got out another app that I had, called Space Junk, that actively tracks the movements of satellites across the sky in real time, but didn't see any that matched that trajectory. Just then, it let out a huge burst of pure white light that lit everything up almost like daylight for just a moment. It was like someone with a dimmer switch had turned a light up to full blast suddenly & then turned it down just the same.

I've never seen anything like it. I mean, of course, it could've been anything, although, I'm not sure what really. It seems that if it was a meteor or satellite or something that it would've left a streak or burned up in the earth's atmosphere. The light was very contained though, more like an orb of light or something, that just continued to move into the distance.

This got me thinking. Maybe completely fantastical things are happening all around us all the time, but we lack the perception to see them.

I was suddenly reminded of something I saw a few years ago that was truly bizarre. It was around 2008 or so, while I was living in Venice Beach, CA. I used to walk along the oceans edge everynight in the dark. One night I saw a spectacular display of movement over the water by 3 reddish lights that were in a perfect triangular formation. The lights would periodically change position as if rotating around the edge of something. Then, whatever it was, started swooping down rapidly to near the surface of the ocean, stopping on a dime for a second or two, and then immediately shooting back up into the sky. It did this 3 or four times, over the course of about 5 to 10 minutes, before it shot off like a light over the mountains to the North.

The beach was very dark & I was walking by people in the shadows, just strolling along the waters edge, and I couldn't believe that no one else had seen this. So, the next night I decided I was going to go out to the same spot, at about the same time, and see if it returned. I sat there for about 20 - 30 minutes & then sure enough, in the exact same place in the sky, the lights appeared again as if just switching on. It did virtually the same exact thing. The lights rotated. It swooped down to the water and shot back up into the same position in the sky a few times. Then, it sped off rapidly over the mountains. All of this without a sound to be heard. I went out for a third night, but it was nowhere to be found.

I've told this story to people quite a few times over the years and they always respond with the same thing. "If UFOs are really out there, cruising the earth all the time, how come I've never seen one?" My answer is always the same. "Well, you have to be looking...and I'm ALWAYS looking!" I also like to mention that what I saw was simply "unidentified", which by nature makes it a UFO. What it was...is another question, but I think the more in tune and aware we allow ourselves to become with our surroundings in our lives, the more magic we will begin to see all around us everyday! :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Hero's Journey

I've been thinking back recently to a trip I took last year to see the Mayan ruins of Mexico and Guatemala. I've always been fascinated with the magic of the region and with Mayan culture, beliefs, architecture, creation myth, etc. This has been particularly true as we near the end of the Mayan long count calendar; an intricate system of time keeping which spans the 5,125 years from August 11, 3114 BC to the winter solstice on December 21, 2012 AD.

Many translations say that the Mayans predicted the end date of the calendar to be the end of a great world age. In fact, it seems the Mayans thought that at the end of this 5,125 year cycle we would enter what they called "The Time of No Time"; a period which would bring with it phenomenal changes and transformation on the earth. These changes, they believed, would propel us into a great evolutionary period on this planet, which would carry our world into a time of new beginnings and deep spiritual growth.

When thinking to myself about all the mind blowing structures that I was privileged enough to experience at each of the ancient sites, I was reminded of just how much of a feeling of awe and reverence, as well as a deep reflection upon one's own spiritual nature, that each of these spectacular monuments seemed to command. This was a defining experience which planted the seed within me to find more peace and harmony within myself, as well as letting go of fear, that I might one day come to understand more the true nature of existence and reality. Many of these concepts, I feel, have lead me to a place of comprehending, that the road to enlightenment is more than just a quest for personal knowledge. It's about learning compassion and coming back with all that you've learned, with a burning desire to share with other's what following that call within your heart has taught you.

This burning call to action, that all of us experience at one time or another in our lives, got me thinking about the book, "The Hero With A Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell. In the book he introduces the concept that all the great journeys in our lives that make epic stories, help us achieve difficult goals and even perhaps lead us down the path of ultimately becoming better people, unwaveringly follow the same progression of events, which he called "The Hero's Journey". Fascinated with this concept, I started researching more about the hero's path, as it no doubt mirrors the path of one whose goal is to seek true inner peace and enlightenment. This can be seen here in this short clip from the fascinating documentary, "Return To The Source: Philosophy And The Matrix", where they briefly discuss Joseph Campbell and "The Hero's Journey", through Neo's path to enlightenment, in "The Matrix" movie.

Now, looking more closely at these steps as a process of spiritual illumination, I began seeing instant parallels with the enlightened figures of the past, such as Jesus or The Buddha, for instance. In both cases, their lives seem to almost precisely mirror this process in perfect sequence. Particularly, the story of The Buddha's life, I think. I've been looking pretty deeply into Buddhism lately and have been completely fascinated with the life of The Buddha, as it is such an inspiring story of giving up everything that feeds "the self" in order to attain a completely pure state of love and compassion for all that is, as well as the obstacles that one must face along the way.

As far as my own "Hero's Journey" is concerned, I have most certainly experienced "The Ordinary World" & I have many times heard "The Call To Adventure", of which I have many times followed. Regarding, the particular call towards deepening my own level of enlightenment, however, I have definitely experienced "Refusal of the Call" more times than I think anyone would care to admit. Perhaps, that phase of the journey though, is by nature, designed to ensnare most any one of us, if only for awhile. I'm not sure I have specifically had my "Meeting With The Mentor" yet, although I have become quite inspired the last few years by the writings, documentaries, talks and teachings of many different spiritual masters and intellectuals advocating the exploration and development of consciousness, compassion and love, as well as refining our ability to perceive who and what we are beyond the veil of the physical world. I've hardly "Crossed the First Threshold" by making some minor changes recently towards helping myself refocus my energy in the direction of this goal. Though, it seems those "minor changes" have already presented me with some rather major "TestsAllies & Enemies" to be regarded.

So, I am pretty far from my goals in this endeavor. I suppose though, enlightenment, is probably the most trying goal a person can set for themselves in this life, but, then again, I do like to make life difficult. Nonetheless, after many years of deliberation & "refusal", I have embarked on this journey; not quite a "hero" yet, but it's a start and I imagine every hero's story begins somewhere.

What's your "hero's journey"?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Severing Your Technological Umbilical Chord

I had recently taken a couple of camping trips into the wilderness to sort of get away from it all & reconnect with nature. It was refreshing to take in the natural environment & get away from my computer & cell phone for a change. The first thing I noticed was the silence. Not just the silence of being out of the city, but the complete & utter silence from my phone. No more calls. No more texts. No more Facebook updates buzzing my pocket every 5 seconds. It was clear to me immediately how much I didn't really need it.

On my last trip, while gazing at this beautiful river running through the forest, I began to examine my life & just how I'd been spending my time the last few years. I started to realize just how dependent I had allowed myself to become on Facebook in particular. This revelation sort of left a deep pit in my stomach as I thought about all the hours I'd spent uploading, tagging, commenting & writing perhaps somewhat hollow posts, in an effort to avoid the somewhat frequent snickers that often arose from attempting anything philosophical. It seems people aren't generally really looking to hear your ideas on Facebook as much as the social scoop, the goings on.

All at once, I could see just how jacked into the internet "matrix" I had become & how Facebook had been this invisible force that sat on my shoulders day after day, frequently beckoning me to log on, as if whispering in my ear to go and see what was happening in the virtual world. It became clear to me that I was actually really tired of having to do that just to know what was happening with people. I started thinking about what life was like before social networks(Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc.) and seemed to remember life having more of a natural ebb & flow; an existence not governed by anything but one's own exploratory nature & the natural course of daily experiences. 

Now it seems, not just for myself, but for many of the people that I've had the privilege of knowing, that social platforms are becoming the ultimate medium for planning nearly all of life's daily encounters. I mean, I've rarely known what was going on for some time, except what Facebook seemed to be telling me & this phenomenon doesn't seem to be showing any signs of slowing. Virtually every branch of my family has joined Facebook to date. Even my grandmother seems to have become somewhat obsessed with Facebook games. It seems to be a phenomenon that has become so far-reaching, for millions & millions of people, the world over & much like the matrix of this illusory, quantum, universe we live in...it's all around us...and it's growing.

So, in an effort to get back to the basics & simplify my life; to reconnect with nature & my spiritual side; I shut down my long time running, heavily invested in, Facebook account & let me tell you...it feels good! :)