As one develops greater self-realization (realization of the 'True Self' as opposed to the 'false self') and wisdom, one of the the first major milestones of this ongoing growth is reaching the state of consciousness often referred to as 'enlightenment'.
So what is the purpose of reaching of enlightenment?
Well, it's not the end-goal itself: As with many goals, it's the 'precessional effect' of the goal which is of real value*.
The precessional effect of self-realization is a state of understanding and wisdom which is to be found far beyond normal human cognitive function. It's a giant leap beyond, in fact so far beyond that it is incomprehensible to describe or experience until one has reached this state.
As self-realized master Eckhardt Tolle says "the finger pointing at the moon is not the same as the moon". The reality is we will not have a full comprehension of this state until we reach it, but that doesn't mean we cannot and should not strive towards it.
So why is this wisdom so important, actually essential, for humanity, if we are to move forward in a positive direction?
Because when we think, speak, act and behave from a state of authentic wisdom and self-realization, we will have a radically different understanding of the world and our place and purpose in it.
For a start, we will have shifted our beingness from personality to group consciousness: we see and feel ourselves as the other. There is no separation. And since we are the other and there is no longer any other, anything harmful to 'other' would be harming ourselves. The more separated we feel from nature or other creatures, whether animal or human, the more we have the potential to harm. But when we are all, everything must be for the benefit of all, because we are that all.
Can you imagine how different life would (will) be as more and more people reach this state of being, where the good of the whole and others becomes the norm? Where we are operating from a place of love and wisdom rather than fear and competition?
There is no doubt our world will look very different. And better.
So how do we get there, to this better world, to this new level of beingness, both as individuals and collectively?
There are many paths to this state of being, which spiritual teachers have been teaching about and encouraging us towards for centuries.
For a start, we get there one person at a time.
Through uplifting our own state of consciousness.
And it involves letting go of the old and bringing in the new.
And one of the most important things we have to work on and let go of is unhealthy patterns of consciousness which have kept us trapped in selfishness, arrogance, greed, right or wrong, closed-mindedness, comparison, self-centredness, mistrust, mental blindness.
We also have to let go of old habits of fear, jealousy, hatred, cruelty, anger and other negative emotions.
Instead we focus on cultivating positive 'virtues' such as love, trust, compassion, gentleness, generosity, respect, courage, joy and more.
This is work we all must do, individually and collectively, and a proven road map is essential.
(Note: these steps do not necessarily happen in this chronological order - they are just written here in an order).
On the path to self-realization and wisdom there are certain inner changes which must be achieved in order for the consciousness to transform and transcend to new levels.
One of these changes is the ousting out of old unhealthy emotions such as mistrust, fear, doubt, limited thought patterns, negativity etc. In Ren Xue this is done through actively 'cultivating' (growing) the 5 essential qualities of the heart.
The 5 essential qualities of the heart are trust, openness, love, gratitude and true respect.
The reason for needing to 'actively' cultivate (grow) these qualities is that if we don't, their opposites will automatically take their place without us even fully realizing it.
How can we tell if we haven't cultivated enough of the positive qualities? By checking if we have the opposite qualities.
Let's take trust as an example.
How much do you really trust. I mean really trust?
This is just one quality, and there are hundreds more!
The point is, we can measure our progress by the deficit of the positive qualities we would like to experience.
And one of the overall goals of developing these qualities is to cultivate a 'barrier-free' heart - a heart which is open to oneself, and others and the world. A heart which knows no boundaries. A heart which is unified with everything.
Another essential step on the path to self-realization is the transforming of unhealthy patterns of human consciousness.
These patterns are deeply embedded in the psyche, often unconscious until we start to become aware of them.
There are literally thousands of patterns in the human psyche, but in the Ren Xue system, to make things easier, we start working on the '10 fundamental' patterns of human nature.
Every person has these patterns, because they are part of human nature, having developed as we developed over eons. They are deeply connected with survival and safety, both on a physical and psychological level, and the personality self will fight to the bitter end to give them up.
You might like to check out if you have any of these patterns, because if you do (and some of them are very sneaky, and we can even deny having them), it's a sure sign there is more work to be done on our journey to self-realization and wisdom.
Another litmus test is the level of authentic and (eventually) permanent peace and harmony we feel inside.
Do you feel peaceful inside all of the time? Some of the time? Occasionally? Never?
A state of inner harmony, stillness, calmness, joy and peace are also check steps for measuring progress on the path to self-realization.
The more peace we feel inside, on an ongoing basis, the more we can see we are progressing. This includes being able to maintain this state of peace, no matter what is happening around us. In other words, even when drama and crisis are raging around us, we are still able to feel peaceful, calm and even joyful inside. Is this your experience? If not, would you like it to be? Do you even believe it is possible?
Most people are so habituated to fear and stress, they have no idea what life would be like without it. Stress is an epidemic in itself, a 'habit' as insidious as cocaine or sugar. The stress habit starts early in life and becomes so 'normal' that we literally do not know what it feels like to be calm, until maybe we attend a yoga class and find ourselves at the end of the class in 'Shivasana' experiencing what it truly feels to be calm, maybe for the first time in years. But usually within 5 minutes of the class ending, we are back in sympathetic (stress) response and mental over-thinking.
As we cultivate the essential qualities of the heart and transform the old unhealthy patterns of consciousness, we literally disintegrate our 'false self' or 'false master'. We find ourselves thinking, feeling, behaving and acting differently. We are no longer affected by outer events in the same way, and are able to maintain a state of equilibrium more and more. For most people this is a new way of being.
As the false self falls away, space is opened up for the 'True Self' or 'True Master' to emerge and guide the way. Previously obscured by the clouds of negativity, negative emotions and unhealthy ways of being, as the skies clear, the sun of the True Self is able shine through: the sun, which was always there, hidden by the clouds of the false self, can blaze forth.
Fortunately in Ren Xue we have a paint-by-numbers system for helping us do all of this.
The 9 levels of Yuan Gong methods are all important and play their part, and the 2 methods which aid in particular in cultivating the heart consciousness and dismantling the unhealthy patterns of consciousness are:
Are you ready to welcome a different you every day? If so, check out the full 'Change your Destiny' training details to find out more.
Precession is the action that occurs at ninety degree’s to bodies in motion.
Buckminster Fuller defined precession as the effect of bodies in motion on other bodies in motion.
One of Buckminster Fuller's favourite stories regarding precession was the story of the honey bee. Seemingly inadvertently, the honey bee goes about his business of gathering honey. At ninety degree’s to his body and his flight path, his legs gather pollen from one flower and “accidentally “ take this pollen to the next flower, resulting in cross pollination. The outcome of this seemingly inadvertent accidental activity is that the bee contributes enormously to life on earth. We get pollination, the growth of crops, the sustaining of life for humans and animals.
Why is understanding the principle of precession important?
When anyone sets out to achieve a goal, there is always a precessional effect, mostly unpredicted by the original action.
Taken from Latin – to go before or preceed, and applied to astronomy – the slow, conical motion of the earth’s axis of rotation, caused by the gravitational attraction of the sun and moon, and, to a smaller extent, of the planets, on the equatorial bulge of the earth; or mechanics –
– the motion of the rotation axis of a rigid body, as a spinning top, when a disturbing torque is applied while the body is rotating such that the rotation axis describes a cone, with the vertical through the vertex of the body as axis of the cone, and the motion of the rotating body is perpendicular to the direction of the torque.
“The Sun and the Earth are both bodies in motion. Despite the 180 degree gravitational pull of the in-motion Sun upon the in-motion Earth, precession makes Earth orbit around the Sun in a direction that is at ninety degrees- i.e., at a right angle-to the direction of the Sun’s gravitational pull.” Critical Path by Buckminster Fuller, page 142.
Similarly, if we drop a stone into water, we get the ripples going out at ninety degree’s to the direction of the dropped stone.