“Heaven is a state of mind, not a location, since Spirit is everywhere and in everything. You can begin making a conscious decision to look for the unfolding of Spirit in everything and everyone that you encounter. I personally do this by making an effort to look upon my world as if I were observing it through lenses that filter out the form and all of the material aspects of what I am seeing, and can only view the spiritual energy that allows what I am noticing to exist. Try putting on these imaginary magical lenses and see how different everything appears…”
The paragraph above is an excerpt from an article in a magazine. The author is a well known “self-help” Guru, who wrote many “best sellers.”
Observe the assumptions. Observe the keywords used: Heaven, Spirit… and observe the “method:” To make a conscious effort to see something that he is not really seeing for the sake of conforming with his belief.
Observe the decision to make “spirit” as something more desirable than “matter” or our current perception.
That teaching has gone into mainstream. If Guru XYZ is perceived to be able to live in a realm of bliss and continuous delight, then that must be the “place” where “I” need to be. If Guru XYZ is seeing something that I don’t, let me “make an effort” to see the same, let me use my imagination and convince myself that this is the “real thing.”
The excerpt above has appeal to mainstream because it is able to give an easy “solution” for the perception of suffering = matter, mostly viewed and at the same time, it gently guides individuals into accepting a different perception of reality.
That acceptance comes automatically with the recognition of the “spiritual advancement” of the Guru writing the excerpt. “ He is a best seller author, he must be good and he must know what he is talking about!”
Heaven as Paradise is supposed to be a “place.” But that place does not exist without a new consciousness. People with new consciousness make that Heaven and not a place.
The belief of going to “heaven” without a change of consciousness is plain ego. There is no religion able to offer change of consciousness, but only change of behavior.
The “spirit” is consciousness. There are many individual spirits like individual human beings, but consciousness is One and for all, manifested according to our nature at a particular time. That consciousness is beyond the grasp of the “I” to change.
What the Guru wrote is not “bad” at all… It is not “wrong.” It is what his intellect was able to perceive. The issue is when followers call that the “truth” and would like to make their particular experiences to fit the Guru’s.
In my perception, I will honor what I perceive without trying to change it by playing mind games, knowing that my perception is not the “truth” but a perception, and that there are many other perceptions according to states of consciousness. The perception will change and the “I” will change as well.
What I find important is not the perception itself but our ability to enjoy that experience. Let me repeat that again. What is important is our ability to enjoy our perception, that experience while it lasts, for it will go away. That in itself brings openness to hear other perceptions, for we are not investing in a particular viewpoint.
The “I” changes as we allow for that change of perceptions. It is not about putting on “imaginary glasses” but we will see things under a different light when the rigid “I” opens up.
However the “I” is looking for “truth” for a piece of information to hold on to as that will give importance and support to the existence of that “I.”
“I have the truth.”
Let me give another example that I read in the same magazine by another Guru:
“In a Hindu text, a wise man is asked: ”Of all things in Life what is the most amazing?” He answers, “That a man seeing others die all around him, never thinks that he will die.” Taking time to reflect deeply on one’s own death with clarity, understanding and compassion, one can move out of denial, confusion and fear and focus on what is important: how to prepare for being present with the dying process, personally and with others. Reflection on death and impermanence is the portal to living a life of true meaning and happiness.”
Observe the words used, the assumptions, the “solutions.”
Does a man seeing that others are born all around him, ever wonder about his own birth?
Isn’t to die a process from the minute that we are born? Why separate dying and living if they go together?
What is the meaning of a “deep reflection” when in the “future,” we will be someone different?
The words “deep reflection” mean nothing, when there is observation of the changes in Life and openness, continuous acceptance, agreement with Life itself. Consciousness will be there even though “I” will die.
Learn to enjoy the experience of changes. It is all change, nothing could be destroyed… it just recycles.
How do I know that?
Because “I” am that, of course. Just like “you.” 🙂 Life itself.