Individual Awareness/Spirituality is developed upon the simple truth that every religion derives its belief structure from obvious and self-evident truths that are accessible to anyone willing to see them. These truths do not require alignment with any particular belief system or tradition (remember, the Avatars of many religions had no actual religion alignment themselves – they were created later) – the experience of truth/god only requires a clear and aware mind.
He said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.” – The New Testament (Mark 4-9)
Although we are largely unaware of it, the simple fact is that we live and experience the world within a particular pattern of thought – all of us, collectively. It is reflected within our actions, our choices, our government, and even our religions. All of known human history reflects the growth and expansion of this thought pattern. In spiritual traditions around the world, it has been recognized and described – though often misunderstood.
The Toltecs called it mitote, Christians and Islamic tradition refer to it as Satan, Judaism also refers to it as satan (a description meaning adversary), Gnostics called it the demiurge, the Baha’i faith makes mention of it, Buddhism describes it as Mara, and many of us now refer to it as the “Ego”.
Throughout history this thought pattern and its intrinsic gravity on our lives has been vilified and exaggerated; often making it into a supernatural and malevolent entity to fear or worship. Many religions identify the observable trends and results of this pattern, though some have personified these results as whims and urges of a conscious entity rather than as a function of being conscious.
Let’s look at some of the observations without anthropomorphizing them.
- Satan in Christianity – deceitful/devious/false, “greatest trick” was making the world think it didn’t exist, would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven, “the prince of this world”
- “satan” in Judaism – “the adversary” or the obstacle, or even “the prosecutor”
- Satan in Islam – not an equal to God. This creation of god has no power other than the power to cast evil suggestions into the hearts of men and women.
- Satan in the Baha’i tradition – a metaphor for the “insistent self” or “lower self” which is a self-serving inclination within each individual
- Demiurge in Gnosticism – described as a somewhat incompetent fool that creates the world as a spiritual prison, an entity unable to connect with “the Father” and sometimes referred to as the “Blind God”
- Mara in Buddhism – mentioned particularly in the story of the enlightenment of Buddha, Mara represents delusion, temptation, fear, and vanity.
- Mitote in the Toltec tradition – a parasite within consciousness that is driven by false beliefs, self importance, fears, denials, and justifications
- Ego – self-identifying, self-involved, controlling, fearful, judgmental (of self and others), dishonest, unrealistic
This pattern of thought is so subtle, devious, and seemingly useful that it has been widely adopted as the social norm and permeates almost all aspects of our day to day life. It goes mostly unnoticed and often masquerades as a cure for the problems created by its very nature. Religions founded on the underlying truth of unity end up becoming divisive and judgmental themselves, pro-peace movements become “fads” and collapse into obscurity, and governments created by and for the People become self-serving and partisan. The whole of human history shows this thought pattern repeating itself over and over; empire after empire, revolution after revolution, without end. The problem remains.
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” – Albert Einstein
How is this problem solved? Ultimately we cannot know the answer because we are still too deeply immersed in the pattern of thought that is the problem itself. Many religions will say that strict adherence to their traditions and belief is the only path to salvation, though I have personally never found this to be a satisfying (or remotely truthful) answer. Belief without understanding is a superficial and fragile thing.
“Do not put any heads above your own.” – Buddha
So, what is Individual Awareness/Spirituality?
In the beginning, it is the process of personally identifying, recognizing, and ultimately transcending this underlying pattern of thought. In doing so, solutions and insights present themselves naturally and a new form of being can emerge. Because these insights are self-directed and deeply personal (not the product of memorization) they have a deeper and more immediate impact on your life that can never be truly lost. You are changed forever by an insight in the present.
To receive the unknown, the mind itself must become the unknown. – J. Krishnamurti
This form of being is often described in spiritual tradition as “touching/seeing god” or “becoming enlightened”.
Just as our current world has been created by the growth and nurturing of an ultimately destructive state of mind across countless generations, a new world can be born from your own individual determination to be free. This is the singular drive behind the Individual Awareness Method – not to lead or teach you, but to give you an environment that nourishes insight and self-exploration while giving you the opportunity to interact with others who are on a similar path. Our relationships act as a mirror reflecting the truth of our unity. A unitary world is not made up of many parts; it is made up of countless wholes.
“Ye are all the leaves of one tree and the drops of one ocean” – Baha’u’llah
“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans” – Kahlil Gibran