Values determine human existence, like love and hate, life and death, sadness and happiness. Artists and philosophers dedicate their lives to the promotion of human values like beauty, happiness, love, purpose, and inspiration. In the case of this workshop, the value is enlightenment, the evolution of consciousness.
We are immortal souls having planetary experiences. All experiences — however beautiful — get boring over time. For that reason, the evolution of experiences is as important as experiencing itself.
Since the mind experiences, we need to evolve our minds before we can have greater experiences. That’s where enlightenment comes in — the continuous expansion and intensification of consciousness.
Planetary life allows us to have five basic types of experiences:
Most people are busy repeating the first four types of experiences. They expand experiences horizontally, meaning they look for new types of experiences or new variations of known experiences. For example, they may go on many different vacations. The type of experience (vacation) is the same, but the variations keep the boredom away. Until the soul gets bored of vacations altogether and looks for a new type of experience.
When we are young, we try all sorts of experiences. Parents should give their children ample opportunities to do so.
Many experiences are dead ends and we tick them off as we grow older and settle on fewer and fewer experience types. We can even get to the point where we get bored of incarnation altogether.
The fourth type — creating experiences — is life-changing. The soul abandons the work-eat-consume-sleep lifestyle, assumes an inspired or artistic lifestyle, and pursues its heart’s desire, for example, as a musician, painter, or writer.
The inspired-artistic life is a wonderful life, but there is still something greater: the pursuit of enlightenment. Enlightenment expands experiences vertically. It takes us beyond planetary experiences and allows us to encounter unknown and higher aspects our self and other realities.
An average man doesn’t do this, though. The world is never a mystery for him, and when he arrives at old age he is convinced he has nothing more to live for. An old man has not exhausted the world. He has exhausted only what people do. But in his stupid confusion he believes that the world has no more mysteries for him. What a wretched price to pay for our shields! A warrior is aware of this confusion and learns to treat things properly. The things that people do cannot under any conditions be more important than the world. And thus a warrior treats the world as an endless mystery and what people do as an endless folly. — Carlos Castaneda, A Separate Reality, page 219
The great enlightenment agent is spirit. Spirit is the vitality inside consciousness. Consciousness moves up and down the Enlightenment Value Chain – from suicidal to enlightenment – like quicksilver inside a thermometer depending upon how much spirit it holds.
We can’t separate spirit from consciousness. Where there is a living being, there is consciousness, and where there is consciousness, there is a living being. We got a trinity:
The Enlightenment Value Chain graph shows how valuable inspirations are. Inspirations inject spirit, which elevates our consciousness, enlightens our mind, and vitalizes our body.
Spirit keeps us alive, kicking, dreaming, curious, passionate, and yearning. Spirit is the source of all our mental energies, drives, desires, motivations, and aspirations. And this is what in-spiration means: to invite spirit to vitalize our inner and outer life.
Mind that inspirational words don’t give you spirit. They trigger your inner source of spirit. They open a well inside that is covered under the debris of worries and bad memories. Inspirations re-connect you to the inner core of vitality that has galvanized people to raise civilizations, discover new lands, climb the highest mountains, dive into the deepest seas, build the Hanging Gardens, compose the Ode to Joy, paint the Mona Lisa, and fight for freedom and political equality.
Technically, inspirations are thought images that illumine and vitalize the mind.
Inspirations get you out of your box. Inspiration goes beyond motivation. Motivation is all about psyching up. People motivate themselves to carry on doing what they are doing – e. g. running the hound race. Motivation is good if you are on the right track, but it’s twice as bad when you’re off track and can pull you into a vicious circle.
Sometimes we can’t cope with inspirations because inspirations bring change and change worries us. That worry is the handbrake of social and personal progress. This is no joke. Anxiety disorders are the most common psychological issues in the U.S.A., affecting 40 million adults above age eighteen. That’s eighteen percent of the population (source: National Institute of Mental Health). Almost half of all people diagnosed with an anxiety disorder are also diagnosed with depression.
Fear motivates soldiers to keep fighting, but they need to be inspired by unconditional comradeship to sacrifice their lives for their buddies. Take the famous battle at Thermopylae for example, where 7,000 Greek warriors defied an army of 150,000 Persians for three days. Spoils and fear motivated the Persian soldiers, but the Greeks were inspired to protect their freedom and families – a world of difference.
* I call it hound race instead of rat race because we are predators rather than scavengers.
Inanimate things and organisms are made of the same chemicals. Could it be that inanimate matter has some kind of consciousness too, to a much lower degree than our minds? Ibn Al Arabi wrapped this idea into an inspiring little poem:
God* sleeps in rocks,
Dreams in plants,
Stirs in animals,
Awakens in humans.
* The Grand Spirit
Behind biological evolution is the cosmic drive to create organisms that can hold greater consciousness. Nature can take organic consciousness only to the level of Homo sapiens. On the level of Homo sapiens, the individual takes over and evolves its body-mind-soul vehicle with the help of the higher self. This is enlightenment proper.
Enlightenment happens all the time. Having an experience evolves consciousness. Learning to read evolves consciousness. Learning math evolves consciousness. Learning to know a person evolves consciousness.
In order to differentiate between ordinary learning and enlightenment proper, let say that the lower areas of the Enlightenment Value Chain – from suicidal to motivated life – are about learning and that enlightenment proper governs the area above awakening.
Karma and adversity drive learning. Experiences teach us what works and what not. Schools adapted karma: learn or get negative feedback.
To enter enlightenment proper, we need to experience awakening first, the awakening to the fact that there are other realities and higher aspects of our self that we aren’t aware of yet, for example, our soul and our higher self.
External experiences can’t show us that we are immortal souls, that there are other realities. On the contrary, the appearances of external experiences distract us from the truth about the self. For that reason, enlightenment proper requires initiation. We can get initiated through enlightenment literature, courses, teachers, and – if we want to take matters into our own hands – meditation.
Enlightenment proper has two basic phases:
The Enlightenment Workshop helps with the first phase. During the first phase, we learn enlightenment principles, align thoughts and feelings and desires to enlightenment principles, declutter the mind, put our lives in order, and make the body strong and healthy.
The great work transforms of the body-mind vehicle for the purpose of illumination – the union of the avatar with the higher self. The Enlightenment Workshop does not teach the great work. If you are interested in the great work, drop me an email and I will let you know where you can learn that.
If you want to get started with the first phase right away, you can read some articles and/or take the two-year practical enlightenment email course:
Everything we experience will be added to the soul’s eternal repertoire of knowledge and skills. We feel that we progress and regress, but long-term, we always progress. Consciousness cannot be undone and evolution is inevitable. We know this when we notice that the next low is higher than the previous low, like in the following graph:
Traditional psychology deals with mental issues. It takes people from suicidal to neutral.
Positive psychology has higher ambitions. It helps people to lead a motivated and inspired life.
Enlightenment psychology goes beyond traditional and positive psychology. The latter concern are limited to the psychology of the avatar and subconsciousness. The goal of Enlightenment Psychology is evolution. It promotes heightened awareness, the realization of the soul and the higher self, and access to other realities. The ultimate attainment is nothing short of cosmic consciousness.
What is the difference between religion and prophecy? Religion is morality and soul work, prophecy is enlightenment.
In Christianity, prophecy/enlightenment was exiled into the monasteries. Who goes to church to get enlightened? Christianity does not go beyond inspiration and that is the reason why many people who look for enlightenment look to the East → Buddhism and Yoga.
Some religions have issues, e. g. they don’t evolve with science and can’t meet the needs to modern societies. Some even can’t let go of their somber legacies. As there is a need for positive psychology, there is a need for a positive religion.
Positive religion is happening here and there without emancipating itself from old-school religion. Mind that many Christian concepts were derived in the Middle Ages by — to our modern standard — uneducated people. I’m talking about concepts like sin, damnation, and the devil — the most stubborn verisimilitude on earth.
Once, my daughter complained about an enlightenment book. “Too philosophical and no practical value”, she said and added that she felt the book left her hanging. True, many enlightenment books end with cliffhangers.
Not much sticks from reading nonfiction. What makes ideas stick? Practice.
I like to compare our body-mind-soul vehicle to a mechanism (like a clockwork) that lacks a few parts and needs fine-tuning. Agreed, we need to read the manual (enlightenment literature) and get acquainted with all the gears, springs, belts, bearings, pins, and lubricants. But after that, we better get practical and do the great work.
Many enlightenment books are like manuals. I started out writing an enlightenment manual too but, halfway through, I stopped. No need for another reference book. I decided to focus on the practicalities and applications instead. That’s why I created the enlightenment workshop.
The goal of practical enlightenment is to lead a professional enlightened life. Professionalism means sticking to the right principles no matter what. If you sail out to the sea, you better trust your maps and GPS or you will get lost.
Do you play chess? A grandmaster can calculate eight moves ahead, common players three to four. Four moves already entail 70,000 possible combinations, so, how does a chess master deal with such a variety of possibilities? He eliminates bad moves by thinking strategically – meaning he adheres to the right principles. After reducing the number of possible moves to a few that make sense, he calculates each combination thread up to eight moves ahead. Then, he asks the right question and makes his choice. Without strategy, a chess player is doomed.
Life is much more complex than a chess game, the rules are fluid, and the board has unlimited fields. Worse, you play many boards at the same time, like your family board, your career board, and your social board. Stick to the right principles and – long-term – things will work out.
What does professionalism have to do with enlightenment? Inspirations convey principles. If you read an inspiring quote, you think that you should remember and apply that, don’t you?
Taking principles seriously can be life-changing. Principles are seeds that grow a beautiful garden in your mind. How do you know whether you found an enlightenment principle and not a fixed idea? Fixed ideas need a lot of explanation and justification, for example, the dogma that souls have only one shot at incarnate life requires a lot of explaining. Why should immortal souls who have a universe at their disposal that lasts googolplexes of years, live only once — for sixty to eighty years — like a drop of water on a hot stone? Cosmic principles, on the other hand, speak for themselves. They shine like stars in the sky.
We are immortal soul having countless planetary adventures — that needs no explanation.