We don’t perceive reality. We see what we expect to find based on our beliefs. So, our ability to perceive is in direct proportion to the size of our mask. Our beliefs limit perception.
The Mask Of Belief
The larger our mask, the less we can see. Beliefs about reality are boundaries and barriers. These barriers hinder our thinking and perception. As a result, spiritual work that confronts our beliefs will increase our insight and perception. But beware. This is a destructive process. When you break down these walls, they come crashing down.
With spiritual work, the terms ‘is’ or ‘are’ become progressively replaced by the term ‘seems to’, which is due to the increasing realization of the degree to which perception is the mask that hinders truth. — David R. Hawkins
Unfortunately, many people are proud to live by faith to the exclusion of facts. They enjoy their exposure to self hypnosis. This is how belief takes precedent over facts and logic. People learn not to trust facts, or what they see.
For we live by faith, not by sight. — 2 Corinthians 5:7 New International Version
The real you, is the person we talk to inside our heads. We are that element of consciousness which the ancients call spirit or soul. We are the ultimate Observer of this experience.
There are many theories about who we are and why we are here. Many ancient traditions tell us these basic questions prompt us to take the Hero’s Journey. It prompts us to explore the unknown. To do this, we need to take back the steering wheel of our awareness. We need to learn about what triggers our emotional overrides, and what it takes to calm the mind so we can be in the driver’s seat.
The Observer is the Real You! The real us is what some call spirit, soul, or Source. “Source” is the underlying consciousness in everything. You’ve probably heard the statements, “We are One,” “We are all Connected.”
This is how to begin to not only understand this intellectually but experience it first-hand. When we are present, we connect with the Source of pure consciousness. Bottom line, when you are present — the real you can show up. Presence allows the Observer to come out of the background.
Confronting our Illusions
Using inner work techniques helps us to confront the mask of belief. It doesn’t matter what you believe. Confronting your opinions about reality is a good thing. The ability to see beyond or through our beliefs sets us free. The goal of inner work enables us to take our mask off. In this sense, the path is more about seeing our illusions than grasping the truth. This doesn’t mean the search for truth is unworthy.
The path of truth is a lifelong journey. As we learn to discern the facts from fiction, that mask comes off a little more. Even moving the mask to the side one or two degrees makes a life-changing shift possible. The shift allows us to notice other possibilities. Confronting our illusions is the only way we grow.
Seers and Shaman teach us that other levels of reality exist. These are processes that expand awareness. Most people are born with access to three states of consciousness, waking, dreaming, and sleeping. However, the dominant Western cultural narrative does not want you to seek these possibilities. They want to keep paying customers. It’s all about control. The cultural narrative is all about control.
Perception is the Mask of Mythology
The cultural narrative is powerful. So, those who control the programming of the narrative can dictate values and thinking. Three religions dominate the cultural narrative. These are the Abrahamic religions (1) of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
None of these are original paradigms. They are the rebranding of Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Assyrian mystery religions. This is the bedrock of mythological superstition in Western culture. They are in control of the mask of belief.
One man’s myth is another man’s religion. — Joseph Campbell
We understand mythology becomes powerful in a cultural narrative dominated by any religion. However, not all religions are harmful. For example, Taoism and many forms of Paganism have the least barriers to free-thinking. In fact, many encourage the development of your own path. This contrasts with the concerns of Western organized religion, which are the heart of the Western cultural narrative.
Western organized religion has by far the most boundaries and restrictions dictating values and thought. As a result, these are harmful. They adversely affect our ability to think and reason. So, they restrict our ability to move beyond the default settings of normal reality.
However, believers of these paradigms don’t view their religion as mythology. They would admit that it contains a great deal of myth, but they believe in its divine inspiration. You can point out errors in fact and logic until midnight. Unless they can admit to at least one of these problems, they will remain staunch believers. It’s a testament to the power of groupthink manipulation to skew the core of perception. Their masks are firmly in place.
Only when we confront our illusions, can we see and understand mythology as metaphors instead of facts. Confronting our beliefs isn’t easy. There are tools that can help us remove the mask of mythology. They allow us to engage the observer rather than running on autopilot. These are what we can spiritual technologies.
Spiritual technologies are tools for exploring consciousness. They are processes that can change or expand our awareness. Some of them are also doorways to higher states of consciousness. In short, spiritual technologies are methods of change. These processes result from eons of research by cultures around the world. Using these tools is what we call spiritual exploration.
These tools stand up to the test of science. That’s because they are repeatable. Several produce measurable changes in our physiology. It’s important to realize what spiritual exploration is not.
Spiritual exploration does not involve belief in a religion. This means they are available to anyone that can follow a process. It’s like baking a cake. If you use the right ingredients and follow the directions, you get something delicious. The processes are formulas or ingredients for exploring consciousness.
There are many ways to list these methods. One simple way is to divide them into four primary groups. You could list some of these tools in more than one group.
- Analytical Tools
- Awareness Expansion Tools
- Healing Practices
The study of spiritual things seems like an odd place to find analytical tools. However, analytical processes are vital to the spiritual quest. This is because their use enhances our reasoning ability. This helps us to think more clearly. This helps us avoid many of the common obstacles. The two tools in this group are Logical Reasoning and The Enneagram of Personality.
The study of logic is the first tool we use in our group practice. It’s especially helpful for those new to the spiritual path. We come back to review them regularly. This keeps them fresh in our minds.
We use a set of three related tools. The first tool is Logical reasoning. This article summarizes logic. It shows how people misuse logic to sell us ideas and beliefs. Next is spotting logical fallacies. This module provides practical examples of the most common logical fallacies. The last module, the logical axioms, ties everything together.
Comparative Analysis is another valuable analytical tool. This is a systematic approach to research based on the scientific model. It is a method that compares ideas and beliefs from different worldviews.
This process introduces the challenge of comparing their beliefs to other worldviews. Here we also learn why it is so important to use emotional checks. It helps us research with the least amount of bias and prejudice.
Above all, the use of logical reasoning and comparative analysis will sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction. So, these aren’t just for research. You’ll find a use for these tools every day. Besides their use in religion, politics, they are also helpful with TV and Radio newscasts.
The Enneagram of Personality
The Enneagram of Personality is a tool that helps us understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instinct. Modern psychology and the Enneagram share many of the same concepts and authors. Borrowing and then building on the work of others was and remains a common practice. For instance, Jungian psychology parallels the structure of the Enneagram. It has nine processes of consciousness.
The core of the Enneagram Personality Profile is a series of questionnaires. If you provide honest answers, you will get an accurate profile of our personality. The scientific method of testing verifies the accuracy of this tool. The system goes beyond identification into deeper thought processes and beliefs. It integrates spiritual and psychological understanding. It will lead you to an understanding of the source of your personal power.
When you say spiritual practice, many people think of meditation. Seated and moving forms of meditation are the centerpiece of spiritual exploration. The practice of meditation is now common knowledge. Both seated and moving meditation bring many health and wellness benefits.
Seated meditation is the heart of many spiritual practices. Meditation is a range of mental tools for exploring consciousness. It has everything from Mindfulness Meditation through Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM). And also includes more advanced practices like the Siddhis of Patanjali.
Moving meditation is action together with a heightened level of awareness. So, this includes a range of activities involving the mind-body connection. Using these modalities helps improve our health and wellness. This progression includes energy collection modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi. It also includes Forest Bathing. techniques for grounding, like Tree Grounding and Sun Gazing.
Awareness Expansion Tools
This group is a mix of tools dealing with awareness and perception. This group of processes starts with the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation. It also includes lucid dreaming, third-eye awakening exercises, and techniques to improve memory. Another important tool is the spiritual journal or book of shadows. This is your best coach. It also includes exercises like automatic writing. You could list these tools among some groups. However, we like to list separately because of their importance to awareness.
The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first spiritual technology. This traditional method is at the core of many indigenous cultures. It serves as evidence to the historical importance of the inner quest.
There are many variations on this theme, but all use essentially the same formula. Rhythm is a key element that regulates heart rate and breathing. Then the mind projects an inner world providing the lucid journey. A Shaman is a person who guides people through this journey in the spirit world. However, you can take this inward journey by yourself. This tool for changing awareness uses a range of seated and moving forms.
This is one of the ancient technologies that people have tried to rename or rebrand. They do this to make the Shamanic Journey more marketable. So, some people know it as guided meditation or creative visualization.
The last group is healing practices. This group includes a diverse set of tools such as Pe Jet from Indonesia, or Reiki, and Shiatsu from Japan. Vedic medicine is also available, along with other traditional healing forms. Self-care is a vital part of this group. Our overall health and wellness affect every aspect of life.
Using any healing method is a natural outlet for our positive energy. Many people come to the healing arts as a secondary interest. Then they find it is an enjoyable way of giving back and helping others.
Above all, our beliefs are the mask that hinders the truth. And, the largest part of this mask is religious mythology. So, moving beyond the barriers of mythology is one of the major goals of real spiritual work. Confronting our illusions is the only way to take off our mask.
Likewise, we understand that leaving behind the falsehoods is just important as grasping the truths. In fact, once you can remove your mask you’ll find that your personal truth is the most important truth you will discover.
We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking. You will find more interesting posts on our blog page. Use the search option on the blog page to find articles by key terms, topics, or category.
Does spiritual exploration interest you? If so, we offer both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. We use a blended learning process to get the best learning outcomes. This blended approach aligns with what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey.
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(1) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia