We don’t perceive reality. We see what we expect to find based on our worldview. The masks of our worldview distort the experience of the observer.
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, true spiritual work 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, which is how belief takes precedent over facts and logic. People learn not to trust the 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 you talk to inside your heads. It is that aspect of consciousness which the ancients call spirit or soul. This Observer is not our personality or instincts. Personality and instincts are elements of Ego. Our Ego is a tool that connects us to this observer.
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. We need to take back the steering wheel of awareness to do this. 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.”
We can understand oneness intellectually, but it is another thing to experience it firsthand. 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. Those who control the narrative can dictate values and thinking. Three religions dominate the cultural narrative. These are the Abrahamic religions (1) of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. 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 Paganism have the least barriers to free-thinking. In fact, many encourage the development of your own path. This contrasts with the main concerns of Western organized religion. They are more concerned with control and cash flow.
By far, Western organized religion has 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 normal reality’s default settings.
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. These tactics can override our instincts and free will. 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. Some tools 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 developing and exploring consciousness. They are processes that can alter, change, or expand our awareness. Some of these methods open doorways to higher states of consciousness.
These processes come from eons of research by cultures around the world. We use the term spiritual exploration to describe these powerful methods.
We select the best of these ancient methods for our blended learning process. These processes are time-tested by generations of use, and they stand up to the rigorous tests of science. Several of these methods produce measurable changes in our physiology. These physiological markers differ from normal waking, sleeping, and dreaming states.
Spiritual exploration is not about faith or belief in a religion. They are processes that anyone can use. All you do is follow a process. We like to think of it just like baking a cake. When you want to bake a delicious cake, you follow a recipe. If you use the right ingredients and follow the directions, you get something delicious. The processes of spiritual exploration are formulas or ingredients for exploring consciousness.
There are many ways to list these methods. We divide these tools into four major categories:
- Analytical Tools
- Awareness Expansion Tools
- Modalities for Healing
The study of spiritual things seems like an odd place to find analytical tools, but these analytical processes are vital to our spiritual quest. Their use enhances our ability to use common sense and logic.
These tools help us think more clearly and make better decisions, which helps us avoid many of our path’s everyday obstacles. This group’s primary tools are Logical Reasoning, Comparative Analysis, and The Enneagram of Personality.
The study of logic is the first tool we use in our group practice, but these methods help anyone seeking the truth. We encourage our participants to create a reminder on their smartphone to review these tools every month. It’s essential to keep them fresh in our minds, and that’s when they become useful in spotting ploys and deception.
We use a set of three related tools. The first tool is Logical reasoning, which summarizes the essential use of logic in language. 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 by contrasting how science and mythology differ in their approaches to presenting the truth.
Comparative Analysis is a systematic approach to comparative religious study based on the scientific model. It is a method of comparing ideas and beliefs from different worldviews, and it is another tool we recommend for the new spiritual explorer.
This process introduces the challenge of comparing their beliefs to other worldviews. We incorporate the use of emotional checks with this process to maintain our emotional equilibrium. Keeping your emotional balance helps us think more clearly.
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 cognitive science tool that helps us understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instinct. The best authors and researchers write in easily understandable language so the layperson can understand it, while it is deep enough for any clinician. It makes the Enneagram a powerful system available to almost everyone.
You will find modern psychology and the Enneagram share many of the same concepts and authors. Borrowing and then building on the work of others is 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 personality profile. 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 help you understand 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. Both seated and moving meditation bring many health and wellness benefits.
Seated meditation is the heart of the spiritual practice for many people. Meditation is an essential tool for exploring consciousness. Seated meditation includes everything from a primary two-step method, Mindfulness Meditation and Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM). This modality also has advanced practices like the Siddhis of Patanjali.
Moving meditation is an action with a heightened level of awareness. To perform an activity while simultaneously holding a meditative state involves a high level of mind-body coordination and skill. This modality improves mind and body connection. In turn, this has a positive effect on our health and wellness. This progression includes energy collection modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi. It also includes Forest Bathing and grounding techniques, like Tree Grounding and Sun Gazing.
Awareness Expansion Tools
This category has a diverse mix of tools dealing with awareness and perception. This group includes the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation, lucid dreaming, third-eye awakening exercises, and techniques to improve memory.
Another essential tool is the spiritual journal or book of shadows; it’s your personal life coach. This modality also includes exercises like automatic writing and exploring memories. You could list these tools among some groups. However, we like to list them separately because of their importance to awareness.
The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first technology for exploring consciousness. This traditional method is at the core of many indigenous cultures, and it serves as evidence of the historical importance of the inner quest.
There are many variations on this theme, but 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.
The Shamanic Journey has been renamed or rebranded in Western cultures. They do this to make it more marketable. You will see it marketed as “guided meditation” or “creative visualization.”
Modalities for Healing
The last group is healing practices. This group includes a diverse set of tools such as Pe Jet, which comes from Indonesia, and Reiki and Shiatsu come from Japan. We teach Vedic medicine, along with other traditional healing forms. Self-care is a vital part of this group. Because to help others, we must be in optimal health. 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. They find it an enjoyable way of giving back and helping others.
Above all, the mask of belief hinders our ability to find the truth. And, the largest part of this mask is religious mythology. Moving beyond the barriers of mythology is a goal of spiritual practice. Confronting our illusions is the only way to take off our masks.
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.
Thanks for reading this article. We welcome your opinion, so don’t hesitate to comment or email us. We hope it provides some food for thought. You can find more mind-opening topics on our blog.
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(1) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia