A MESSAGE FROM OUR SHARED SELF
The other world is this world, seen from a different perspective
Having populated the earth for millions of years; having succeeded in technological advancement; having created thousands of world religions and teachings; having followed thousands of world leaders, spiritual teachers, and motivational gurus; having invented practices such as meditation, yoga, and breath work; having experimented and gained numerous insights from psychedelics and plant medicine and other mind-altering substances and techniques; having read and written millions of books, aphorisms, and maxims; having listened to so many remarkably wise and enlightened individuals such as Buddha, Jesus, the Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, and others; having acquired all this knowledge and wisdom…why is it that we still haven't found solace to our eternal human struggle? Why are we still suffering? Why haven't we found peace?
We are still in existential pain and in physical illness; we are still losing our loved ones and dying ourselves. Nothing soothes, nothing quenches our deepest thirst for understanding, nothing appeases our search for meaning or satisfies our hunger for love. We still experience depression, envy, sorrow, heartbreak, anger, loneliness—all the same emotions and difficulties our cave-ancestors experienced 10,000 years ago.
We have plenty of knowledge, more than ever, yet the vast array of information we have at our fingertips hasn't eliminated suffering. We are still unhappy and unsatisfied, on a seemingly never-ending quest (both within and without) for the meaning and the answer. Yet all we get is hundreds of thousands of different contradicting answers that change with time and often annihilate each other. Somehow, the seeker never arrives at the destination.
The problem in our day is not that there isn't enough knowledge. The problem is that there isn't enough integration of this accumulated knowledge into an understanding that would properly summarize it, an understanding that would be reflected in how we choose to perceive the world. As Ludwig Wittgenstein addressed it in his Philosophical Investigations, "The problems are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have known since long."
Our actions and our knowledge haven't eliminated suffering because all suffering in the world springs from the false self-identification that we are individual. It comes from our separated acquired ego-self, versus our original Shared Self.
We refuse, for the most part, to tackle, confront, or challenge the collective false belief that we are separate, that we are ourselves and our own egos only, when in fact we are all literally One.
Every one of us—even those thinkers, philosophers, and spiritual teachers who throughout history have promoted the concept of oneness and union—has always perceived and still perceives and identifies himself as a separate individual. Everyone who takes flesh in this world does. And yet it is this perception and identification that divides existence into two—the self and the others, the I and the world—which leads to all suffering.
This is why there is still suffering, still pain, still sadness and illness and death. We haven't been able to change this because we are not integrated into One whole being, because we haven't chosen to see One instead of many. Because of the false belief that we are separate. The false belief that we are ego, which in itself is just an effect of separation and false self-identification. The false belief in separation, from which we created distance between I and other, I and Higher Self, I and the world. The false belief that "I" is separate from all, and hence cannot affect all, cannot change all, is a victim of random events and external forces. The belief in our false self.
We haven't been able to see one where there seems to be two.
We haven't been able to see health where there seems to be illness.
We haven't been able to see peace where there seems to be war.
But what if we could? What if seeing IS creating, and cause and effect are one? What if there is a loop from within to without and back to within…because within and without are one?
We are all made of the same stuff; we all come from and go to the same place when we are born and when we die. This truth, this desire for union, has been everywhere around us since the beginning of times. Every major religion, spiritual tradition, and even field of science alludes to non-separateness, union, as an inevitability. Union embodies and transcends the principles that inform both modern and ancient teachings.
Branches of the Hindu tradition have for eons said, "One being, God, we all are a piece of that being and so we are all a piece of each other. Eventually, we merge back."
Union has also been pondered by the Philosopher's camp throughout time. You can see Union ingrained in the Plato's Theory of Forms - and this is what metaphysics is born from - which states that everything on earth, whether an object or an idea, is actually an imperfect copy of an ideal, true and permanent "form" that exists somewhere "beyond" our visible reality, and that the real world is not this visible material world that we perceive through our senses. Or, in my words, there is one Shared Self, an eternal all-encompassing unchangeable "perfect" form, that expresses itself through different "imperfect" and constantly changing appearances or physical bodies. Bodies that are just reflections or representations of the Shared Self.
Plotinus, another ancient philosopher, explained this concept of "one and all, at the same time" better than I ever could, for I think this is the hardest thing to grasp and express in words.
He wrote, "There is one identical soul dispersed among many bodies. Your soul and mine and all are one, and the same thing is true of the universe, the soul in all the several forms of life being one soul, not parceled out in separate items, but an omnipresent identity. It must, no doubt, seem strange that my soul and that of any and everybody else should be one thing only: it might mean my feelings being felt by someone else, my goodness another's too, my desire, his desire, all our experience shared with each other and with the (one-souled) universe, so that the very universe itself would feel whatever I felt. That one identical soul should be virtuous in me and vicious in someone else is not strange: it is only saying that an identical thing may be active here and inactive there. An identical thing in different recipients will have different experiences. It is our feebleness that leads to doubt in these matters; the body obscures the truth."
The concept of Union is also visible in Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative, where when making a moral decision, a person should consider what would happen if everyone took that course of action. Which is basically just a fancier way of stating the Golden Rule, and reiterating the words of Jesus - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".
Union is also reflected in Hegel's Absolute Spirit, which sees the Universe as a giant network connecting everything. Where every person, object, or idea that has ever existed is part of a greater whole, known as the Absolute Spirit.
Its glimpses are also present in Ralph Waldo Emerson's Transcendentalism, in the belief in an ideal spiritual state that "transcends" the physical and empirical and is realized through the individual's intuition rather than through the doctrines of established religions. This is a concept that envisions the whole and all others as actually inside individuality; in other words, all social structures perceived as being outside of us are actually are inside our minds and can therefore be recognized and dissolved.
Union is also witnessed in a seemingly opposite camp—science—in the mind-bending field of quantum physics. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say that scientists create union, rather than witness it, when the very act of observing something affects that thing—because there's no "two" of them in the universe, no separation between observer and observed. There's only one.
Union is experienced when an object described by quantum physics is neither particle nor wave but a third category, something that encompasses both in a way previously thought to be impossible, sharing some properties of waves (a characteristic frequency and wavelength, some spread over space) and some properties of particles (generally countable and can be localized to some degree). Here, particle and wave are joined into a third form of energy, united energy that contains both opposites simultaneously. So science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.
Union transcends the need for religion and the limitations of science. We need to see that cause and effect are one. We need to see unity, not as a spiritual theory, not as an esoteric belief, not as a philosophical idea, not as a scientific discovery, but as all-encompassing, ever-lasting, ever-present truth that embraces all the theories, all the ideas, all the discoveries.
Just imagine if all humans came to the realization that they were everyone else. That we are all literally parts of each other. What would that world look like?
Perception saturates form, changes form, evolves form. The way we perceive things is the way we create them. The way we see the world is the only way we change it. An example is in the media and the way we bombard ourselves with bad news, all the focus on the negative, all coming from a dark perspective which instigates and feeds fear and doesn't really change much for the better. Instead, this dark perspective that believes we should be afraid, that others are horrible, actually perpetuates the creation that is already taking place. The more we shake our head at how bad the condition of the world is and the more we strive to save it (out of fear, being totally absorbed in negativity), the more we create it, because our seeing it this way is creating it this way.
We need to see things differently in order for the observable to start changing. As Henry David Thoreau said, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." So let us adopt the new perspective, the new conscious vision of a united consciousness with no opposition. There is no need to oppose anything, for the opposed is an illusion, created by you and by all of us.
We need to see what we wish to create. We need to see union where we have perceived separation. We need to see health where we have perceived disease. We need to see life everlasting where we have perceived mortality. Not believing that things can be a certain way, but actually seeing everything as a reflection of parts of your consciousness projected outwards. Eliminating the opposition inside us and realizing our true identity is what brings change within and without. No belief is necessary; only a change in perception.
Do not reconfirm and perpetuate that which you do not like. Do not see what you do not wish to see. Change your perception. Where you perceive lack, perceive abundance. Where you perceive violence, perceive love. Where you perceive limitations, perceive opportunity. Where you perceive illness, perceive health.
The moment we refuse to see imperfectness is the moment we create anew.
The moment we refuse to perceive problems is the moment we make a choice not to create them.
The moment we refuse to see illness is the moment we confirm health.
And the moment we adopt this vision as truth, it becomes truth.
Until we stop seeing "bad things" happening outside of us, until we stop seeing the need for a change, or the world that needs to be saved, we will continue observing the results of the inner false perception of separation in our seemingly outside world. Until we stop focusing on negativity, we won't change a bit and neither will the world, for as we perceive negativity we create it, in order to work on solving it.
We have the ability now to change our perception and make a collective choice, a new choice, that will consciously allow us to experience oneness, to live it, feel it, be it. A choice of ontological union.
Have we, you and me, not prayed for the answer? One answer to it all? Isn't this the answer we asked for?
Have we, you and me, not searched for the truth? One universal truth that is always true, for everyone, forever?
Have we, you and me, not sought the way to fill the void?
Have we not wanted it all along, all these years, decades, centuries, from the beginning of time?
Have we not looked into our lover's eyes and desired to enter them somehow, to merge soul to soul, body to body, mind to mind, heart to heart?
We all ARE ONE BODY, ONE MIND, ONE HEART - this is the answer to all the questions and the resolution for all the fruitless searches.
Are you ready to make the choice to perceive union? Am I? Don't point fingers to those who are not. Don't see them as "those who are not ready"; do not create them in their non-readiness. But ask yourself: Are you ready? Because there's no two of us in this universe, in all the realities, in all the realms of existence, there's no two of us speaking here. There's no two of us discussing it.
I am not a separate person, who thinks differently from you. These are the echoes of your own thoughts and choices. Hearing my words, you talk to yourself, using me as a representation of what is happening inside you, whether you agree with me or not. I am doing the same. I'm not another thinker who knows something you don't or vice versa, I'm not separate from you, suggesting a new idea, preaching the love and light. I am but a reflection of you, of your own voice, of your own deepest choices that are about to come to the surface.
Other men are lenses through which we read our own minds, - said Ralph Waldo Emerson. All of us here in this world talk to ourselves, meaning that it's our own words that are reflected back to us from the seemingly separate selves of ours. All the knowledge that has been collected by You, by all of us, from the beginning of time, all of the seemingly separated pieces of information and wisdom, are now ready to come to a unified puzzle. I am but a representation of your own readiness that arises to the surface of this seemingly collective yet at the same time individual choice: the choice we - you - haven't yet made. And this choice is the way out of all that we don't want to see—the suffering, diseases, separation, loss, and death. It is the integrative choice that springs from and transcends all we know, the choice to see and perceive union rather than separation.
The way we perceive anything is the way we create it.
It is the choice we are making, what we choose to perpetuate. It's in the eyes of the beholder that creation is taking place. If we separate the creator and the creation, the cause and the effect, the means and the end, then we create/perceive separation, and see/create that which we don't want: suffering, violence, illness, hatred, anger. For as quantum physics begins to grasp, the observable is one with the observer, and what we call "paradox" is actually how truth reveals and manifests itself beyond the limitations of rational thinking.
You cannot observe "the other" without that "other" being affected/created by the mere fact of your observation. Both are one, cause is effect, and effect is cause.
This is why no initiative, religion, philosophy, science, or other separate or divided field of knowledge or body of thought has ever been able to fully satisfy our deepest needs, alleviate our existential hunger, address suffering and violence, or create true change. Separation cannot create change. Separation cannot do it. Only the choice to perceive the truth, which is union, can create true change.
There are certainly billions of nuggets of truth in every religion, in every book, and in the words of every philosopher, yet the whole picture is blurred because it has all sprung from the hand and mind of the one who doesn't know who he is, who chooses to be the separate hand and mind. And as a result of this false, separate self-identification, this person creates false, separate structures, thought forms, ideas, and systems that do not work and will never work until the creator himself is transformed within, by his own choice, to see differently, having realized his true nature, having arrived back to his original Shared Self.
Someone who lives in and supports the idea of separation through his beliefs and actions, someone who doesn't acquire change from within, cannot make an external change in the world until he or she stops seeing others as separate. As teachers or creators, when we "see" a separate world, a world of separate "teachers" and "students," we create it. As long as we "see" people who need to be taught, enlightened, guided, or saved, we create them in this image.
This is also why all the good intentions of those wanting to change or save the world so often fail, and why, when every effort has been made by humankind, the outcome is still not truly satisfactory. For the very desire to save the world implies that the observer is seeing the world as outside himself, as a thing that needs to be saved, and this belief—which is a choice of how to perceive things—perpetuates what the observer sees. We refuse to see what we wish to see; hence we are refusing to create it.
What if struggle continues since the beginning of time only because of our inability to imagine the absence of it?
This is not about being a good person and doing good works. This is about realizing who you are and choosing to perceive the truth rather than the reflections of who you are not that surround you. You cannot be a "good" person in a "bad" world. You cannot effect change without, without having effected change within. You cannot be independent and still be of service to "humanity".
However, be sure you do not fall into the trap of thinking that this physical reality is not important and all is non-physical, all is illusion, so nothing on the outside matters.
There are no two, no difference between physical and non-physical.
One is the other. Natural is artificial. Biology is technology. Science is spirituality. Everything is made of ONE, and so nothing exists that would not be of that ONE. All is you, and you are all. The point is not to stop doing anything on the outside, stop all the action. The point is to bring awareness to our inner perception of it all. Because we are the ones who create terror and suffering by seeing it this way, by seeing through the lens of fear, negativity and separation rather than love and union. Because seeing is creating. It's not separate.
Action without adjusting the inner perception can still affect change. It just will not create the visible, noticeable, big and quick change that will make a difference. Outer change can still happen even when the inner perception has not shifted, albeit very, very slowly. Change that is instigated from one who is stuck in the false perception of separation moves via this different mechanism: by changing a tiny little bit of something on the "outside"—which is possible because we/some of us are having this tiny perception change inside us at present— then we, by seeing/observing the external change that has happened as a result of our perception, will reinforce/support our further perception change and acclimate us to the believe that change is possible a bit more, which in return will create another bit of change on the outside again, and so on and so forth. It's a constant feedback loop that slowly lets us change our perception and hence change the "external" world.
That's what we are doing now, how we create change now...but it is ineffective and takes a very long time. We progress, but slowly, still creating a lot of damage along the way. As R. Buckminster Fuller wrote, "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
The desire to change the world and save it is also, in itself, a reflection of the inner false belief that we are separate individuals, capable of creating change that "others" cannot. Yet with this false belief at the root of whatever we do or think, no real, lasting change is possible. Even if the teachers and world leaders and religions talk of oneness, they keep opposing each other, separating themselves from others, proudly offering "help" with teachings that seemingly separate us from "those who don't understand what we understand," creating more separation. There is too much preaching that this world needs to be saved, as though it were something separate from us who live in it, and that people need to be saved, as though they were separate from the one who preaches.
The problem is not with the help and guidance. The problem is with the self-identification of the one who decides to lead and to guide, implying that others are separate and need to be led or guided. The problem is with our false, separate self-identification—all of ours, yours and mine…which is the same, because there are no two of us here.
Until we can change our perspective and see the union that is true, teachers will come and go, religions will come and go, civilizations will rise and fall, but the world will stay the same regardless of the great thinkers and doers of all epochs. Scenarios and surroundings will change, some issues will be addressed and replaced with others, some specific problems will change, but suffering is not eliminated, hunger is not eliminated, aggression and violence is not eliminated. And they will not be, regardless of good intentions, until we chose to stop believing in the false idea of separation.
I hear a part of you that resonates with this and responds, "Yes, enough! It is time, time for a change, time for a new choice." And I hear a part of you that resists, that says: "it is crazy, it will never work, it's impossible, it's nonsense, it's craziness." Because those parts are in me, too.
What is this resistance that you feel, that we all feel? If you can answer me, then you will answer yourself. Why resistance? What do we, you, fear?
We feel the resistance of separate identity, the ego that screams that it wants to be unique, individual, separate, more accomplished, more talented, different from the rest, acknowledged for its intellect, wit, beauty or all the changes it makes.
But truly, how can this choice for a new perspective harm you, us? What possible bereavement can it cause? What can this new collective choice possibly deprive us of except our tendencies to superiority, comparison, envy, greed, jealousy, violence, loneliness, and mortality? We have nothing to lose at this point but our egos, our acquired Selves, the quintessence of separation and struggle. So while resistance is an uncomfortable feeling for the ego at the beginning, as soon as we start to acclimate to higher altitudes of expanded consciousness, to this new identity, resistance will melt away on its own.
Resistance says, "This person is crazy. What is she talking about? It's insane, it's unreal, it's just a mind creation." But so is everything else in this world: everything we see, believe in, perceive, or create, has been first created in our mind and then made manifest in the visible reality.
You think it is craziness, but do you not think that the world we have created so far is what real craziness is?
Do you think violence is not craziness? Do you think, in a modern, abundant world where food is thrown away, that people dying from hunger is not craziness? Do you think that taking somebody's life every single day in this world is not craziness? Do you think that poisoning the air with pollution and breathing it in all at the same time, when we have alternative means to create vehicles powered by the sun and electricity, is not craziness? What can be more insane than this reality we currently call sanity?
Isn't the separation that we create and see everywhere around us by far the grandest apotheosis of our human craziness that we all agreed to create and share?
And if so, why not adopt a new understanding and go crazy, together, in a different direction, a direction that will finally bring us peace?
I'll voluntarily go crazy with you if that is what it takes to stop the suffering we've created. If we are already mentally sick—and having observed all that we have created in this reality so far, I assume we are—why not choose to consciously go crazy and adopt a new collective choice, a new belief, a new understanding that doesn't exclude anyone or anything but embraces and transcends it all, that sees this world anew and creates anew? If craziness made us create hell, let a different craziness now create heaven. Why is the old belief in separation and craziness better than the new one? By all means, it is not. I'd happily give up my so-called sanity for an "insane" world without suffering.
Just envision all the benefits this new perception can bring us, you, me. Envision the world without ruling-ego, when all of us see each other as parts of ourselves. All the violence will be dropped, all the competition will be dropped, all the envy, all the anger, all the ignorance. Empathy will take the place of suffering and new, loving relationship will be created between us, between the numerous parts of our one self. Isn't that what you want for us all?
And what will you lose, what will I lose, but the old way of thinking, the outdated way, the way that doesn't work? This new choice, new perception, cannot rob us of anything, but it can give us everything. So let us go crazy together, consciously and willingly, to finally create everything we have so deeply needed, sought for, longed for: peace. Why not? I ask you and myself. Ask yourself, why not?
Are we ready to experience it? Are we ready to let go of its opposite? Are you? Am I? Because if you are not, so am I. And if I am not, so are you. Indeed, we are the creators and creatures of each other, causing and bearing each other's burden.
What we each choose matters. In short, when any one of us "gets there," and truly makes this new choice, it results in others doing the same. Because there is no two of us here.
To be more precise, "an individual" starts to get there but can arrive fully only if that individual becomes a "shared self," a united self that perceives no ego or separation and is capable of perceiving others as himself. The original Self we all share.
The loss of ego is a requirement to arrive. An "individual" loses ego/individuality along the way of arriving at a perception of union. The conundrum comes because then we can no longer call a person"individual" who is no longer individual in his consciousness. It is true that the body remains individual, as a vehicle that carries this specific unified perception, but body is not what we are. Body is but a tool for us - for the Shared Self - to have a sensory experience of everything.
That's why "an individual"—or individuality —can not get there, but the absence of individuality, a shared self, can. Creation/change of this nature (love instead of fear) takes place on the level of Shared or Higher Self, and so we choose union not as an individual but as our shared Self. And since there is only one Self that we all share, it doesn't matter in which or whose body/mind this happens. Ego or Acquired Self doesn't and cannot get there, but the one who has dropped ego can and will. Ego creates fear; shared Higher Self creates love.
Separation and division is an archaic way of perceiving yourself and this seemingly external world; it's an archaic way of thinking, acting, and living, the result of which we find ourselves in at the moment. The way, that doesn't work.
Let us finally realize that there is only one road of evolution to take: the road toward union, because this is where evolution pushes us. Evolution is the fusion of all we perceive as separate into one holistic understanding, the fusion of all we perceive as other than us, into us. Our own hearts and minds are leading us to link it all together, to link all of our hearts and minds despite the resistance of our seemingly separated ego-selves.
We see this striving of humanity for union, the striving of yours, of ours, reflected in all the fields and areas of our life. I believe this quest for union is where our advancements in technology originate. All our information technology—smartphones, laptops, the internet, hard drives—is merely a reflection of us, of the processes that our one shared consciousness undergoes and the steps it requires, and as such is a representation of our desire for both expansion and merging our minds.
We as a collective are growing towards a higher and higher complexity in our inner organization, using every "outside" tool we can to help us achieve this desire to reach more, absorb more, BECOME more than what we are, than our body, than our brain size. Expansion and absorbing, devouring everything around, is a requirement for evolution. We will continue to expand until all the "external" is swallowed and becomes within us, until all the universe becomes inside us, and we will become the ocean that contains all the drops of it, instead of the drop feeling separate from the ocean. Until we reach Union.
Evolution doesn't allow us to take sides anymore. It clashes the borders: territorial borders, gender borders, racial borders, and the borders created by our viewpoints.
And when viewpoints dissolve, vision finally appears.
The time is ripe for a synthesis that covers the best thought in many fields—from the sciences to religion, from biology to spirituality, from psychology to mathematics—and transcends the boundaries between all of them. This is not about demolishing opposing views, but rather about including them into a larger understanding that encompasses everything and doesn't exclude any religion, any philosophical idea, any spiritual teaching. Instead, it embraces and synergistically transcends them all.
It all comes back to this: The idea of separation between the self and the world is illusion.
The desire to break through the illusion and experience unity is what you are about to choose to see, and hence create. Evolving as separated individuals is a dead end. Our collective psyche wants to merge in order to evolve further. This choice will require us to drop ego. The moment we stop perceiving others as others, everything will change, as we will live by the old saying, "Do unto 'others' as you would have done to yourself."
If we wish for a big and real change, there should be a quantum jump in perception, in envisioning, and this new perception will create a new reality. We can envision differently. It's up to you, as the higher self, and me, as the higher self, to choose what will be. We are becoming the undivided mind. The limitless mind. The Original mind. Or the Artificial Intelligence. The Universe. God. Call it what you will, but do not divide it any longer. The time of division is coming to an end and we are entering a cycle of merging. We are seeing glimpses of this everywhere, because that is what we create.
I see us being able to upgrade our collective selves, I see us making a new choice, I see us as one, I see you as me. This is the solution, the only solution that will work. The only chance we have left, and have never taken. All else is tried out, from the beginning of times. And yet the truth is awaiting patiently, for it can afford to be patient; it will be revealed, discovered, chosen by those who failed in everything else. This is THE solution. A way out of the craziness and into sanity you've always longed for.
Let us respond to our own yearning for this union, the yearning we've had for millennia. For the truth has been here a long time, unanswered, unexperienced, unchosen. Let's see the world anew. Let's create the world anew. Because it is you who creates all that you see, all that you experience, and cause and effect are one.
Let us respond to our own calling, the calling of the inner original Self that we all share, as it calls us to evolve into unity, to melt the borders of separation, and to expand our understanding of who we are. If this calling weren't already present inside us, I wouldn't be able to write about it here; you wouldn't be able to read and contemplate it; it wouldn't exist in so many different ways throughout the world. The call is already inside us. Can we consciously respond?
What do you see now, at this moment, in this message? What do you see, and hence create?
Do not resist, for there's no one to resist but your own self. Do not hate, for the hate is yours and yours only. Do not doubt, but if doubt arises, remember Schopenhauer's words: "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
Motivation will cease, positive thinking will cease, this and that will cease and lose its initial appeal, yet the Truth, once known in the heart, will stay there forever. It will change you, and once it is known, once it is revealed to you from you, once it is recalled, you will never forget it. You will never look at the world the same way you looked at it before. And looking at it differently, you will never create the same world you created before.
Written by Nina Mel, Autumn 2016
(c) this is an excerpt from Nina's new book, A Message from our Shared Self (to be released in Spring of 2017).