Friday, 20 March 2009

Lifestyle changes

My lifestyle has changed since my luxury days as a managing director of a computer software company. Each day since then seems to have been spent in disposing of baggage, both physical and mental.

The epitome of this self-imposed deprivation was the time I spent living alone for eight days in a cave, with the only company being about a dozen bats.

The locals believe that this cave contains a monster, so consequently no-one ever goes near it, even though it is only about an hour's walk from the local hill-tribe village where I lived. I had arranged for my wife to prepare food once per day, and for one of my village friends to deliver the food to a location a few minutes walk from the cave. The first night, my faithful dog stayed with me, but he rejoined my Lahu friend when he returned to the village after delivering food on the second day.

I spent the entire time there in meditation and doing yoga. I learned a great deal about myself, not the least of which was the importance of certain things in life. I learned that without the benefits of society, in this case my wife and delivery friend, I could not eat. I learned that as long as one is sheltered from the wind and rain, then accommodation is not too important.

But after a couple of days, overcoming the sheer boredom was the biggest problem. I had intentionally not taken my spectacles or any reading or writing materials with me, so that I would not be tempted by my old habits of constantly reading and researching. After I had strolled around the locale and absorbed all there was to absorb, I could find very little to occupy my mind. And therein lay my secret - my mind - constantly demanding to be occupied by something - anything really. My body demanded food and sleep, and sometimes exercise, all being short term things that soon passed, but my mind never ceased its demands.

Learning to control the mind is a wonderful thing which most people never even consider. This is the great power of mediation - hatha yoga helps us to control the body, and meditation helps us to control the mind, after which a marvellous thing happens - we begin to discover the missing part of our being - the spirit.

I believe that the human race will move away from the toys of today which constantly keep the mind occupied, discouraging the realisation of spirit, and that the collective human consciousness will become more spiritually orientated.

This is the essence of Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now". By concentrating the mind on precisely and only what the body is doing and noticing, we avoid wandering off into hypothetical situations where we find all of our fears and worries. These fears and worries become constant, and prey on our mind like vultures. In the absence of fear and worry, we become more open, and more able to sink deeper into the true reality.

Once we have recognised the reality of our spirit, we also realise the true reality of so many other things. Like the abject failure of science, whose precepts are so dogmatically followed by so many dedicated non-believers, that ignorance of the spirit leads us to spend most of or time in a belief system that is so flawed it is almost worthless.

Having crossed the hurdle of "spirit recognition" we are able to move on in huge leaps and bounds as we familiarise ourselves with our new surroundings - a completely different world hoves into view. We realise the failings of religion, as something that was very valuable in our earlier stages of evolution, but no longer suits non-dogmatic thinking.

Slowly but surely, we begin to understand that there is absolute and total organisation around us, disturbed only by man's lack of knowledge and wisdom. We begin to gain an insight into a truly awesome power that is so far beyond the mind of man and his computers that it creates a sense of humility in human insignificance.

We realise not only that there is significance in every event in our lives, but by careful meditative analysis, we begin to realise what that significance is.

We realise why we were born.

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