Nancy (N). What I want to dive into on this show is: What is this whole concept about us being spiritual beings? It seems we are pretty much flesh and blood. But Metapsychiatry keeps talking about how we are spiritual beings and that we are not physical beings. So, please enlighten us on what Metapsychiatry really means.
Ruth (R). It's very confusing actually. The idea that we are spiritual beings is not exclusive to Metapsychiatry but I think Metapsychiatry sheds some new light on it. Of course the first thing we need to do is to define what the word spiritual means. Spiritual means nonmaterial substance. As we can’t deny we are made up of material things like flesh, blood, organs and bones, the question is really “What is it about us that is nonmaterial?”
N. You bring up an interesting question. The first things that come to my mind is love, a sense of our humanity, our compassion, our ability to relate, and to be connected to other people. These are things that are nonmaterial.
R. Spiritual values, spiritual qualities, inspiration, wisdom, and understanding are nonmaterial. These are spiritual aspects of being as well but actually it's the part of us that we call consciousness that I want to focus on. Consciousness has been left out of the equation so to speak up until now. We thought we lived in a phenomenal world consisting of space, time, matter and energy and now we are saying no, we left something out. It's the consciousness of the individual that has been left out of the picture.
N. Can you define consciousness for us to understand what that is? That's another big word. I think it's been thrown around a lot and I don't know if we know what it really is.
R. Let's use a synonym for it - awareness. That word we are more familiar with. So that's what consciousness is - the ability to be aware. So we have the ability to be aware of many things, more than we are aware of normally. But the first thing we can be aware of is the self: self-awareness. We can be aware of ourselves and of what we are doing and what we are thinking. We can also be aware of what is going on around us, of other people. But we are not usually aware that there is a higher level of awareness which is to be aware of those nonmaterial substances we were just speaking about - spiritual values, spiritual qualities, and inspired ideas. So, to be a consciousness is to be aware on all of those different levels. And we must ask ourselves, “How often are we truly aware of all these aspects of our being?”
N. So we can be aware that we are nonmaterial?
R. The awareness is something that is not material. You can't put your finger on it. You can't locate where it is. Today, many individuals are speaking of consciousness as non-local. It doesn't exist in any locality. Where does it come from? It's here- everywhere. It's available to us at all times. We are aware that we are awarenesses.
N. So I can be aware that I am thinking. I can be aware that I am here on this set and we have the cameras rolling. I can be aware of how I am feeling. What is it to be spiritual then?
R. Are you aware of a state of PAGL that we spoke about last time? Are you aware of peace? Are you aware of joy? Are you aware of happiness? Are you aware of beauty? These are spiritual values that all of us can be aware of but how often are we really aware of them?
N. I have to remind myself to be aware of peacefulness, to remember to be aware that there can be gratitude and love around.
R. There is a wonderful story that is told about the Buddha. When he was asked, “Who are you - God?” He said, “No. I am not God”. Then they asked, “Are you an angel?” He said, “No, I am not an angel”. “Are you a prophet, then?” they asked. The Buddha said, “No. I’m not a prophet”. Finally they asked, “Well then, what are you?” And the Buddha replied, “I am awake”. That’s what awareness is: To be awake- awake to all of those different levels of perception. Undeniably, we exist in a world that is phenomenal. What is unique about someone who is awake is that they view this phenomenal world from a spiritual perspective. From what perspective do you see the world? Ask yourself, “Am I seeing life in the context of spiritual reality or am I just stuck in the phenomena and only seeing the material and thinking that's all there is?”
N. It seems to me that we can't have a conversation about being spiritual beings without also addressing this whole concept of God because people can't think about spiritual without thinking of some sort of higher being. We think about a higher being that is higher than all of us, that is encompassing all of us. Often we believe that we are down here somewhere and God is up there in some sort of heaven.
R. I think we all grew up with that kind of image because that's the only way a child can conceive of it. A child doesn't have the ability to think abstractly yet and this is even beyond abstract. I think the word God is a real stumbling block. It certainly has been in my life until Metapsychiatry gave me some words, namely Omniactive Love-Intelligence, which suddenly made a great deal of sense to me. But before I say that, I have to say that there are many wonderful words for God and many ways to see God. Just yesterday I was speaking to a minister who told me that in Zulu, God is called “Unkuloo Unkuloo”. It means “Big, big”. That really explains something. It’s beyond ourselves. What is this that is beyond ourselves? It seems to be the Higher Mind of our Mind. The Infinite Mind, the Universal Mind, Divine Consciousness. So, there are lots of different words. There is even the term, “The Fundamental Order of Existence”. What does that consist of? What is this Fundamental Order? We are saying that The Fundamental Order is the source. It is existence itself and that is the source of spiritual values, spiritual qualities, and inspired, creative, intelligent ideas. So it gives us something really tangible to work with when we are trying to live a God-centered life or are interested in living a spiritually conscious life.
N. It seems to me that so many discussions about spirituality or ways of thinking about it and wanting to live that way has this kind of separation between the sense of what you are talking about - the Universal Order, God, Big, Big, however we might talk about that presence. But there is a difference between that and who I am right here and what happens every day in my life. So what does Metapsychiatry say about that?
R. What happens in everyday life is according to how your consciousness sees Reality. Do you see the spirituality of life or do you just see the materiality of life? If you are seeing life only from the perspective of a human being, which we could define as a person, a material being who is autonomous, who is self-motivated, who is self-energized, self-propelled and has to come up with everything themselves and is all alone, then you are seeing life strictly as a human being. If you see yourself as a spiritual being, then you are no longer just dealing with a physical, phenomenal world. You are actually looking through a different lens entirely. You are looking through the lens of peace and assurance and gratitude and love and generosity and freedom and goodness. It changes the way you see the phenomena. It's an amazing thing how it happens.
N. One of the things I love about Metapsychiatry is that it talks about mental health and spiritual health as being a beneficial presence in the world. How I understand this is that our purpose in life is to be a gateway to God. Our purpose is to be a presence for this Love-Intelligence which is the essence of who we all are. That seems to all of a sudden bring all these concepts of God that seemed so distant right down into the here and now in this present place.
R. We become a beneficial presence which refers to a quality of consciousness that is beneficial. We can juxtapose that with being a beneficent person. If you are looking from the human level, you can say that the purpose of life is to be a good person, a “do-gooder” is a beneficent person. In contrast to that is a beneficial presence. It's a quality of consciousness. It's not a doer. It's not a thinker. It's being who you really are which is being beneficial in everything that you do and say.
N. I like that idea of being a beneficial presence because it doesn't have anything to do with coping or doing or growing or learning. It's really about the beingness- of being present. So when we go into a state of agitation, or a state of anxiety, we are sort of mentally ill in a way. We are not quite who we really are.
R. That's right and we don't realize that. We don't realize that to be anxious, to be fearful, to be sad, and to be disturbed is not our normal state of consciousness. This is not our true state of consciousness. It's what we seem to be as human beings, and we are all so used to it that we don't realize that there is some other level of existence that we could go to that would heal our anxiety and our fears. Counseling and the work in our groups helps people to understand that there are very practical ways for us to realize that we are a Spiritual or Divine Consciousness.
N. I would like to spend more time with the definition of God which is Omniactive Love-Intelligence. Is there more to it?
R. Omniactive Love hyphen Intelligence actually. This hyphen is a very important aspect in our understanding of Omniactive Love-Intelligence. What Dr. Hora realized is that what is spiritual love is always intelligent and what is divine intelligence is always loving.
N. You have to talk about that because those two things usually seem very different.
R. Yes they do seem different but they go together. The practical way I can explain it is in my own life. There have been times in my life where I have had to make choices. I was doing my best. In some cases, I thought my decision was loving. But it didn't work out for some reason. I realized later that it wasn't intelligent. Or I would make what I thought was an intelligent choice and it didn't work out and I would discover later it wasn't really very loving. I am reminded of the Biblical saying attributed to St. Paul. He said: "The good that I would I do not and the evil that I would not that I do." I have done that a million times in my life. I have tried to do something good and it turns out badly. I thought I was doing it and it just didn’t work out. And, amazingly, when I am not trying to make something good happen, it just does.
N. So what do you mean by intelligent? What makes something intelligent?
R. Are we talking about IQ here? Are we talking about learning certain bits of knowledge and being able to regurgitate them - how much we know about the world? No. Intelligence is a freely inflowing gift, a continually inflowing gift of inspired ideas which meets our needs moment by moment. It's constantly flowing but we are so busy being doers in our life, living on the human level, that we are not aware that we have this ability to receive ideas and to meet all our needs.
N. It's like this creative flow of inspired ideas that comes to us when we allow it.
R. When we have cultivated an interest in it and then allow it.
N. And that combined with Love. What's the definition of Love?
R. This is another one that is difficult because normally we think of love in human terms - usually revolving around attraction. If somebody gives us what we want, then we love them. But if they don't give us what we want, we don't like them all of a sudden. We can even hate them. So the person we would rather love, say our family members, our spouses, our parents, our children, we find ourselves all of a sudden harboring anger and resentment against them.
N. We expect love to be with attachment or to be how you treat other people. There are a lot of definitions.
N. Yes. It also has to do with giving things that really manipulate other people to get them to do what you want them to do. Giving gifts and spending money. There are lots of different ways of showing human love but this is not Divine Love. Divine Love is defined in Metapsychiatry as non-personal, non-conditional benevolence. Non-personal - doesn't that sound awful? It sounds so cold and so distant- so detached. What it really means is that Love itself is what is good and Love is being loving, and to be loving is to manifest God's love. So we love being loving. (One of the expressions in Metapsychiatry.) Just to love being loving with no strings attached. No conditions.
N. Love is part of the presence, right, as we recognize that we are spiritual beings, Love is our natural state.
R. Yes, but don’t know this until it is pointed out to us somewhere along the line.
N. When you say it, it sounds so logical. To enjoy being loving, to love being loving, to love just being a positive presence within any particular situation is always… great.
R. The word you may be looking for is beneficial. It doesn't hurt anyone. It's always a good thing.
N. So God is Omniactive. Explain that now.
R. Omniactive means everywhere active. There is no place in the entire universe where God's Love and Intelligence are not available to us. Anyone, no matter what their circumstances, can tune in to Omniactive Love-Intelligence and be available to receive the ideas. Whatever is needed in that moment. It will come forth if we are interested in it. Dr. Hora said often, "It's not difficult to be enlightened, it is just difficult to be interested in enlightenment," because we are so busy with the world.
N. Because we get so hung up in doing, expecting, and wanting our lives to go in ways we think it should and we feel that we have to make it happen in some way.
R. Exactly. We are suggesting a whole other way to live and that is to become aware of yourself as a spiritual being rather than seeing yourself simply as a human being. Another way in which we can become aware of this is by using the faculty of awareness that we all have. Normally what we do when something happens is to react simply by our conditioning. We are used to saying something or doing something as a reaction to an experience. But there is a higher level of awareness which is called the ability to respond. So if we have the ability to respond, then we are willing to set aside our tendency to react, and look to see if there is some inspired idea available for that moment. You wait for that to come and if it doesn't, then you don't respond.
Very often when I am counseling with married couples, I will say, “Stop reacting to each other when you see that's what is happening. Just stop and listen and see if something comes to mind. In that moment that something comes, it will be loving and intelligent and this will take care of the problem. You don't have to talk about the problem. The way to find a solution is not talking about the problem. You can't solve the problem on the level of the human being”.
N. What this brings up, though, is a resistance. I am sure you have come up against this, especially when you are dealing with married couples. In order to follow what you’re saying, you have to give up being right. You must hear the wisdom that's there. You might be quiet enough and hear it but you might not want to say it because you won't be right anymore.
R. One of Dr. Hora's booklets called "Self-Transcendence," starts off with "If you are more interested in seeing the Truth than in being right, you have transcended yourself." That is what is needed because when we are not transcendent and are coming from a transcendent viewpoint, we get into disagreements. We argue and have differences of opinions and we can blow up at the drop of a hat. So, it's not a good thing to not to be aware of this ability that we have of self-transcendence.
N. Going back to the fact that we are spiritual beings, you are not saying that we are not flesh and blood, but that we can be aware of spiritual qualities. We can be aware of this spiritual presence of Omniactive Love-Intelligence. And so how does that interrelate with what this physical part of this life is doing?
R. We are interested in the quality of our consciousness. We are not interested in our bodies. The more you become interested in seeing spiritual values and seeing what is good, the more you are living in consciousness and not in the body. And, the body actually has a way of getting healthier and life has a way of looking better all the time as a result of your ability to live in consciousness.
N. How do you explain that? What happens if we don't pay attention to our body and make sure we eat healthy food all the time and exercise and work really hard to be beautiful? How do we get healthy if we don't do that?
R. The amazing thing is that the more we live in spiritual values, the healthier we become even without taking care of anything that is physical. On the other hand, if you have a physical problem, you must seek to understand the meaning of that… but perhaps we can talk about that in another program because it's a little too difficult to go into in detail right now. When we say this, we are not ignoring that we need to pay attention to eating in a healthy way and exercising. But rather, we need not focus on it. If we are living in a PAGL consciousness, the right ideas come to us. We will be led to the right book to learn about nutrition. We will be led to the right exercise for us at that particular time. Otherwise we might become ambitious and start doing things that are harmful for us.
N. It's really a shift of where we live our life from. It's living from this perspective that we are part of this loving consciousness vs. I am here as an individual, and I have to do everything by myself to make my life work.
R. That's what we always get back to. Do you see yourself as a human being who is all alone in this world, having to figure everything out by yourself, being self-energized, self-propelled, self-motivated, or do you see yourself in a greater context as part of Reality, as part of the Divine? As you learn to see yourself that way, by becoming aware of spiritual values and cultivating an interest in them and your consciousness becomes imbued with them, then your life is totally different. It's not that the material changes. What's out there is going to be there still but the way you see it - you suddenly see beauty where you haven't seen it before. You suddenly see intelligence in an individual where you hadn’t seen it before. You see goodness. You see harmony. You see all sorts of things that had been obscured from your view beforehand.
N. It's almost like taking a walk in the woods. I can be taking a walk in the woods and I can be thinking about what happened yesterday or I can be thinking about a problem that I have and I won't even notice that I am surrounded by beautiful trees, right? All of a sudden I can wake up and realize, “Oh, this is a beautiful day! Listen to those birds. I hadn't even noticed them before”. It wasn't that they weren't there. I just wasn't paying attention. I was focused on how am I going to solve this problem that I have?
R. Right. You are in your mind and totally wrapped up in your own thoughts. Therefore, the rest was unavailable to you. You didn't even see it. You are a Buddha. You just woke up. That's what it means to be a Buddha
N. It's waking up to that environment.
R. To seeing everything: Being aware of yourself, aware of what you are feeling, aware of your thoughts, aware of what is going on around you, and aware of the beauty. That's the whole point.
N. But it sounds like it also means being aware that I am a spiritual being. Being aware that I am connected to Omniactive Love-Intelligence and that there is a continuous flow of creativity and inspired ideas that I am a part of. So if I remember that, then the problem I am having will be solved. The answer will be there if I remember what's really true and that I can live in a larger awareness.
R. That's the idea. What makes you spiritual is the fact that you are able to be aware of spiritual qualities, spiritual values, and inspired ideas. That's what makes you a spiritual being.
N. We apply that to our actual physical day to day. It's not to ignore that.
R. It's not something that we do. It's something that we are if we are aware of these qualities and values. We are that. That's the thing that is so amazing. To be aware of beauty means to be beautiful. You are seeing beauty, so you become beautiful. If you are seeing goodness, you become good. If you are seeing love you become loving.
N. If I am aware that there are creative ideas out there, then the solution will be there, right?
R. Right. It's always available to be known.
N. In Metapsychiatry it seems like this is very simple whereas so many religious or philosophical ideas make it very complicated. So there is something very simple about this. What do you want to say about that in the few moments we have left?
R. I think I would have to quote again what Dr. Hora said which is "It's easy to become enlightened, it's just not easy to be interested in it." Believe it or not, we are not usually interested. Another saying of Dr. Hora's is, "We are either driven through suffering or drawn through wisdom." So let's hope we can be drawn through wisdom