Revelations, inspiration, visions, intuitions, transformative or mystical experiences, insights and whatever else is there to be experienced (including ‘channeling’ or when your guru seems to ‘think of you’ or ‘talk to you’ in your dreams or during the day) don’t come from ‘god’ or ‘the divine’, nor from ‘the above’, a deity, ‘jesus’, a ‘master’, your guru and so forth but from within! These kind of phenomena are not magical, nor are they received from the benevolent universe or something fanciful like that. Why not? Because they do not originate from ‘outside’, contrary to popular belief.
When the mind becomes silent and stress is released, when the tyranny of pragmatism and benefits and worries have subsided as well as the other attention hijacking and addictive focus on daily affairs and concerns, then things from within, the ‘subconscious’, the deeper layers of our being may arise. These things can be issues or questions that these deeper aspects of our being have been working on for quite some time. Something can then finally well up to the level of the conscious mind, which is but a small part of our being, the part we usually associate ourselves with. The issue or question concerned could be something that the conscious mind has thought about before, or something that has been active on a more emotional level, some friction that has been playing a part in our lives, or the processing of different but linked associations or profound questions that intrigue us. And then suddenly a revelation occurs and reaches the surface. And because we’re conditioned to believe, and to think in terms of ‘god’, ‘guidance’, ‘the above’ or ‘divine’ we tend to think it comes from somewhere else, while in truth it originated from within our own layered being, albeit a deeper, and subconscious layer. Just because of our upbringing and the way these things are commonly talked about we project these purely human abilities, inner workings and possibilities outward and upward, without realizing the truth of them.
‘But it felt divine’, some might say. Well, how something feels is not exactly proof of or a valid argument for it. Many creative and sensitive people have these kinds of experiences on a regular basis, without this belief system, and without this tendency to project it outward. A child (or a junkie) may feel things very deeply as well, although the things they feel don’t exist at all or are in fact totally different from what they believe it to be. They also think things work in ways they don’t, and gradually they discover and learn more adequate and truthful ways of thinking and perceiving, and as a result acquire more accurate knowledge on how things actually work.
In the beginning of my spiritual journey, almost 40 years ago, I thought and felt quite the same way – though remaining inquisitive and critical. And after some time, I understood more and more that I just needed to be in a certain way to invite insights, spiritual experiences or inspiration. I also came to understand how creativity works – through creating music and writing lyrics and texts (and later on books). I discovered how the mind in its totality keeps working on a ‘problem’, question, conundrum, or project, even without you actively thinking about it. I also noticed that things ripened in the meantime, while doing something else entirely or while not doing anything at all. In fact these periods of leaving the issue or question alone proved to be crucial parts of this process! So, after actively working on something I learned to sense when it was time to give it a rest, leave it be for a while. And after some time it would become clear what to do next, an insight would come, or a useful association, a fresh idea or a meaningful experience would surface. The cool thing about this is: once one has learned how this works, it works every time.
That’s also why I would basically only had to go into my little demo studio, turn some synthesizers on, or pick up my guitar, and some idea would come up. Or open my laptop and start to write. (I’ll come back to creativity further on.) But sometimes I just knew the creative energy wasn’t there – or something else needed attention. No worries though, for it would resurface on its own accord – if I would just ‘listen’ and not try to fret and try to force it. So I would simply do something else, or rehearse a piece, solo away on a guitar with a basic drum/base/chord pattern, or create a new sound on one of the synths for later use. The subconscious part was working on something, no need to rush it. I just let it be until it showed itself.
That’s also why (and how) I have always found a way in (or out) of an issue I was struggling with, a topic I was thinking about, a troubling or interesting thought pattern or an emotional friction or sensation that I was observing. That’s why for satsangs or private sessions I don’t need to prepare anything, ‘cos I know how to be. As soon as someone says something or ask a question or poses something ‘it turns on’ and the response comes: immediately, spontaneously, effortless and without any need to drag a illusionary ‘upperworld’ or ‘divine realm’ or fantastical entity into it.
Okay. Most commonly these kinds of insights or ‘moments’ occur in normal people after a period of stress, psychological struggle or cognitive dissonance, or when they are in some form of crisis. The moment when ‘the current’ changes (spiking up or dropping down) the ‘revelation’ occurs. (This is well documented in the literature on stress theory by the way). Such an insight or epiphany might feel very special or ‘magical’ – especially when we don’t know how this works, have rarely experienced this kind of thing, or just plain don’t know what we’re doing. (When we are unexperienced ‘sailors’, let’s say, like most of us are). Then the temptation will be strong to call it ‘divine’ or think that ‘god’ was talking to us and all that. Mainly we default back into such lingo, because it’s the only thing we’ve ever heard. Plus it’s adding a layer of ‘specialness’ including all kinds of warm and fuzzy feelings to it. Lots of people really love this kind of talk, because we believe we’re saying something really deep, profound and wise. To me however (and to anyone with real knowledge and experience with these kind of processes) it’s more like fairytale talk.
So, we’ll think and talk like this especially when it is the only way known to us to talk about these kinds of phenomena. But not only is this inaccurate, it also reduces us to being the mere receiver of a special prize in a heavenly lottery, instead of getting the chance to learn how anyone as a human being actually operates and what possibilities simply are available to us. Because it was all you! It came from within you!
You are and can (learn to) be much more and way deeper than imagined, that’s all. You just never learned how this works, how you operate. So, to most people it feels like stumbling into something, or being guided from above, or being blessed and so forth. But again: they only talk that way, and only see it that way, out of general and widespread ignorance originating from religious and spiritual dualistic concepts and conditioning. While it might sound profound and wise to the fellow amateurs, the average guy or girl, the new agers and religiously inclined, it’s all layman’s talk to me.
These spiritual-religious ‘explanations’ come across like the kind of talk that someone utters who has been led to believe that a synthesizer is a supernatural instrument guided by a residing spirit one will have to please and pray to and fear – and only then, after some elaborate rituals and incense burning by candlelight, it will magically produce the required or amazingly unexpected sounds. However, someone familiar with sound design and who has adequate knowledge of and experience with in the ways a synth operates and how sound in general behaves, could create any desired sound, pad, sequence, effect or rhythm-pattern within a limited amount of time. And not because of incantations, mantra’s or prayers, but because (s)he knows how it works. And however extraordinary, mysterious and intriguing a working synth may appear to the musical novice or innocent bystander (as I have observed several times while showing and making audible the various workings of a synthesizer to people unfamiliar with these amazing instruments) it’s functioning has obviously absolutely nothing to do with a celestial overlord or ‘spirit’.
The same goes for our energy system (or body-mind). I know how it works quite well, and how to entice this system to be creative, and what it needs to be that way, and when and how and why it will create certain states of consciousness, experiences, or bring up solutions, insights and changes. I learned some of this while I was trained as a spiritual therapist and teacher. Other things were discovered through self-inquiry, studying, observing, experimenting, thinking and reading, and rethinking and reevaluating it again and again. And more and more it struck me as nonsensical to drag in something divine, or some divine, unprovable, riff-raff theory. Rituals, meditations and other techniques are ‘simply’ ways to induce altered and more receptive states of consciousness but have nothing to do with ‘the divine’ – hence they don’t prove the existence of this upperworld either. That’s just the way in which humans used to think a thousand or more years ago.
Now these views might be ancient, but in and of itself doesn’t mean or prove anything. Same thing for when your inspirator may seem to guide you. It’s your own subconscious which has recognized and internalized the inspirator and that’s why he or she seems to talk to you, or guide you. But again, it comes from this activated part within you. Many reported these kind of things to me and thought I was actively influencing them or thinking of them. But I’m not and I don’t, and am not ‘doing’ anything like that. Once awakened within you it will arise on occasion, it’s not coming from outside or from me, it’s from within you! Isn’t that great? We believe otherwise, conditioned by these century long stories and explanations, and by how it feels to us, but this is the truth of it. So now you know…
(Ofcourse it’s stupid to explain this, because I could also nicely play into this, and make people believe I intervene and appear to them, or magically guide them because of my special powers and so on. But that’s not what’s happening and I have no intention to fool you. Others may play it that way, or may also still believe in all this ‘from above’ or ‘from outside’ stuff, but I don’t. The only teaching that comes from outside is through actual physical interactions, sessions, books and video’s. This will work on and in you, and nourishes and stimulates you and interacts with your system as a whole. Then – immediately, or after a while – your system comes up with insights, dreams, experiences, understanding, occurrences, eye-openers etc. But it’s not me talking to you across the country, or world, or timezones. Plus, on a practical level: I know like two thousand people or more, and you really think I spend my days by regularly tuning in on hundreds of them to magically guide and assist them? Ha! No, it’s your own multilayered system coming up with these kinds of notions, associations, help, insights, experiences. No matter what it feels like, or what you want to believe, or have been trained to believe, or are being ‘sold’ by spiritual people or even teachers, this is what’s actually happening: it’s all you, it comes from within.)
And remember: didn’t we also deeply believe someone was possessed by an evil spirit while in fact infected by a parasite, or acted erratic or weird because of neurological damage after a blow to the head, or because they were suffering from borderline or PTSD? Didn’t we use to be utterly convinced that the plague was a punishment from god? But of course it wasn’t. We just didn’t have the adequate knowledge nor the necessary medicine, so millions died, believing all kinds of nonsense. And praying obviously didn’t do sh**. The plaguenothing to do with an imagined heavenly tyrant and his punative behavior, and the jews didn’t cause it either! And didn’t we also use to burn ‘witches’ and feel very strong and ‘deep’ and righteous feelings about that? Pfff… So, how something feels doesn’t mean much, especially when facts and adequate knowledge point in a different direction.
Okay. Differently put: the nervous system and our modular brain can be influenced or stimulated to produce all kinds of ways of perceiving, along with their corresponding emotional effects, and other changes on the level of experience.
No need for god or divinity here either. And mind you, this does not make it less interesting at all! To me it’s part of the art of living. As such, it has nothing to do with these old-fashioned rambling, sentimental theories and inherited uncritical belief systems nor with romanticism. Plus it’s not so special, mysterious or mind-blowing anymore when you don’t wander into these things occasionally anymore, but instead know how to be in order to invite these kinds of things, and/or give them the chance to arise. My point is that it only seems and feels divine and/or extraordinary and superspecial to you because you’ve been raised to believe to see it that way, and because you clearly don’t know yourself and how you operate, that’s all. People only talk about it this way because that’s the only language they have available for it. They lack understanding and experience plus lots of ‘spiritual’ or religious people love it when you talk that way – and there are plenty of those – so that’s a nice emotional or ‘social’ bonus, that generates extra ‘positive’, reinforcing vibes – to keep you a silly and singing along.
Well, I don’t like that kind of talk at all. It is cutting us and our abilities or potential short plus it is untrue, outlived, and completely unnecessary and beside the point. It’s clouding people. Instead of clearing them up it’s fogging their minds. That way they won’t learn to truly understand what’s happening and how to invite these kinds of things way more adequately, and talk about it in a more sensible and mature way, aka without all these cultural-religious imprints, misconceptions, mystifications, and manipulations.
Same thing goes for creativity and inspiration, like I already referenced to when sharing with you about going into my studio, or opening my laptop to create something. It might not feel as if you made it – at first, when you’re a beginner. And that’s only right in the sense that it was not just the conscious part of you. It is in fact a collaboration of the aforementioned deeper layers of your being with the conscious mind (to which you like to say ‘I’ or ‘me’). That’s ‘all’. Isn’t it marvelous to fully recognize just how wonderful and deeply creative we can be, or are! And how sad is it when we diminish ourselves and others when we cling to these medaeval or prehistoric notions, and repeating those over and over again? Ignorance vailed, wrapped up and sold as wisdom and passed around like something ‘deep’ and profound. It is quite terrible, now that I come to think of it!
The same goes for the sometimes annoyingly silly way of looking at things when people exclaim that ‘the universe was trying to tell me something’. NO! It was your own intuition, a message from within, from a deeper layer within you, that has been working on something of importance and is now coming up with a solution, a pointer, a piece of advice, a clarifying image. It was you! That’s ‘all’ and that’s a lot! It’s wonderful, useful, exiting, and accessible, and we’d better learn to listen and use this to free ourselves from the always fretting and plotting anxious ego and become wiser, more creative and more intelligent. The universe is not an entity, an agent or sentient being, it is not divine nor benevolent or whatever and it certainly is not saying or willing or wanting or meaning or planning for anything. Wake up please. Stop talking and thinking like a smart and sensitive four-year-old. For it all sounds and looks just like the kid truly believing Santa Claus is real, it’s little heart racing and full of expectation and other deeply felt feelings, awaiting His arrival… The kid is so profoundly and genuinely convinced, talks all the Santa lingo, and loves to hear it…
And it is utterly mistaken, ignorant and unaware. That may be fine for a four-year-old, but you aren’t four or five anymore, right? Hope not. It’s not profound to remain that way, it’s silly.
This magical ‘thinking’ also causes the already strong human tendency (or brain function) of pattern recognition to do a lot of overtime by trying to get rid of or chase and explain away realities like chance, coincidence, fortunate and unfortunate accidents and/or bad and good luck.
But it’s even worse than all of that. Nobody truly lives up to all that talk. Because bottom line: it all would mean that everybody always gets what he or she deserves, right? Raped? Child leukemia? Earthquake? Cancer? Your kid hit by a drunk driver? Well: that was gods will, bad karma, ‘meant to be’, or the universe just wanting it that way, so why complain, pray and moan? Why do anything about anything at all, or learn to master something? It’s all gods will, dude! It’s karma or the universe, girl! Had to be that way, it was all predestined. Leave everything as it is. Next life will be better… And the dead? Well, ‘they are in a better place now’ (yuck), or awaiting a better lifetime. Well if you would actually believe all that: cheer up and rejoice why don’t ya when someone dies, you selfish prick – they are residing with god now, or dancing in the great hall, or on their way to a supercool next lifetime. You should be happy for them!
Pfff, it’s all just lip service, a lot of emotion plus mental magic spells to soothe the children of the world. And of course nobody ever really thinks this stuff through. Especially the believers. Spiritual people like to think they are more ‘open minded’ than others, but in truth they are not at all. They cling to all kinds of prehistoric and medieval notions like it’s their life raft, and love to have ‘deep and meaningful’ conservations about it too. And they will obviously detest me for writing these kinds of unholy texts, or would if they read it or heard me. ‘Cos they rather believe than think, rather feel than look, and rather hang on to their grab bag spirituality than learn something adequate and effective. And that’s too bad. For all of us by the way.
So, it would be great and liberating – and clearing things up – if we could get rid of, and grow out of, all this divinity-universe talk that explains nothing, keeps us from recognizing our true potential, keeps us childlike, overly romantic and using all kinds of fuzzy ‘theories’ which explain little or nothing, complicate a lot and limit our minds and knowledge. These old and silly notions are completely unnecessary. You’ll lose nothing by shedding them, and gain a lot. Clarity for instance and a chance to upgrade and to become what you are. We’d better learn how it works and how to access and invite and follow the workings of the deeper (or subconscious layers) layers of the interesting beings that we are. We then can learn to fully be, and interact with our system as a whole. And then we can perceive ourselves in our entirety – in stead of identifying with just a part of it, and projecting the rest outward – which in essence separates us from it.
Of course, I know, people just love to believe in something ‘higher’, like they love to believe in some sort of divine plan, god’s will, that things have to have a ‘deeper meaning’, or that there is some kind of karmic reckoning, or that everything happens for a reason – albeit in mysterious ways, and all that. To me, and from a truly awakened perspective it’s all mumbo-jumbo that explains nothing and keeps us small, infantile and unclear. Again, to a small child a lot of things seem ‘mysterious’, as they do to a medieval person, or a caveman as well… that’s not proof of being profound however, but just of the person being ignorant and unaware.
On top of all the beforementioned, all this spiri-talk also implies that all the bad stuff, the confusion and the errors is on us, while the beautiful, inspirational, insightful, creative and elevating stuff comes from god or the divine. That’s a terrible and unfair way of seeing things, or better said a terrible way of not seeing and thinking at all.
No folks, it’s all ‘just’ us: the good, the bad, and the ugly as well as the beautiful, the creative and the transformative. You only think and talk in these spiri-terms because you don’t know how it works and because you’re conditioned and biased to look at it that way, by priests, spiritual people and new age books and ‘teachers’ as well – and because you never really looked into it, and hence didn’t know any better. And because no one said otherwise. Well, I do. Let’s say it’s my gift to you. Hope u use it.
Because it’s human. It’s possible, it’s trainable, and wonderful, like making music.
So, some things occur in our active state, while we are inquiring, thinking about something or feeling through things and so on, and some when we relax. But please understand that in both cases the subconscious plays its wonderful part. You, as a totality, are more creative than you might think.
Thanks for your open, super interested and unbiased attention… 🙂
I did my best to be as clear as possible although English is not my first language, but thanx to Anke Hans who corrected and edited it, it’s much better now! Anke Hans is a Dutch philosopher and artist.