Hello there! Thanks for stopping by.
This blog has been created as a way to share my reflections on life, with particular emphasis on spiritual awakening and the nature of consciousness, mind and reality. It's all about questioning really: questioning who and what we are, how we relate to others and how we define our place in the universe.
I intend to redefine spirituality and explore issues such as happiness, purpose, identity, awakening, philosophy, creativity and perhaps also society, social issues and possible solutions to our current predicaments. That might all sound very serious and I admit I can go very deep at times (and seemingly very random at other times) but I'll keep it all as accessible and coherent as I can. That, in fact, is why I've started afresh with a new blog; coherence and accessibility are the order of the day!
As much as possible, I try to write not from mental concepts and beliefs, but from my own direct experience. My approach has certainly been inspired by the Tao Te Ching, Zen, Vedanta and teachers, philosophers and sages such as Eckhart Tolle, Nisargadatta and Ramana Maharshi, but I’m not affiliated with any particular tradition or school of thought. I’ve taken their wisdom as a starting point and explored the terrain for myself, to see what was true in my own experience.
That’s how I ask you to read this blog. I invite you to meet me halfway, see what I have to say, reflect on it and test it out for yourself. Question everything -- not just with the mind but with the heart. The mind is an invaluable tool but it's also fickle, limited in its perspective and can only able to see through the filter of its conditioning. But as Kahil Gibran so beautifully put it, "your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and nights".
So few people ever take the time to question their perspective on reality, and as a result they’re imprisoned by it, bound by layer upon layer of conditioning, mental habits and limiting belief systems. Maybe that’s the reason so many people go through life in a perpetual state of unhappiness and dissatisfaction.
But it doesn't have to be that way! Freedom is the ability to move beyond the self-created prisons of our thoughts and beliefs -- and that freedom is available to all of us. It does admittedly take a fair amount of courage, because people invest so much of their sense of ‘self’ in their viewpoints and perspectives, even though virtually all of it is simply conditioned into them, second-hand and largely erroneous.
So let's make it a habit to continually reevaluate everything! Be open, inquiring and thoughtful. This keeps us alive, awake and free. It also makes life a heck of a lot more interesting...
A little about me...
Before I get cracking with things, I suppose I'd also better say a few words about myself. I don't like writing about myself that much, perhaps because I don't consider myself all that interesting. I mean, as far as I'm concerned, I just...am! But for the sake of this blog I'll try and elaborate.
My name is Rory, I'm in my early 30s and have lived in the north-east of Scotland for most of my life. My passion lies in writing and art (for more on that, check out my website www.bluestar-art.co.uk -- a new website devoted to my upcoming debut novel is forthcoming). I'm a very chilled, peace-loving guy, I can be a little introspective at times, yet outgoing when I need to be. I can be quirky or serious, I love music, animals and trees and just sitting watching the clouds and the stars at night. I'd have made a great hippie in the 60's, no doubt about that. I also don't trust anyone that doesn't share my love of cake.
I've always been the kind of person who questions things. By things I mean the nature of life, reality and the universe. I'm not very scientifically minded though. I think science is wonderful, but it doesn't have the kind of answers I've long sought. It's solely based upon observation of the physical universe and ironically, while it can tell us so much about the world on which we live and the universe in which it exists, it's unable to tell us much about ourselves. Consciousness remains a contentious issue. The orthodox reductionist view of consciousness is entirely untenable to me and makes little sense. I mean, what are we, really?
I guess these unanswered questions led me to take up a more 'mystic' approach. From the time I was a teenager I read countless books on spirituality, mysticism, psychology, personal development and awakening. I found new ways of looking at reality, and these were never static but always changing and evolving. I was especially compelled by the notion of 'enlightenment'; which I took to be a state of consciousness in which you had transcended the suffering of life and were at one with everything, experiencing peace and bliss as your natural state. Who wouldn't want that? I began meditating regularly (and have been for about 15 years now) and studying ways to attain this transcendent state.
I learned a lot along the way. I developed new belief systems and then I had them stripped away as I came to realise the limitations and restrictions of such beliefs. A lot of the concepts and teachings I initially found remarkable and exciting, later were revealed as hollow and meaningless. To paraphrase the Tao te Ching, the further I went, the less I knew; the more I thought I knew, the less I actually did. Eventually I had to question and cast out every definition I'd created around what it was to be enlightened. I found that the more I let go of concepts and ideas, the freer I actually was and the more at peace I was. I learned so much and am still learning...and un-learning. The more we let go, the freer and more at peace we are. I learned a lot about how the mind and consciousness works and how our experience of reality is almost exclusively mind-generated. It’s as though the mind takes sensory stimuli and spins its own alternate reality, a reality that we then mistake as being real. It’s truly fascinating!
We all know life can be wonderful when it's all going smoothly. But I believe it's through the challenges of life that we grow, develop, push our boundaries and are forced to become all that we're capable of being. We're all given ample such opportunities. Mine has been related to my health, as the past few years, I've been dealing with a chronic condition that eroded my previous life to a great extent. It's been challenging in many ways and yet it's pushed me to find happiness and peace in the present moment, regardless of what was happening outwardly. It's taught me acceptance, which is perhaps the greatest key to achieving last inner peace. It also taught me to flow with life rather than resist it, to never mistake my perceptions of reality as being reality itself and to reconnect with the innate wellbeing that's always there beneath the ripples of my mind.
This blog is a way to share my approach to life and all that I am continuing to learn. My previous blog was very deep and was probably inaccessible to a general audience, so here I intend to keep things simple and relatable. I hope these thoughts, reflections and insights will help people in some way. Maybe this stuff will mean something to you and maybe it won't. Either way, thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the journey. Peace :)