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A foreword

    The first step to get a better understanding of things, even of oneself, is to be open to listen, evaluate, compare and connect what you already know with what you learn. Every truth is partial, even when it seems absolute, self-evident and unfailing. Even this very concept may seem absolute, self-evident and unfailing but it is not, since its truth depends on the context where it is applied. It is possible that on different but equally true visions different people might agree but it is positive that no one can attain a degree of truth that everyone always finds absolute and effective under every respect.

    Without being broad-minded no one can go beyond one's own limits, whether they are structural, rational, emotional or even just physical. Calling one's ideas into question is a relevant competence which one builds up during one's lifetime by taking the context of each new concept into account. To achieve that, contextualizing by deepening the knowledge of the person(s) one is facing is of crucial importance.

    The second step is to gain a better sensitivity and perception of what the senses convey to one's mind. To do it best, one has to understand the real dimensions of one's own mind, habits, history, arrogance and greed for power, all of which are hidden behind the many masks and excuses one usually wears every day. Even if we are not ready to admit it, we are violent in the choices we make, the words we say, the looks we give, the thoughts we grow. Recognizing this hardly admitted violence is part of the long path towards self-knowledge.

    It will be clear that no one can do this inner work for us, no teacher and no technique can be our substitute in this research, as it is life itself that teaches us what we need the most. Step by step we will be more and more inclined to give a personal answer to a fundamental question: "Am I living or am I just surviving?". Finding this answer will make it clear that, after all, being spiritual does not mean becoming an utterly new person, having a perfect health, mastering energies or dealing with secret knowledge; on the contrary it means having a different and broader view of the world we live in.

    At this point I feel like offering you my unasked advice: if you cannot understand the meaning of what is written here or you find it contradictory or you are afraid of misunderstanding it, take these few lines as a simple fairy tale for adults and let it ripe. You could go back to Google search engine as well. What life taught me over the years is that the answer we are looking for blossoms naturally inside ourselves the very moment we are ready for it. What it takes is just being patient, attentive and responsive.

    Now, to summarize the four steps:
    1. be open to what is new, which does not mean accepting uncritically anything;
    2. be ready to contextualize any concept and experience, which does not mean being in favour of a certain choice but rather delving into its meaning;
    3. be willing to perceive beyond appearances, which does not mean looking for new (super)powers;
    4. trust yourself so much as not to follow teachers or techniques passively, which does not mean that following a practice is totally unnecessary.

THREE STAGES IN CHANGE

    I
    Over the years, in one way or another, everything changes. It is a natural process that we cannot stop even if we settle firmly in rational, historical or archetypal principles. Our weakness tends to be more and more visible as we try to impose our ideas upon our close or, why not?, distant neighbours. The more violent we get, the stiffer we are, the more stubborn we act when we belittle and impose on the others, the more wrong and inconsistent with what we want to be we turn. For this reason we must fully understand the subtle difference between external and internal change; as a matter of fact, these are indeed two different things. One leads to repetition, the other to freedom.

    To begin with, we may proceed with three basic stages of change. The first stage is physical: it deals with giving the right attention to the body and the world around us. It is not just choosing healthy food, having regular physical workout and body care; it is also taking care of the world around us within the limits of what we can really do. The second stage is mental: it is acquired by knowing our past and regularly observing ourselves. With or without the help of a therapist, we can discover the true aspect of our ego, its vices, its taboos, its habits, its dreams, its excuses, its fixed ideas and the real motivation behind our moves. The third stage is internal: it stems from perceiving a direct experience as a whole made by different components, all of which must be taken into account. Everyday life is the main way to get a grasp of what we are beyond the surface of the first two stages. Although we may practice these three stages at the same time, we may also start with the one we feel mosto confortable with.

    When making an inner research, a problem that may rise is the expansion of consciousness and its relationship with our ordinary way of thinking. Research is like exploring a cave: we start from the entrance, that is the physical stage, then we reach the emotional stage, then we get to the rational stage; then we leave the material world to dig into the inner world and finally enter the spiritual world. Please remember that your ego will play tricks on you, it will make you fall or find reasons to despair. For this reason, keep in mind that it is crucial to put what you perceive in doubt; always make clever use of your head and strive day after day to stay more and more focused and profound: in a word, use your will power to go beyond what you take for granted or you feel painful.

    In this way you will reach a new way of being, where intelligence is no longer reason or rationality but a sort of extended logical perception. It is with this new principle that you will discover how life itself is the best school and why souls do wish to incarnate life after life. Remember that although techniques are useful at the very beginning as a starting platform, in the end only life will help you in this process of growth.

    What I write may seem somewhat obvious to some, I guess; however, as obvious as it is, I believe it may be used to lay down the best foundations for a flourishing inner growth. These first three stages allow the creation of a good environment where to build one's own identity, which eventually leads to finding out who we really are and what responsibility we have here and now.

    A small summary:
    1. observe the nuances and differences in the various situations you live every day in order to discover new skills and sensitivity;
    2. expand your perception of what you believe to be true through three initial stages without nurturing greed for knowledge or power;
    3. when following groups, teachers, technical practices, learn not to depend on them;
    4. exercise your will by choosing which path to follow in everyday life, all the rest is simply a theoretical support and a guidance.

A DOUBLE SEARCH

    II
    Our society will change only when each and everyone of us carries out one's own change from within through an explicit research of one's own real nature, which, it is worth noting, is not the same as the illusive and transient nature of one's own ego. It is not the ego that makes the research, it is our awareness to exist beyond appearances that does the work. It goes like that for each and everyone, independently of particular situations. Yet the exaggerate relevance given to particularity, which leads to division and hate, happens when one's ego refuses to surrender to will. It may seem a paradox but, although all the souls aspire to be on an equal footing as God's children, actually they are divided into three races or stumps, each one with its particular path, just because their ego does not give up to their will.

    It is the will, the one which manifests in difficult times, the one which puts aside any egotist caution to save somebody's life, that turns out to be the real engine of change. Yet, be careful not to make a routine out of your ever-searching attitude, you would inevitably fall back on the power related tricks of your ego. One's ego, as a matter of fact, has got no life of its own since it is only a manifestation of the mind and, to some extent, the result of a "digestive" inner process. Our thoughts are a byproduct of actions we are unaware of and this is why we have to accomplish the task of becoming conscious, so that our actions are conscious too.

    This world, illusory as it may seem, is the best chance to embrace spirituality and our true essence if we can go beyond the limits we impose on ourselves through our mental structures. If we go beyond what we consider the ultimate truth while staying within our own limitations, we will discover that our thoughts are similar to rivulets heading for the sea. We may be critical, we may be skeptical but all of us, believers, nonbelievers or agnostics, are devoted to the same goal. This process may look like a single search but they are actually two taking place at the same time. There is an outside research, which is carried on by collecting data and using them in a conscious way, and there is the inner research, which is carried on by internal reflection and perception.

    As time goes by we'll get to a point where we have the freedom to act the way we really feel it is appropriate for us to act, even if that may lead to the risk of saying too little or nothing at all. When dealing with a single listener, after understanding the context in which we find ourselves, which includes their receptivity, their sensitivity and ability to cope with new or unusual concepts, we will be able to choose the appropriate attitude for each one. When dealing with a group of people, we will share our vision just sparingly and occasionally, because it could be understood differently by different people. Everything that comes after that is just a thought that escapes our being in order to become set in time. Thought, as we know, always takes place in relation to the past, even if it tackles the present or the future, as it is a result of a mental process, while our being can only either be or act – or both at the same time – here and now.

    Trying to change our society is just as utopian as trying to change our partner's personality. People can only change themselves but it is not easy, because we are hindered by our personal history, our family patterns and the manifold external influences we are subject to. Then, the best option is to dig inside ourselves to revive something beyond our understanding. Only then we can carry our light both below and above us.

    Then we can think and do:
    1. we learn to expand our level of awareness;
    2. we discover the will that manifests in tough times;
    3. we reconsider the concept of limits for what they are: a tool to go beyond symbols and the double search itself;
    4. we recognize how our thoughts are the result of structures and habits.

REJECTING POWER

    III
    After having accomplished the three stage change and the double research, we should be now ready to understand what power is really about. Symbols, rites, techniques, prayers and beliefs affect our inner life deeply as they build our mental structures day after day and reinforce the control, i. e. the power, our ego is always yearning to have over everything. If we recognize their presence, we can look at them in a detached way; if we accept them, we make sure that they affect our lives no more, if we abandon them, we let them integrate in our background life, as a simple support when a support is needed.

    These structures are the elements connected to the greed for power that takes its strength from reasoning. Our mental patterns, along with our practical habits, frame our reasoning, enslaving us and dispersing our strength. In the long run, when we keep on letting our mental habits reason in our name, we inevitably disregard our true spiritual nature and become afflicted by one disease or another. Diseases are a solution that the physical body tries to apply in relation to spiritual laws when they are not intimately understood and obeyed. If we try to understand our true nature, day by day we can reduce the amount of attention given to the ego and in the end we will remove successively the crave for power that used to rule our lives. When we are aware of motivations behind our actions and the amount of power we have on ourselves and on the others, we start to be free.

    Indeed, we like to think we are free but we are not, so freedom from mental restrictions should be our main goal in life. Experience after experience, we must strive to open our inner world to a different truth, which does not mean that we and what we believe in get lost; it is just the opposite: by accepting a new, vaster truth, we can contemplate the entire universe as a part of ourselves. In this way we will expand not only our general view but also our limited truth.

    Let us keep always in mind that going beyond the ego restrictions does not mean denying or effacing the ego, it means putting it into a mutual relationship with our partial truth. Even if we may think that we are too tolerant, we accept our neighbour with their truth, we are simply taking up their partial truth by placing it in the right context. As a matter of fact, everyone is free to live their life as they wish, provided that they do not violate other's freedom, in which case they are bound to pay the consequences. The law of cause and effect cannot be avoided both in our inner and outer life, even if the sense of guilt may alter its course, since it represents our desperate clutch on a past that we simply cannot let go.

    This inner path, which is there to welcome each and everyone where no technique or initiation or rituals can be helpful, will lead the inner researcher to face death without fear. Along this path it is possible to pass from studying to making, from making to being what one really is, which implies no sudden illumination or dramatic change in one's everyday life.

    In the end, remember that:
    1. deconstructing one's own image helps find out one's own real self;
    2. power is created by a series of elements, among which there is the distance between the moment we decide to do something and the moment we actually do that something;
    3. freedom is an inner attitude, a state of consciousness, not a practical condition, where the process of becoming differs from the simple state of being, which in itself represent a meaningful step towards self discovery;
    4. denying a problem does not wipe it out, it simply adds extra strength to it.

IT IS NOT ABOUT ME

    IV
    Take this sentence: "I know I'm a nothing in the universe but this nothing is the most important thing that exists, because the whole thing would not exist without it." It seems an easy thought, is it not?, yet it implies a constant conflict between what we are and what we think we are. As said before, what we think we are is a product of our ego, an arrogant, selfish, cunning, violent, proud and, at the same time, limited, stupid, gullible, shallow, stiff part of ourselves.

    Although in every culture there are traditions, rites and hints concerning an after-death existence, people are divided into believers and nonbelievers, who carry out an actual or a verbal or a written war to prove who is right. However, neither side dares to go beyond their own limited belief system, since they all seem to prefer delegating their ways of learning about the world and their whole lives respectively to religion and science rather than ceasing to identify themselves with their ego. As a matter of fact, questioning one's own ego may seem the same as questioning one's own existence.

    Yet going further than the ego is possible! It would be like dying a little, is it not? Yet, believe me, it is not so, everyone who is dead to themselves can tell you that. But what does "being dead to themselves" mean? Everyone can find out what it means within their own path, when using their intelligence rather than simple reasoning. Of course, it is not an easy task, especially because this is a process of vast proportions, which does not comes naturally as being narrow-minded towards everything and everyone, included our best allies, has become our second nature.

    At this point I cannot but ask you to devote yourselves to questioning both what the world is telling you, - questioning even my own words written here – and what you feel inside, not to despair but to tune into God's voice, which is your own voice, there is no difference whatsoever between the two. Yet they are not the same. When each of us can recognize it in the freedom that comes from doubting, its strength will be greater than our ego and we will hear it clearer. Give up the idea of looking for disembodied teachers or long dead relatives for guidance, because extrasensory perception is just a form of power tickling your ego, not a proof of spiritual awareness.

    For these reasons, along the path of our outer and inner research, we have to learn to be compassionate and open. We cannot know rationally what is the story of our neighbours, which pain, which anger, which misunderstandings they lived. Let us address instead their spiritual part and see if we can recognize their weaknesses, which can tell us also something new or upsetting about us.

    In the end, here is a short summary:
    1. the ego is not to be disowned, it has to be used as a tool to measure and compare everyday events;
    2. dualism has a main role in our lives, we are part of it: overcoming it is seeing a river flowing between the yin and yang of this dualism;
    3. knowing how to silence one's ego means putting aside oneself for a better goal;
    4. always doubt what is commonly know as channelling, focus instead on the message you get rather than on the messenger, while keeping an eye on your context.

GOOD AND EVIL

    V
    As a human being, I can touch and learn about good and evil, which are similar to day and night, through my senses. As I discover that evil is the absence of good, I may also discover that its absence can never be absolute. Both good and evil exist beyond the archetypes we learn by heart or we surrender to because of the limits our senses have.

    If I can overstep what is just a common belief, if I expand what may seem a simple religious story, in evil I can see a brother to hug and not to pardon, a brother who went wrong and is already on his way back Home. Even more (I am having fun in thinking that), I can say he is already Home: this is why our world, whose structure used to be a hierarchical pyramid – a triangle in a two dimensional vision, with many at the base and just one at its vertex- , is left without a top and now resembles a different power structure, a truncated pyramid, or a trapezium in a two dimensional vision, with comparatively more entities sharing power in its upper part.

    If I accept my evil side to sustain it and bring it back to what I think is the main goal of my life, I change my life so much that I can settle between God's arms, so to speak. This is Love. Although this is only a human vision, expressed with limited words, I feel like saying that here there is a lot to be learned; in a sense, even if time is running short, there is still a train that can bring us Home but, if we miss it, we have to wait for the next one.

    At this point, there are three questions, one for the believers, one for the nonbelievers and one for everyone, no matter what their beliefs are. The first is: “Can you take the Devil himself in your arms as one of your lost brothers?” The second is: “Can you give up reason, violence and power?. The third is “Do we want a better life or do we opt to stay the little fragile, arrogant men and women we are?” Renouncing evil does not mean leaving it out from our lives, it means dealing with it with Love.

    If we are open enough to go beyond the dualistic dynamics inside our very DNA, inside our very souls, a dynamics which reveals itself only when a real confrontation with our limits takes place in this illusory, dualistic reality, we can understand that our real being goes beyond our wildest dreams and that we may get easily lost in knowledge hall of mirrors. Knowledge is not without importance but it must be guided and completed by our conscience, which, as said before, is our intelligent will or, put into different words, is the divine sparkle that is there inside everyone of us.

    Now here you have a new summary:
    1. archetypes, as well as the idea of absolute, are part of ourselves: we must become aware of their impact in our lives to surpass them;
    2. imagination can be deceitful but it can be useful when we understand its origin;
    3. if we are ready to treat evil lovingly, we can transform it;
    4. we can give up power only if we are willing to recognize the extent of power we use in our lives.

DEVOUTNESS

    VI
    Religions are an attempt that man makes to make room for something that is already there. Even if this form of spirituality may seem rather simple and inconsistent, it is fruitful for many people and, for this very reason, we always have to be very respectful towards religions, even when they become power and violence – as a matter of fact, any religion passes through a stage of power and violence before sublimating to higher forms.

    If people could recognize the straining of the original role of religions, if they could take position against their power and violence, even if that means a sure death, it would be a great result. Of course there are personal choices that we cannot make comments on because we have to always keep in mind that it is the individual that makes the difference in what they do, say and are. It is a well known fact that we tent to stick together, like animals do, to hide in the crowd. So our opinion, mainly in religious matters, is important just as a sign of the inner situation we are in at the very moment we express our opinion, not as a judgemental statement on other people's ideas.

    If we consider the relationship between humans and God, there are four logical possibilities. The first is about believers, who are people talking to God that cannot hear God's voice in return. The second is about prophets, who are people listening to God's voice that talk about it to other people. The third is about saints, who are people talking with and listening to God's voice. The fourth is about atheists, who are people not interested in this kind of dialogue. Yet these four possibilities are mere aspects of the distance between man and God.

    Yet there is also the awesome possibility to bridge that distance, when man and God are in a mutual embrace; in this case their dialogue is made by the same voice, the same intellect, with no power or outer and inner manifestation. Where there is no separation, there is no need for our mind to clear out thoughts, there is neither yin nor yang: everything is what it is in itself, not in contrast with something else. Understanding this may be a problem, I am well aware of that, so the only thing to do now is to listen carefully to what these last words stir inside yourselves rather than trying to find out a rational meaning.

    Discussing things that our mind is not ready to grasp is useless, demanding and, in the end, it can lead to divisions. Let us start from what we know and try to go a little, just a little, beyond our limited vision: we will proceed slowly but steadily and one day we will discover that our results are better than we had thought. At the same time, let us try not to build hopes and expectations, because the only life we can live is here and now, far from mental encumbrances devoted to past or future. If we can observe our mental proceedings, we will discover the differences between a mind observing from within, a mind observing from without or a mind observing from both within and without in search of our true self, that soul pushing ourselves towards God and God's creation.

    Can we do the following?
    1. Respect must be nurtured every day with practical actions, not with theoretical rules and regulations;
    2. change is a personal matter which takes place when we act freely with no expectations;
    3. when dualism is overcome in everyday life, it is possible to discover that there are at least four directions to choose from;
    4. acceptance is a frame of mind, not an action.

VALUES AND RESPECT

    VII
    Everyone has got their values to be respected. When we try to impose our values on the others, as rightful as they may be, we are making a violence, which cheapens both our values and our good intentions. The same happens when our words differ from our actions and thoughts.

    We have to nurture values and respect every day with the same tender care we use with our children when we want to teach them that making errors is a necessary step in self-growth, which requires neither depression nor punishment: as a matter of fact, before teaching them, we have to teach ourselves that we can master only what we possess by doing, not by memorizing.

    For this reason all the parental guidance courses one may attend, all the psychological strategies one may read in a book, all the false behaviours based on violence and fear one may use cannot have positive effects on children, whether they are one's own children or adopted children or perfect strangers' children that one may have the chance to educate. Remember, children are life children, they do not belong to anyone! Of course, as already said somewhere else ,books and courses are useful to the extend they become a true part in one's everyday life, otherwise they become a dead letter.

    People do not like rules, yet they are always looking for rules to follow because, with no rules at all, they would be lost; yet rules are not strict in themselves, it is our ego that perceives them like that, since they tend to restrict its power. What is important to notice here is that rules are to become an inner attitude, not a restrictive cage: if we are a rule, we do not feel restricted at all. When our consciousness grows, we can recognize that we are responsible even for what we are not involved in, since all that exists is interconnected. We have to stay always open and free, for this consciousness is not acquired in a day.

    Respect grows inside us when we discover the many labels we use put on experiences, objects and people around us. As a matter of facts ,prejudices are a form of labelling which define not truth but our mental attempts to have power. Without labels, our mind has not power at all and must surrender to something else, proceeding blindly as a child in their first steps. If our mind can feel secure and therefore trusts our will, something inside us will change forever, letting us know something more about ourselves and our mental processes.

    A summary on how to accomplish change:
    1. when we recognize our violence, while starting our independence from it, we are making an important step;
    2. when we understand that we can give only what we do of our life, we are making the next step;
    3. when we are aware that fear, arrogance and guilt are dominant in our life in spite of ourselves, we are making the third step;
    4. when we learn to live here and now, when we are, we are making the fourth step: there will be a better society and each and every person will contribute to the general growth.

ONE STEP BEYOND

    VIII
    What are the few lines on the last pages? They are simply a look behind me. A story, a fairy tale for adults who wish to look within themselves for an answer beyond appearances, facts, known and unknown territories, energy and power. In themselves appearances, facts, known and unknown territories, energy and power are nothing: they are no words, no concepts, they are not even archetypes yet they settle inside ourselves as a memory or a thought if we just treat them as abstract notions.

    Each of us has a personal path to follow: we cannot use intermediaries, we cannot delegate. Step by step, we are surely to fall, we are surely to run and we will be happy, unhappy, angry, lovely or violent as the case will be. If we carry them with ourselves, we will be one with our taboos, vices and prejudices. In a word, we will be what we are inside, so we have to be very keen when choosing the right food both for our bodies, senses and minds – the wrong food can poison or even kill our conscience!

    To get high habits can be as effective as drugs or techniques. Getting rid of habits is a necessary step towards freedom. However, keep in mind hat nobody is going to evolve: time is an illusion, space a double illusion. To get peace, love, understanding and inspiration nobody has to reach a remote place on Earth. Everything we need is here and now, within ourselves. We just have to make one step beyond - beyond appearances, that is.

    When I look at the starry sky I see a reflection of the world that is unnoticeable to my senses, yet it is there, looking at me and guiding my life. Afterlife is closer than one may think but it is not what my mind thinks it is. I can imagine a thousand things but in the end these are are just symbols or archetypes of something quite different. If I want to understand what I have to learn, I simply have to open myself to the perception by using my will.

    Making a step beyond causes a great fear. The great unknown is, of course, death, the inevitable step beyond that all of us must make one day. There may be several rational reasons for this fear - the fear that there is something after life, the fear of disappearing into nothing, the fear of pain. However all these fears encompass a single reason: no one is ready to die. We tend to procrastinate indefinitely: young people believe they have time, old people think they are not so old after all, arrogant people think they are immortal, modest people shy away from big events, yet death could be just around the corner, tomorrow, today or the very moment after this one. Since we cannot escape death, we should get ready every moment of our lives, with no boast or gloom or despair or regrets on our part, each one according to our personal history, sensitivity and penchants, This is what I feel inner search is about.

    Recent ideas:
    1. experiences are not a memory fixed in our minds but a never-ending presence in the expanding here and now reality;
    2. the crossing of a threshold is an instant which changes everything, there is no real becoming, as our minds can only deal with abstract ideas obtained thought the senses that get fixed and are processed in a sequence generating the impression of the passage of time;
    3. illusions are the mental recording of something we think no longer exists – as a matter of fact, the original source of our illusions still exists but we lost contact with what it is;
    4. what is invisible is just a side of the nature we belong to yet it is not the spiritual dimension, since it is its more manifest side.

CONCLUSION

    If you read all the previous eight sections, hopefully you understood that beginning an inner search is not an easy task. The process is slow and requires a lot of energy and attention, like a work of art does. There is no shortcut or alternative solution, we cannot delegate our work. Falling into power plays or into despair is very easy, however, if we do not give up, if we can get up after each fall, we will discover we can succeed. Every day there will be ups and downs, doubts and certainties but in the end we will understand that behind these continual variations there is a sense of stability, a connection that goes beyond all known aspects: a solid, reliable centre will lead ourselves back where we belong, together with a sister of ours that knows no spirituality. Beyond this point there are no words.

    The steps are marked: from thinking to doing, from doing to being, from being a person with a context to simply being. It is a simple everyday personal research where there is no group, no bond, no guideline: nothing but the connection with one's true and final being. There Love and God's embrace are not a theory but the wise self-knowledge we cannot even think of.
    That is all.

    A fellow researcher.




Nota: da febbraio 2017 il canale 'noguide' è stato chiuso, sebbene si sia arrivati alla fine del programma, su richiestaa/denuncia di qualcuno ha fatto chiudere prima (non novembre) il canale.

Good study and research!

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