First though I would like to touch on some points to consider before diving straight into the topic at hand, all connected points may I add. As a youngster I was told about the people who lived across the ocean, who lived in far off lands and was shown how they looked and what they believed. I thought I knew and understood them, until of course I lived with them, amongst them and experienced their culture their beliefs and way of life. Living in Thailand not just in another English speaking country with similar culture, and ideals but a country where the culture, beliefs and overall way of life is so very different. Was certainly what one would term "a Culture Shock" as I was exposed to a completely different perspective on so many things.
This experience lead me to my first realisation, a realisation on perspective. My point of view was determined by my conditioned beliefs and ideas.
Yes yes, I know what you are saying, I know this, everybody knows this. But I challenge you that to know something and to experience something are two very different things. While I knew this too, I never truly understood it, until I was submerged in a completely different point of view. Where I was overwhelmed by a sea of people who lived so differently to how I did that at first it was completely baffling. My second reaction was "How can people live like this?".
In the image on the right, is the man actually larger than the woman? No, we know this trick (But should you not, feel free to enlighten yourself - Click here or here). But from this point of view or perspective he certainly appears to be. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that we are always told how things are, but we never choose to question it. We assume everything we are told and taught is correct and true for all. What if you were taught that the man in the image was in fact larger than the woman, unless you were fortunate enough to actually be there and realise that was not the case. You would believe it, and your whole perspective would cement on this idea and belief. Or what if you weren't told anything at all, and you had only your current view to make a determination on what you were seeing. In order to truly expand your understanding or your perspective you need to be willing to question everything you have been told or taught. In order to be an explorer for effective growth you need to be an open minded skeptic. Open minded enough to listen to any and all theories and concepts without making a judgement on the matter until the next step, Then be skeptical enough to research or test the idea (through experience), and see how it feels or works for you.
For interest sake, what is wisdom? Wisdom is knowledge obtained through experience.
By exploring, you challenge yourself to experience change, change that we as human beings so very much deplore. But something that is a guaranteed constant in everyone's life. Whether it is loosing a job, an unplanned pregnancy, an economic crisis, a tornado ripping through your house or the death of a loved one. An alternative point of view to your own, that challenges your deeply set beliefs which effects and changes your emotional state. The possible examples of change are countless. If there is one guarantee in life, it's that things are going to change . The more we cling on to wanting things to stay the same the more we suffer. The Dalai Lama put it best, when he said - "Suffering is resistance to change".
In the proceeding blog I will touch on the idea of lucid dreaming and out of body exploration. I hope to investigate the ideas and discuss them as an explorer attempting to discover the benefits or results of the practices for myself. If this is a new concept for you I hope to fully detail the practice, it's effects and potential benefits. If this is an idea that you are totally against, then I ask only that you be the open minded skeptic and consider what I will discuss and test it to see how it works for you. And if this should be a topic you are familiar with, I encourage you to read on and hopefully find some new gems of inspiration.
So challenge your perceptions or point of view, and welcome change as the precursor to evolution and growth. Remember the one guaranteed resistance to any growth is fear. Fear of change, fear of uncertainty or fear of loss, the list goes on. All negative experiences can be narrowed down to fear, and the choices we make in relation to our submission to the fear we feel. Replace any feelings of fear with a desire to learn, to explore and to grow. A love for truth, discovery and eventual peace of mind and soul.
In the next blog I will begin my investigation into the ideas of lucid dreaming and out of body exploration. Watch this space.