"Out of all things there comes a
unity, and out of a unity all things." ____Heraclitus
In this lesson you will:
- Learn how prejudice stops us experiencing at the spiritual level
- Learn how we screen out the ways the universe loves us
"The brain is a reducing valve." _____Aldous Huxley
We have become the kings and queens of prejudgment. There is so much
information for us to take in it is almost a prerequisite for sanity that we
develop methods of screening out the unimportant. The only thing is that the
media, advertising – the sounds and sights of the illusion – are shouting
all the time at us in CAPITALS TELLING US THAT WHAT THEY ARE SAYING IS VERY
Sadly, we believe them and we start to filter out the wrong things. We start
to believe it is really an imperative to be rich and famous and have power
over others. We really do think that the terrorists are everywhere, that to
be in fear is a normal state and that we need a facelift or botox to retain
Even more than this, we become the experts of categorizing so as not to
experience a thing fully. If something does not have a name it does not
exist. We look at things and measure and analyze their surfaces and mistake
that for their reality. “O he is gay, or she is too young, or too old, or
too fat. He is a druggie, an alcoholic, he’s divorced or bankrupt;” – do you
see what I mean?
These dimensions of prejudgment are so insidious that we begin to be bored
with everything because we have prejudged everything. We have seen it all.
The reality is that we have actually experienced very little.
Instead of scanning over the top of everything and labeling and prejudging,
if we stopped at any single thing and experienced it fully in the infinite
power and presence of now, we would find that there are universes within
each thing we are not even glimpsing.
Jamie was bored and uninspired. There was nothing to do. His play station
needed an upgrade, the internet was dull and his girlfriend was away with
her parents. He thought about his future. What he might do. A surfer? A
professional skater? ‘Nah’ he thought, ‘I couldn’t do that – I am not good
enough’. He turned on the TV and sat and stared, flicking through hundreds
of channels and falling deeper into his chair. He was overweight, lacking in
confidence and too young for most things but already too old to change.
His parents were out and he had wondered for some time what their
preoccupation with alcohol was about. So he decided to try some. A bottle of
whisky had been opened and was sort of water colored so he poured a little
into a glass and refilled it carefully with water. It was so strong on his
lips and actually so distasteful that he immediately wanted to spit it out.
But he ploughed on, assuring himself that it must be important because all
the adults were drinking it all the time.
The effect was immediate, he felt himself relax. As though there was a
distance between the nothingness he had just been getting bored with and the
excitement and ‘maturity’ of being more adult.
Believe it or not his addiction had begun. He was no more than 11, but he
very quickly associated alcohol and drugs with the distance he needed from
pain and boredom and the things he did not understand. The example of most
adults was to reinforce this in Jamie’s mind. He saw it over and over again
that when people were troubled or perhaps did not understand why something
had happened, drugs where there to distance them from the pain.
And he was always bored. He had labels for everything and everyone, mostly
they came from others but he enjoyed them all. He enjoyed the safety they
gave him. He never had to listen or to think because all the labels meant he
could dismiss a thing before it tried to change him. Whenever he met someone
new, inside his head he would scan for a label, a prejudgment and then
dismiss them. She’s a ‘red-neck’, he’s a ‘hippie’, they’re ‘gay’, a
‘Muslim’, never done drugs or whatever it might be. The reality was while
they were able to be labeled he was able to dismiss. And not listen, not
change, not grow. Everyone was in a minority group and everyone and
everything was at a distance and therefore boring.
This approach of Jamie’s is quite universal. We are taught to stay on the
surface of our lives, to stay with the ego and not allow the deeper
introspection that might allow us to realize our other deeper dimensions.
This is what the world of the ego demands. For it the past and future are
incredibly important but the now is not, in the now it is lost. The ego is
always striving to be one cm higher than the next person and labels ensure
The ego will walk in a room and see tables and chairs that have a past and
future, dead matter with a function and perhaps fashion. In a few moments it
will have prejudged in some manner with labels and names and be quickly
But the heart will come and feel energy, it will see the color and energy of
things, see the life within the flowers on the table, or even the table and
chairs themselves. It might feel a depth in any single thing perhaps even a
single point of paint on one of the legs of the chairs. The heart will feel
vibrating energy, love all around and even the smallest thing will open
multi-dimensional universes of perception and reality. The heart does not
know how to label and name, to prejudge or analyze intellectually, it knows
only how to feel. How to feel eternity and infinity in a moment.
By the time Jamie was 20, he had tried every drug known to man, he had
robbed and stolen and long ago been kicked out of his house. He lived now on
the streets of an unnamed city with pain coursing through every cell of his
being more and more. His overwhelming desire was for more distance. More
distance from his pain. Distance from the things he did not understand. From
the people he hated. From those that he ripped off. Distance was his mantra.
Distance from his heart. Because it was his heart, his conscience, that the
drugs were in charge of silencing.
Then one night his addictions became too much. His blaming and prejudging
every one and everything else took him to the side of a road with a syringe
full of something that he knew was way too much, but it was all he knew. He
hated himself. He hated that he couldn’t get this figured out. That he
couldn’t be like everyone else. The world was screwed up and this was the
only way to get distance, to get numb. The walls were closing in on his
life. There was no other way he knew except distance. He no longer knew how
to love and worse, he had no idea how to receive it. His mum and dad and
sisters and brother had only last week came and offered to give him whatever
he needed, had hugged him and told him they loved him, but he had returned
to the only comfort he understood. He certainly had no idea how to receive
their love. And as the syringe squeezed down and into the last of his veins,
he felt the ultimate pain of regret. Of not seeing. Of not looking any
deeper than the surface. Of not knowing the 'universe in a grain of sand' or
the vastness of 'eternity in an hour'. He looked at himself there on the
gutter with vomit oozing gently from his pain wrecked body and felt the
lament of someone who had not seen.
And suddenly he did.
He saw the love that had surrounded him, the people that had cared, the
leaves and the flowers that had tried to radiate energy and meaning to him,
the raindrops, O those raindrops that splashed on his face. And the pain now
was so full and all encompassing, the pain of regret. He looked
up and there was finally a friend. No judgment, no labels just a friend with
unconditional love. And in the pain he could finally see that it would be
resolved. He would get another chance. It would be even more painful, but he
would get another chance. He knew that he had to make it through and it
would only come with this deeper seeing that he felt now. That even the pain
was an exhortation for him to see. And finally he welcomed it, He felt the
pain a wonderful blessing. For the pain meant he was still being given the
chance to grow. ‘O blessed pain’ he thought, ‘O blessed pain, thank you.’
His friend continued to smile. Nothing said.
And he realized something more. That all his life he had craved distance
when actually all he wanted to feel now was closeness. He realized that the
labels and the prejudging kept him stuck in the ego, stuck in the illusion
of the surface. He realized that just looking at something with his heart,
just like he was doing now, he could see things with much more depth and
authenticity. He realized all his labels did was try and identify the only
part of a thing that was actually not real, that the real reality was far
deeper and beyond the names and labels.
He looked around and realized that science and our world had millions of
different names for all these things but in reality there was only one name
that made sense and that was love. All this was love. It was love in a
trillion bazillion different guises but it was all love. Every label, every
criticism had shut the door on another way love could shine through. His
friend smiled broadly and they walked off.
He had all the time in the world.
Exercise - Loves Ways
Prepare for your meditation as usual
- Please sit and concentrate for a moment.
- Try and entertain the idea for this moment that the whole universe loves
you. It is trying to love you at every moment.
- Think about the small number of ways you allow yourself to be loved.
- Breathe deeply and contemplate the criticisms you have in your life.
See these criticisms of others, of yourself, of nature as doorways to the
universe that you have closed. Every time we are critical we are telling the
universe you can't love me in that way. You can't love me through that
person or that tree or that sunset..
Release all your criticisms for a moment and imagine you are allowing the
universe in. You are allowing yourself to be loved.
Gratitude opens doors for the universe to love you.
Feel gratitude for air. For the clouds. For the sun and the stars. For wind
and rain. Do you feel the universe being let in? Can you feel yourself
opening to the universe when you are grateful?
Can you imagine that one day you will come to a place where you will allow
yourself to be loved in all the myriad ways the universe loves us? Can you
imagine that you can be grateful for everything? That every door is open?
During this lesson you will have;
- Seen how criticism stops the ways the universe loves us.
- Learned how gratitude opens the doors closed by criticism.
Courtesy : The Meditation Society of Australia