I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. - Lao-tzu
In class 32 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 prejudgement.
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 IMPORTANT.
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 our worth.
Even more than this, we become the experts of
categorising 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 analyse
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
Instead of scanning over the top of everything and
labelling 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 playstation 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
His parents were out and he had wondered for some
time what their preoccupation with alcoholwas about. So he decided to try some. A bottle
of whisky had been opened and was sort of water coloured 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
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
prejudgement 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 labelled 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 realise 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 this.
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
colour 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 analyse
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 judgement, 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 realised something more. That all his life
he had craved distance when actually all he wantedto feel now was closeness. He realised that the
labels and the prejudging kept him stuck in the ego, stuck in the illusion
of the surface. He realised 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 realised 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 realised 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.
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
32nd class you will have;
seen how criticism stops the
ways the universe loves us
learned how gratitude opens the doors closed by criticism