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Dharma Karma Particles and LightWhy are you here? Do you have a purpose? Or is your life simply random—chance collision of particles and light; the perfect, yet improbable, conditions for the emergence of life, a pure coincidence? The reigning belief among materialists is that this scenario is precisely how life emerged—right place, right time—the materialist notion of a miracle.

Some scholars, however, particularly in evolutionary biology, believe there exists a teleology within nature, a purposeful action, a reason for doing things. Birds orient toward Earth’s magnetic field via magnetoreceptors, allowing them to find their way home; molecules of life form to better dissipate energy and thus increase entropy, and the human mind does not perceive reality as it truly is, but in ways which allow it to survive.

Dharma Karma Life PathMany have spoken of a purpose to human life, a dharma as the yogis call it, and every person, it is believed, has their own individual dharma. Acting within one’s dharma would be the highest undertaking one could choose, as mission would dictate one’s actions. Great teachers throughout history have seen this as the answer to life—a way to rise above one’s challenges and seeming obstacles. Simply follow your dharma and you can never fail. Many people, however, are not completely aware of their life’s purpose. I believe that uncovering your life’s purpose is the greatest blessing you can receive. I have dedicated my life’s work to helping people uncover and cultivate their purpose.

Following the path of one’s dharma is not without hardship though, an experience common to all human beings. In fact, hardship, trauma, and devastation are so ubiquitous that some of the world’s greatest teachers have addressed these with sayings, stories, and even their own lives. The simple fact is that every one of us must walk through our own personal tragedies, and we must do it alone—nobody can walk for us.

Why must we all have this experience of turmoil? Is there a purpose or is it also random?

Some would say that we have a guiding light directing us at all times, and that we have the ability to increase our connection to this source of information, or perhaps better to say that we can increase the transmission of information, as the connection is always there, only the rate and intensity of the broadcast varying. We can increase the transmission of that guiding light by using the tool of meditation.

The source of this guiding light has been called the Higher Mind, and its transmissions are received by the Lower Mind. I will spend significant time in later articles to describe what is meant by Higher Mind. Lower Mind is simply the somatic element of the mental system—the brain and spinal cord, the neurology. The sensori-emotional Lower Mind when highly charged can convolute the transmissions of Higher Mind, and so by minimizing these convolutions (through meditation and other equilibrating practices), the individual (or monad) begins to make its way toward divinity—a state of complete unity (Godliness).

To do this requires a shift from Lower Minded perceiving to Higher Minded knowing, a certainty which must be cultivated. The shift is mental, and thus perceptual, so it is of the mind—taking the individual from a perception of separateness to a knowingness of unity. The human mind’s greatest illusion is of separation in space and time, another concept we will investigate in another post.

Dharma Karma Rising PhoenixAnother ubiquitous human experience is the rising like a phoenix from the ashes and anguish of our traumas. It is no surprise that some of the most powerful stories told are of rising, like great spirits, up to the heavens of salvation. We do rise, only to fall again, yet rise higher and higher every time we pull ourselves up, approximating the oneness of all things, in timeless, spaceless elevation.

I was contemplating the work of the great philosopher, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, titled The Sufferings of Young Werther (Norton Critical Editions), about a young man who falls in love with a woman he cannot have. The story follows the Young Werther as he attempts to win her heart by any means necessary as time moves on, until, upon accepting the agony of the situation, that she will never be his, he takes his own life in grief—a true tragedy of the heart. Too many people choose the Young Wether’s path, thinking they cannot rise from the ashes of their own scorched lives. But the rise is as ubiquitous as the fall. No matter how destructive your last inferno, by allowing the knowingness of Higher Mind to guide you spontaneously, and enhancing it by mind-equilibrating practices, you will fulfill your dharma with a certainty of the all-encompassing unity which paves your divine path. Uncovering purpose, following it dutifully, and allowing Higher Mind to operate freely, with trust in the unity of existence and experience, is truly the highest path one can take. History’s greatest teachers could not have all been wrong about that.

atomThere are two primary ways to look at the world: the first is through the lens of materialism. Materialists believe that the universe is purely physical; a tangible reality that can be observed only through the physical senses or tools which are interpreted by the human intellect. A materialist would say that we can observe physical phenomena, measure them, create equations and models to represent these phenomena, and make predictions based on those equations and models. A materialist would argue that we can come to understand the entire universe, over time, by understanding the physical processes underlying it, in the same way we might understand the workings of a machine. If there is something we currently do not understand, it is simply because we do not yet understand the physics behind it. Many current theories fall under this category: The standard model of particle physics, dark energy, quantum gravity, and even consciousness itself.

Materialists are generally secularists in that they do not contemplate or even consider spiritual matters. To the materialist, the universe is made up of physical matter (particles and waves), which is the only substance we can actually measure, and thus it is the sole substance of reality. As such, physical substance is the only thing worth discussing or contemplating – all else is folly. Materialism could be summed up with the line, “Brownian motion, chance collisions and probability are what make up the nature of reality.”

Ancient GreeksMaterialism is the predominating world-view among governments, military, science, medicine, academics and media in the western world today. We see it in every aspect of life – relying on physical evidence by which to base decisions and protocol. It is neither right nor wrong: simply the way agencies set policy, conduct operations, set standards, and provide education. It has not always been this way; throughout history humans have oscillated between approaching the world from a materialist perspective (Ancient Greeks and Romans) to approaching it from a spiritualist one (Middle Ages Europe), and some have even attempted to balance the two (Enlightenment). Today, however, the major institutions of the western world are materialist in viewpoint.

Spiritualists, on the other hand, believe that a supernatural force exists which is beyond physical. While most spiritualists would agree that we are, on some level, experiencing a physical universe, there is something more, a metaphysical reality that goes beyond material substance. The substance in which a spiritualist believes may vary, as some may believe in a dual realm of material and spirit, while others believe there is a third, or primary, substance from which all other substances emerge.  Some even believe that the physical realm exists only in one’s mind; that the true nature of reality is in this primary substance. Some examples of spiritualist philosophies include Advaita Vedanta, Daoism, and monotheistic religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

lightSpiritualists believe that we can transcend the body-mind of the physical world and tap into that something else which exists. This can achieved through meditation and other esoteric practices, rituals and trances, and mind-altering medicinals. Whichever method is used to achieve transcendence, the goal is always to attune to the greater reality. Spiritualists believe that means of gaining knowledge are not limited to physical, or scientific, observation, but also to reason (Enlightenment) and revelation (Judaism, Christianity, Islam). In fact, many other methods are believed to be sources of knowledge, but most importantly, spiritualists do not place a boundary around the physical world and its phenomena.

Spiritualists do not have to subscribe to a particular religion, as some people are spiritual, yet maintain no religious practice. While the modern western world views the world primarily through materialism, most people walking the planet are spiritualists (84% according to the Pew Research Center).  The line which can sum up spiritualism is, “Personality – the subjective perception – is the solid foundation and unifying principle of our existence.”

Neither materialism nor spiritualism is right or wrong – in fact, it does not appear to be a provable matter. They are simply foundations by which one views the world. Many people never even think about their foundation of reality in detail. They simply accept their beliefs without question, sometimes not even knowing how they came upon those beliefs. But for people who have a solid understanding of their philosophical views with regard to the nature of reality, it is easier to understand the decisions they make in life. Other age-old philosophical questions, such as free will are easier to contemplate when one determines how one leans with regard to the substance of the universe. Is the world purely physical, with particles and waves simply bound by physical laws? Or is there something else, regardless of what one calls it, a metaphysical force, which underlies all reality, and which can be tapped into for knowledge, guidance, presence and hope? Think about these questions to learn more about yourself and add a deeper level of meaning to your reflections. Either way, to come to know yourself is the greatest endeavor regardless of how you view the nature of reality. But by solidifying your views, you will come to know yourself more profoundly: what makes you tick, why you make certain decisions, and even where you might be going. Most importantly, your views will underlie the meaning by which you will ultimately evaluate your life: an endeavor worth every bit of energy.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. Nick Campos - All Rights Reserved.