Demolishing the Illusion of Separation

“You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.”
– Alan Watts

The sheer magnitude of our universe is literally beyond all human comprehension. It’s hard to fathom, really… Even so, we’re doing our best to make sense of it all. Considering the grand scheme of this magnificent, mysterious macrocosm… Have you ever wondered if your life is of any real significance at all? Are we all just meaningless microbes floating in a sea of endless proportion? Or is there some deeper purpose to our existence here? Are we all ONE and connected… as many of our spiritual teachers have promised us? Or are we as separate and isolated as many of us dishearteningly feel? Inquiring minds want to know….

Girl looking at space“You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.”
– Alan Watts

This is a vast and infinite universe in which we live.

Just look up into the clear night sky at the unfathomable dance of stars, planets and galaxies.

The sheer magnitude of our universe is literally beyond all human comprehension.

It’s hard to fathom, really… Even so, we’re doing our best to make sense of it all.

Scientists now estimate that our universe is over thirteen BILLION years old. Don’t ask me exactly how they know this, but let’s assume they are close.

On this timeline of the cosmos, your whole life is nothing more than a short, fractionalized blip; Barely the blink of an eye.

Considering the grand scheme of this magnificent, mysterious macrocosm…
Have you ever wondered if your life is of any real significance at all?

Are we all just meaningless microbes floating in a sea of endless proportion?
Or is there some deeper purpose to our existence here?

Are we all ONE and connected… as many of our spiritual teachers have promised us?
Or are we as separate and isolated as many of us dishearteningly feel?

Inquiring minds want to know….

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Objective Reality  and the Illusion of Separation

Most modern people in the world believe in an objective reality.

Leonardo Da Vinci's anatomical drawings of the brain
Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings

In this model of reality you believe that who you are is a body, with a brain and a conscious awareness that is tied to your specific physical being only.

In other words reality exists independently of your personal mind and body; meaning that there are objects, beings and events happening “out there” that are observable and fundamentally separate from who you are.

Basically, you’re nothing more than an animal that, by chance, became self-aware.

If “seeing is believing”… then this makes perfect sense and the science up until recently seems to support this. After all, it does appear as if we are separate from each other and everything else in the universe.

I can look at my face in a mirror and see my reflection.

I can look down at my own hands as I reach to pick up the phone.

The phone definitely appears separate from me.

I can see a beautiful woman walk into the room with a smile on her face.

There seem to be visible boundary lines between where my body ends and hers begins.
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“The Illusion of Separation, then, is the false impression that you are separate from everyone and everything else in the known universe. Our five senses naturally lead us to adopt this objective frame of mind and therefore to our own misunderstanding of the world.”

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I say “false impression” because, as I explained previously, our perception of reality is not always as accurate as we may think.

This objective viewpoint becomes the origin of the Five Illusions of Perception that I spoke about here.

Although objective reality is a belief system commonly held by many people, I’m not certain that this model of reality is an accurate reflection of how the universe works.

It might be accurate…. since it can’t be proven false!

Yet, on the other hand, neither can it be proven true!

And, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my life experience and through my personal search for Truth… it’s that the majority of people are usually wrong!

Yeah, I said it!  😛

I’m becoming somewhat of a contrarian in that I find it wise to look at what the majority of people are doing and then consider doing the complete opposite.

For example, since most people are eating fast food combo meals and guzzling down sodas for lunch… I do the opposite by making my own healthy lunch!

Salmon Lunch
This is how I roll, Son!

One of them I enjoy is wild-caught, Alaskan Salmon with lemon juice over a bed of organic spinach, plus Jasmine rice and broccoli for sides. Served with a tall glass of water.

Why be like the 90% of the population that is struggling and failing in life, when you can emulate the 10% who’re succeeding and achieving their dreams?!?!

Through this contrarian outlook, I’ve come to believe that we may actually be living in a subjective reality versus the more popularized and accepted objective model of reality.

Subjective reality, like its objective counterpart, isn’t falsifiable and therefore can’t be proven wrong either.

Since neither Objective nor Subjective reality can be proven true or false… you basically have a choice of which model to adopt.

One thing to consider is which model of reality gives you a stronger frame and belief system through which you can achieve your goals and desires in life.

I think you will see that Subjective Reality makes a lot of sense the more you entertain the notion.

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A Matrix of Consciousness

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”
Morpheus

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If you choose the blue pill, then close this website down and go back to sleep, but if you choose to take the red pill, then keep reading this blog and come back often!

Neo reaches for the red pill

You’re still reading, so you must have swallowed the red pill! Okay, here we go, but this may not be easy for you to accept. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I loved the Matrix movie because although it seems like straight-up science fiction, there’s a lot of Truth and similarities to the REAL world.

In fact, some innovative philosophers and scientists are coming to propose that we may be living in a virtual world, a simulation of sorts. Essentially an illusion that seems more real than any dream you’ve ever had.

And of course… Buddha tried to explain this concept of the world as an Illusion centuries ago. Only a select few at the time seemed to fully grasp it.

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“In this dream world of subjective reality, consciousness is primary and is the container or matrix in which the universe and all of physical reality evolves.”

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It exists as a state of pure potentiality. Everything in the physical world, including your body, is a manifestation of this consciousness.

Think of consciousness as a field of creative, intelligent energy that is the source or ground of all being. It is a powerful, yet subtle and invisible force from which everything arises.

Through the subjective model of reality, the entire universe can be likened to a dream-like state, where pure consciousness is the mind of the dreamer and the physical world is a byproduct and manifestation of the dream.

So, who or what are YOU in a subjective model of reality?

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You are pure consciousness itself.

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To say it differently, you are the universal mind in which the entire dream takes place.

At first this may sound pretty “out there” to your logical and analytical mind.  Although, let’s not forget that we once thought the Earth was the center of the Universe less than a few hundred years ago.

Obviously, we haven’t unraveled all of the mysteries of the cosmos just yet.

If you begin studying the fields of biology, chemistry, astronomy, evolutionary theory, the world’s religions, philosophy and quantum physics… the individual threads begin to weave a pattern and a Perennial Philosophy begins to emerge.

Quote from the MatrixYou start to realize that science is beginning to support some of the insights our ancient wisdom traditions have intuitively known for centuries.

Even so, “mainstream” science is still resisting these revolutionary breakthroughs because people are so entrenched within the objective reality model.

Most people will not embrace the subjective reality model until there is an overwhelming burden of proof.

It’s sort of hard to fully understand the subjective model while seeing it through the objective lens. Try to wrap your head around this:

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Under the objective model, you are a primate that became conscious.

Under the subjective model, you are consciousness that became a primate.
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Under the objective model, you are alone and separate from everything in the known universe.

Under the subjective model, you are united and one with everything in the known universe.
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Under the objective model, your thoughts, beliefs and feelings have no affect on reality.

Under the subjective model, your thoughts, beliefs and feelings create your reality.
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Under the objective model, you realize you are an insignificant speck of slowly decaying matter.

Under the subjective model, you realize you are a God who has forgotten its absolute divinity.

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You see the major difference between the two models of reality is ultimately how you view your Self and what your conscious mind identifies with as its true nature.

Are you a consciousness within a body OR a body within a consciousness?

Under objective reality, matter is the basis from which everything has evolved. Your consciousness is simply a side-effect of millions of years of evolution.

Whereas with subjective reality, the primacy of consciousness is the basis from which everything has evolved and your evolution is simply a journey to know yourself through the experiential.

You can’t know perfection… unless you know imperfection.

You can’t know good… unless you know evil.

You can’t know beauty… unless you know ugliness.

So pure consciousness had to create the illusion of duality and split itself into a trillion pieces in order to grow, evolve and fully understand its absolute perfection and wholeness.

Otherwise, all it had was a conceptual and abstract understanding of its existence. How can you know yourself when you are all that is… and all that is not?

Through the Illusion of Separation, consciousness can experience itself from billions and billions of concrete and specific vantage points… namely all the phenomena of the physical world.

In this way, it can come to know itself more deeply and from many different perspectives.

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You Are Not Your F*cking Body

From the Subjective point of view, your body is just a temporary avatar (a vehicle if you will) that allows you to move and be in this physical realm.

Almost like a virtual reality video game that you forgot you were playing or perhaps more accurately… a dream from which you’ve never really awakened.

Don’t mistake the Dream for Reality!!!

Your body is NOT who you are, anymore than your job, your bank account, your car, or anything else in this world.

None of these things are actually YOU!

They are only physical projections of the one universal consciousness.

Your consciousness!

Tylder Durden quote

When you die, all of these things will be stripped away and all that will remain is that pure consciousness.

Not your conditioned mind, personality or egoic thought streams that you may currently think of as yourself… rather the awareness that is beyond the thinking mind.
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“This pure consciousness is who you TRULY are and it is beyond form, beyond the physical and beyond our human capacity to even fully understand it.”

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Scientists can’t even really explain it!!! They don’t have any freakin’ idea where our consciousness originates.

Sure they can tell you the inner workings of the body. They can tell you that brain impulses traveling along the nerves cause your muscles to fire, which pull on the tendons attached to your bones causing your toes to wiggle…. but they can’t tell you where the “thought” comes from that initiates the entire cascade of events.

Yet, it’s from this invisible energy field of consciousness that the “thought” first originates. It’s this consciousness that is the source energy of everything in the universe.
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“It is… The Matrix!”

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That is simply to say, the conscious energy field in which the universe evolves and exists.

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There is a Zen parable in which two monks are looking at a flag that is waving in the wind. The first monk says, “The flag is waving.” The second one says, “No, it is the wind blowing.”

Their teacher comes over and they pose him the question. “Who’s right? I say the flag is moving. He says the wind is moving.”

The Zen master says, “You are both wrong. Only consciousness is moving.”

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When you awaken to the deeper truths of this subjective reality, you realize that you are not your body or your mind any more than you are the car you drive.

The essence of who you really are is the consciousness that animates all bodies and minds and is simultaneously observing and experiencing the world through the myriad of forms that populate the universe.

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The Day the Fish Must Die

Fish Swimming
You are the Fish, my friend!

To grasp this concept of consciousness being the source of everything, think of the ocean.

To a fish, the ocean is the universe in which all life plays out. Beyond the ocean is the Earth and Sun or “source energy” in which the fish evolved.

Without the Sun, there would be no Earth. Without the Earth, there would be no ocean.

Without the ocean there would be no fish and without the fish the ocean would be a boring, lifeless place.

The fish has no concept of a life beyond the ocean even though one does exist (as the Earth and Sun.) The fish swims around doing its fishy thing, seeking to survive in the ocean and trying to hook up with the lady fish.

Sound familiar?

Then the day comes that the fish must die.
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“When the fish dies its body dissolves and it becomes one with the ocean again. It returns to the source from which it came. New fish are born and so the cycle continues indefinitely. You are the fish, my friend… and the Earth and the Universe are the oceans in which you evolved.”

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Pure consciousness (the source energy) is the life beyond the ocean that you have no real concept of.

It is this same universal consciousness that breathes through you… that also animates and directs the life of the fish. Consciousness explores the depths of the ocean as the fish, while it explores the country-side and cities as YOU!

You, the fish, the ocean, the planet and ALL the people of the world are only temporary manifestations of this consciousness. Eventually the forms must break down and dissolve… they’re simply destined too!

However, the source energy that gives birth to them, the life force that animates them and the consciousness that explores as them… IS ETERNAL.

It is this consciousness that lives through you, sees through you and feels through you and in fact… IS ESSENTIALLY YOU!!!

Not only is it you, it is also everybody and everything else that exists in the entire universe.

Therefore, every THING and every ONE is merely a reflection of your Self in a different form.

This universe is just a mirror in which you’re seeing the reflection of your own mind.

The Universe
“What happens in the MACROCOSM is reflected in the MICROCOSM.”

To drive the final nail in the coffin of the Illusion of Separation, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite quotes from Albert Einstein, one of the greatest and brightest scientists of our time:

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“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

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This “optical delusion of his consciousness” is man’s belief that he is his body and he is separate from everything else in the universe.

A man’s body/mind may become his “prison” if he doesn’t awaken to the reality that he is in fact, pure consciousness itself and one with “the whole of nature.”

Knowing and living from this truth is the very essence of what it means to be an Awakened Warrior.

At its deepest and most profound level, this understanding is the realization of enlightenment.

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Laughter of the Gods

I know to some, this will be written off as psychobabble or new age fluff.

Currently, I know these concepts intellectually and can write about them, yet I haven’t fully integrated them into my life entirely. This is an unfolding process of which I admit I am in the intermediate stages of.

I still fall into ego and the conditioned mind patterns of the past. I’m not always fully present.

By contrast, I thought I knew it all fifteen years ago. I thought I had this life all figured out.

Youthful arrogance, I guess. I had a closed mind and couldn’t see beyond my own limited perception of reality; a reality that was handed down to me from my culture, parents, teachers, and religion….

This is known as ‘cultural conditioning’ or ‘enculturation.’

In a sense, we’re all brainwashed from birth by the people and the environment in which we are born. Many never come to realize this at all and remain asleep.

In fact, fifteen years ago I would never have believed ANY of this, as I was too entrenched within my culturally conditioned mindset.

However, the “me” that writes this today is not the same me that existed 15 years ago. I’ve read, grown and evolved a lot since I was twenty years old. Only now I realize how little I actually know and how much more room there is for growth.

In the past, our ideas and beliefs have been terribly slow to change. Many people would rather die than to admit they’re wrong or have to rethink their understanding of the world. This is stubbornness by which many of our wars are fought.

The rise of the internet and our easy access to information, now allows us to learn at an accelerated pace. We can quickly go beyond the limitations and ideologies that have been holding us back from growth and further evolution as a species.

Today, I realize that I only have a small glimpse of this absolute Truth. I would never dare to set myself up as the judge of all matters because as Einstein states:

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“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”

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Albert Einstein
You’ve got one… USE IT!

I’m not asking you to believe me blindly or to take my word as gospel. I’ll never do that.

In fact, you need to trust yourself first and foremost before you ever listen to me or anyone else. You must follow your own heart and intuition.

Choose what you believe based on your own discoveries and experiences, not mine or anyone else’s.

Otherwise you’re just another follower bowing down to the dogma of a higher authority.

Question everything, read, learn, and study all the angles.  Research what humanity has learned and is still learning about this mystery of life.

Always keep an open mind to new perspectives. Keep what works and disregard that which is of no use to you.

This universe is like a puzzle that must be pieced together, one insight at a time. Just make sure you choose your beliefs wisely because they have both the capacity to enslave you and to set you free.

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Take care,

Brandon

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