I have been learning for the last month about Eastern philosophy, and primarily the Ego. Thanks to all those on Mind-Brain.com who have helped me this far. One of the things mentioned, was to basically just do it, stop talking about enlightenment and go for it.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to try and put some of the things I had learned to the test. My aim was twofold, firstly to reduce my Ego, try to live without it, and then to see what happens when I tried to desire an outcome (Ascension Desire Streams).
I used my girlfriend Alison as my control, and she knew nothing of what I was doing, except that i was using this bulletin board to talk to some strange people who she rather prefered that I wasn't. She gave me the following reasons:
1) I wasn't spending that time with her
My plan was to monitor my thoughts, and watch the paths they took and the results they had on my emotional state. I achieved this monitoring through everyday thinking and through meditation (just my own breed of). I now believe that the meditation that i do takes me to a state where I am at one with nature. According to Patanjali, this is a bad state, and is still attached to the Ego!
During the course of the experiment, nothing out of the ordinary happened for Ali, I checked with her daily.
It has been an interesting couple of weeks, things have happened that I usually would not notice, or would just label coincidence, and I have not come to any conclusions except that I need to keep the experiment running for a longer period of time.
One thing that worries me about all of this is my intense hunger for information on this subject, I can't stop feeding. I'm not sure if I am feeding my Ego, it is my concern that I am, as this is wrong and I am deluding myself.
I started the experiment by trying to control my Ego. The first step was acceptance of a model of the Ego that I had put together on my Website, this was largely based on postings from our friend Bubba Joe Ananda. It was also based on my experience and my personal view of how things are. In the background to the later stages of the experiment, i was also reading a translation of Panajali's Yoga sutras.
As a result of acceptance of this model, I found that it was easy to spot peaks and troughs in my Ego and correct them. After a few days I was happy that my Ego was normalising (i'm not a very emotional person anyway, so there weren't huge gulfs to cross here!).
I found that with reduction of Ego, my life became less stressed and
I was a lot happier with everyone and everything (if this reads like
a sales pitch for Ascension
With this now normalised Ego, I believe I am some of the way to enlightenment, and here I can make a choice for selflessness or selfishness, can you guess which route I took?
I thought it was time to try desire streams, which is another Ascension term, sorry! The idea here being that if you desire something, then it can be yours.
I chose to desire money, who wouldn't! I thought I would just desire the abstract idea of money, rather than a lottery win; to hedge my bets and so that I would not give up straight away following a failure in such a precise desire.
On the second day, I actually had forgotten about the idea and was just at the supermarket, I went to the Cashpoint (Automatic Teller Machine) to get some money out for that evening, and stood in line. The guy in front of me did his thing with the machine and walked off, I was daydreaming and stepped up to the machine. He had left £30 inthe machine waiting to be picked up, and the machine was beeping, saying "Take the money".
The guy had wondered off and left it there. I turned to try and spot him, but couldn't, and proceded to do a Mr Bean (English "dumb" comedy show) impression, with expressions like "b'uh!", "ummm", and "ohhh!".
I didn't know what to do, and had a severe attack of conscience.
Devil on left shoulder: "Take it, Take it, no-one's looking!"
So I followed the Angel, right?
Anomaly 2 (The Big One)
So on my way home a couple of nights later I get caught by a speed trap doing 82mph. I don't know if these particular speed traps are peculiar to Britain, but they consist of a pig in his meat wagon about half a mile from a remote camera box and radar gun setup.
As a motorist in the fast lane of a dual carriageway, these are difficult to spot (not that I am trying to justify my speed!) so I got caught. The process of events for these traps goes something like this:
1) speed home
I didn't want to go through this, and changed my desire from money to avoiding the ticket. I desired that something had gone wrong with the camera, or it was just a warning shot, or anything really to stop this from happening, another abstract desire.
So I desired this outcome and meditated on the idea and all was going well after a week and a half.
The police have to notify you within fourteen days for the ticket to be leagal, and on the forteenth day I was feeling good, although I had not checked the mail.
Later that day, and as a side issue for the last two weeks, I was looking for a new appartment to rent. I found one that sounded perfect, and phoned up, it was even better when I went to look at it with Ali. We decided there and then that we should take the flat and went to get the deposit money from the bank.
While sitting in traffic I casually asked if there had been any mail today, she had brought it with her and said there was one letter for me. I instantly thought, speeding ticket, and my heart quickened.
I realised at this moment that for most of the day I had been desiring this appartment and had forgotten all about the ticket!
Ali handed me the letter, and carefully I began to open it. Kind of like Charlie with his golden ticket. I tore a little hole and peered inside, seeing only a few words I widened the hole. In the background Ali was asking what was wrong and sounded concerned and worried. I spotted the corner of a logo, and gave out a gasp, "Yes!".
"You're mad" she said.
It was a insurance document for the couch that I had recently bought. It worked, the desire stream thing saved me, it was real, I was in control.
"There was one other letter for you!"
In total disbelief and shock, I turned to watch her remove this other "one letter" from her bag and hand it to me.
In my mind it had dread, anguish, and despair written on the front, and a big ugly face had been drawn... laughing at me!
I'm not really sure I have one, I have a nice new appartment, and a fine to pay (should have taken that money!).
But seriously, there is definate benefit in seeing past ones Ego and I strongly recommend that everyone learn this, I have been more content this last two weeks than for a long time.
As for the desire streams? I'm prepared to give it a little longer, it's not a good avenue to go down anyway, according to Patanjali, not to further my goal of enlightenment.
I have a new plan now, learned from my Yoga sutras book, to meditate on the meaning of God! thus meditate in a non-attached way and further my aims of enlightenment.