Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Magic of Knowing

There is a difference between belief and “knowing.” Belief is correlated to faith and knowing invokes a quiet, peaceful certainty that comes from the heart and soul. A state of knowing is extremely difficult to obtain and even when it exists, it can be frustrating to know something prior to its occurrence. Some people know instantly that the person sitting across from them will be the person they will share their life with. Yet, to express this knowledge would scare the other person away and could interfere with destiny. Knowing is usually magical and feelings of fear can significantly interfere with its existence.

Knowing comes from hearing the “truth” -- by listening to the small, faint voice in the back of the mind. Knowing is also unconditional. If something is “known,” then external circumstances (that may appear to contradict the ”vision”) have no power in changing the outcome. It takes great strength to place contradictory evidence in its proper perspective. Intellectual information often arises that causes doubt or fear that the “known” may in fact be untrue. With a real sense of knowing, these doubts must be consciously ignored. Instead, they are usually a test of the strength of our belief in what we “know” to be true. If the magic of knowing exists, then its predictability cannot be changed by outside influences. Something that is known goes against all odds or normal deterministic reasoning. Without skepticism, we must have confidence in an end result that appears doubtful. Knowing is the stronger than believing in destiny. Free will and fear can change destiny, yet nothing can alter what is “known.” Free will and fear cannot eradicate the truth.

James Van Praagh says, “Intuition is a sense of knowing, and this knowing comes from within. This sense of knowing is spontaneous; it is not a question of analysis. If you put too much effort into trying to be intuitive, you will impede the process. In other words, intuition is not something you can make happen. It just happens…There is such a thing as the spiritual level of intuition – the mystical experience of knowing. This is the glimpse into the true reality of our existence. Moments of spiritual intuition are unforgettable.”

How can a voice that is almost silent reveal a truth that transcends intellectual thought? I once “heard” that a person I cared about would appear at our neighborhood bar one night when I went there. I even knew what he would say to me if he came. I hadn’t seen him for two months and I had been to that bar about 10 times since I had seen him last (and I had never thought that he would be there before). Intellectually, it did not make sense that he would show up because we had a mutual friend and surely she would have known if he was coming. At the time, I thought the “voice” was only wishful thinking. In spite of my doubts, he walked into the bar and said exactly what I thought he would say. It was strange saying words that I had already mentally rehearsed in response to comments that I knew he would say. I was so shocked that my mind knew something prior to its existence that I remained in a fog the entire night.

We rationalize away our feelings of knowing. We think they are just wishful thinking or hidden fears (depending on whether it is positive or negative information). Knowing happens all the time. I woke up at three in the morning one day and I had a “feeling” that something bad had just happened. My grandfather passed away at that moment. At another time, a friend of mine felt that he knew something was wrong. He was on an airplane ready to take off. In a state of panic, he convinced the flight attendants to let him off the plane. At the same moment, his fiancé had gotten in a car crash and was being rushed to the hospital.

According to Carmen Harra in her book, Everyday Karma, she states, “Humanity is currently in a state of transition. We are making a transition from the period of the past two thousand years, the period of ‘I believe’ to the period for the next two thousand years, ‘I know.’ This is the age of knowledge; this time will be the Era of Awareness.”

Where does the feeling of knowing come from? It appears from nowhere and is probably the result of a connection with a source that we don’t really understand. When I read the book Original Wisdom, the author Robert Wolfe described an incredible experience of knowing. He decided to take a shaman, Ahmeed with him to Port Dixon. Ahmeed was part of an aboriginal tribe (the Sng’oi) that lives in the remote jungles in Malaysia. They live without cars, or cell phones, clocks or schedules. The people are indigenous to the area and they have lived in the same village their entire life. Ahmeed had never traveled far from the village before. Port Dixon is surrounded by ocean and it was the first time that Ahmeed had seen an ocean. He did not get close to the water; he just stared at the ocean from a distance in a state of a trance. When they arrived back at the village, Ahmeed told everyone in the village that they needed to have a ritual.

During the ritual, Ahmeed described the ocean and everyone became very afraid. They had only seen rainwater and the water of jungle streams. The village people had a fear of water because heavy rains had the potential to destroy their land. Ahmeed tried to appease the fear of the people in the village as he described a “Great Ocean that had water as far as you could see.” He explained that he met the Lord of the Great Ocean and he told him that this water would not eat the land. He further explained, “The whole world is covered with the Great Ocean… and the land floats on the water.” He said that the ocean was very heavy and that the land was lighter than the ocean, so it floats on the water. “The land is so big; there is so much land floating on this Ocean that it does not move, or maybe only a little but we do not feel it moving… this water is all over the earth and underneath the surface… is a whole world, in some ways like this world…there are mountains under what can be seen, very tall mountains…and there are valleys deeper than any of the valleys we have here. And through the Great Ocean there are streams, huge rivers – currents that flow all around the world, around and around... these streams are so immense that they sweep the fish around too. And there are many other animals as well, not just fish. There are animals so huge… bigger than elephants… animals that are flat and animals that are like snakes, but bigger, much bigger… but do not be afraid, the Big Ocean cannot eat the land. The land floats and the animals in the Big Ocean can live only there; they cannot come on land.” No one told Ahmeed anything about the ocean when he was in Port Dixon and he could not read, so he could not have gotten the information from a book. Robert Wolf decided to trick Ahmeed. He later said that the ocean was fresh water and Ahmeed disagreed with him by saying, “No, it is salty.” How could a shaman that lives in a remote village have so much information about an ocean he had never seen before? He was describing the ocean the way a scientist might talk about it. He never touched it or tasted it. All of his information came from an invisible source.

Many people define “knowing” as intuition, but in many cases, it is stronger than intuition. We just know that there are some streets we should not walk down and we know when to feel fear. Our biggest problems arise when we fight our feelings of knowing. When I have ignored the faint voice in the back of my mind, something always goes wrong.

A state of knowing can be invoked through meditation. During certain meditative sessions, I have jumped up with a singular thought on my mind. There is just something I need to do. During one of these experiences, I heard that I would relate to the Essenes, which was an ancient religion that I knew little about. I was shocked when I went to the Internet to discover more about the Essenes. Many of their beliefs were similar to my own (except for their purity laws and beliefs in separatism). They are a mixture of Eastern religion and Western religion and many believe that they studied the Kabbalah. The religion was an ancient sect of the Jewish religion and they had women priests. Jesus practiced with the Essenes and some of their beliefs are consistent with Buddhism (such as reincarnation). They were also the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Robert Wolfe refined his susceptibility to the sense of knowing. In his book, Original Wisdom, he describes two occurrences when he used this unusual “intuition” that he learned while living with the Sng’oi in Malaysia. Once he was walking up a steep and narrow trail that goes into the Hanakapi’ai Valley on the Island of Kauai. He had a very serious sinus headache that was interfering with his journey. He looked up and saw a plant that he was unfamiliar with. When he looked at the plant, he knew what it would feel like and what it would smell like. He also knew that if he could get one leaf (it was 20 feet up), and crushed it and put it in his nose, his headache would disappear. The plant felt and smelled exactly the same as he had imagined and the experiment worked. His sinus headache was gone in a matter of moments. Does intuition explain this unusual discovery? Another time in the mountains of Luzon in the Philippines, he slipped thirty feet down a very steep slope and badly scraped his hands and there was dirt, mud and debris inside the wounds. He knew that an infection would be serious and they were two days from civilization. He could not find a water source but he saw a plant and “knew” what the leaf of the plant would feel like and what it would taste like. He then “knew” he had to chew the leaves to make a poultice with some other leaves and to tie the bundle to his hands with vines. He “knew” that this concoction would clean out the dirt from the various scrapes and would disinfect the wounds. In the evening, he opened the bandages and found that the wounds were clean and without infection.

The sense of knowing can be overwhelming. If we become extremely sensitized to these feelings, we may feel emotionally overloaded. This experience happened to me one day. For some reason, my perception shifted and I feel what other people were feeling and through some form of telepathy, I could tell them what they were thinking. Every time I touched someone, I would feel a wave of emotion that was generated by the person’s state of mind. If a negative emotion was encountered, I actually had to lie down to recover. Only through deep breathing could I continue to function. I was completely drained by the end of the day. Robert Wolfe has had the same experience. In his book, he stated, “When we moved to Hawaii, after two years in Malaysia, I went through a long period of adjustment. The kind of openness I had learned with the Sng’oi probably has survival value in a tropical jungle, but in the jungle of a modern city, it is a burden. I learned that I did not want to sense what people were feeling. It was frightening to discover how many people think nothing at all, but feel waves of anger resentment and bitterness – although they act as if they are deaf and blind to their own feelings. Often our environments are so full, so busy, that allowing all senses (including the knowing sense) to be open will result in overload… I avoid places of overload if at all possible. One learns to shut off some senses, to protect oneself from all that noise.”

There can also be a sense of calmness from knowing something. Our minds are not cluttered with the “what ifs.” We know the end result of an encounter and our minds are at peace with the knowledge that we obtain. Before I knew I would date someone, I was constantly worried about what would happen or what wouldn’t happen. I was worried about saying or doing the wrong things. Once I had the sense of knowing that the relationship would work out for a period of time, all the noise went away. At some point, I also knew the relationship would end, but the realization never bothered me. It was just one of those relationships that needed to play itself out. The end was as peaceful as its beginning.

It takes practice to obtain a sense of knowing and it requires extreme trust in the “voices” we hear in the back of our mind. Edgar Cayce (famous healer) always had the peace of knowing. Once his credit at the local grocery store was cut off until he could pay the bill for $87.50. His wife was extremely upset because she could not buy the necessities that were needed for the household. Edgar Cayce calmly reassured her that the money would arrive. That morning a letter arrived with a check that was just large enough to cover the bill.

With all the thoughts that race about in our heads, we can easily ignore our ability to obtain the magic of knowing. Everyone has the potential to reach this state – it is only a state of heightened perception. It is easier to use our logic to discount these feelings than to believe in something that we don’t really understand. It is interesting that people talk about “women’s” intuition. This may just be a product of the difference of the sexes. Women just tend to be more in tune with their perceptions -- logic doesn’t easily overrule their feelings of intuition. If we can tune out the noise of our calculated logic, we can obtain a greater sense of knowing. If we can just relax and think about nothing, we may find that we have access to everything. A mother instinctually knows when her children are in trouble. This is only because she is relying on her increased perception and connection to her children and her instinctual need to ensure that her children are protected.

Animals probably have a greater sense of knowing than humans. They live in an environment where knowing something may be the difference between life and death. We are born with these instincts, but over time, we just learn to ignore them. We rationalize and analyze because that is our nature. A return to the sense of knowing is just getting in touch with our more innate animalistic instincts.

Knowing is not about belief, faith, wishful thinking or fear. It transcends all of the evolved emotions of humanity. Knowing is a connection to a source that is more powerful than ourselves. Jung would say that we could access the ability to “know” by connecting with the collective unconscious. Knowing is different from being psychic or telepathic (though sometimes it is hard to tell the difference). Knowing comes from the soul and it can be very difficult to live with knowledge that cannot yet be proven. Many scientists have accessed this ability and have spent their whole lives trying to prove something they knew from the start (and they are often successful).

To enhance our ability to “know,” we can use meditation techniques. By connecting with the source of our soul, we may find that we are aware of events and feelings without prior knowledge. Since the information we receive during this state may conflict with our expectations and beliefs, it may be very difficult to accept what we hear. We need to become comfortable when we hear things that has no concrete basis in reality. If you feel that a stranger will be special, he or she probably will be. If your instincts tell you there is danger, there probably is. We need to stop rationalizing and intellectualizing the events in our lives. If we follow our instincts and listen to the faint voice in the back of our head, we may be able to discover the magic of a universe that doesn’t always conform to our preconceived rules and expectations.

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