CHAPTER 23 Who Ya Gonna Call? (and aside on Meditation)

Author: Tom Campbell. Link to original: (English).
Tags: meditation, science, theory of everything, time, время, всеобщая теория, медитация, наука Submitted by kostyazen 26.04.2012. Public material.
В этой главе Тома Кэмпбел дает рекомендации по медитации в стиле ТМ. Part of "My Big TOE" book by Tom Campbell. We're translating it with author's permission. In this chapter Tom Campbell tells his story of working with Robert Monroe.

Translations of this material:

into Russian: Глава 23. И к кому ты обратишься? (с большой сноской о медитации). Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required.
Submitted for translation by kostyazen 26.04.2012


True enough, in matters of evolution there is no free lunch. Nevertheless, contemplating and evaluating the ideas of others can be an immensely helpful aid to your progress, and to your effort to grow the quality of your consciousness. You do not need to figure everything out for yourself. The advice of others can be like having a map to guide your explorations. An incorrect map can send you off on a wild goose chase. You must evaluate the correctness of the map as you go – because, before you go, you can only guess and assume your way through a shallow evaluation of any map. A useful map must necessarily be somewhat general, whereas each journey must be individual and personal.

Before going on to the wholly new concepts of the next chapter, let’s first pull together what we have learned about the origins and consequences of belief and the requirements of personal growth so that those who are so inclined can get started on developing the experience base you will need to construct your personal Big TOE or, at least, evaluate this one.

In the preceding chapter we determined that you must do your own exploring and grow your own wisdom. You cannot progress by letting others do the work. To believe what someone else (including me) tells you (to become a believer) is lazy, risky, and amounts to accepting someone else’s belief or knowledge in place of your knowledge. Copying the behavior or beliefs of others, or reciting or memorizing their knowledge, cannot produce significant spiritual or personal growth for you. Although some guidance by a fellow explorer may help you better understand your challenges and choices, discovering Big Truth and increasing the quality of your consciousness is fundamentally an independent individual effort. Talking about it all day and all night with the greatest of gurus won’t produce one iota of real progress. Your lasting progress must be the result of your personal effort.

Personal growth can be achieved most efficiently and effectively when it is a product of good science. This is subjective science or personal science, not to be confused with either religion or objective science. Subjective science is the mother of objective science. Real personal science requires real, verifiable, measurable, objective results. Here, the word “results,” at the most basic level, refers to significant, sustained, verifiable progress toward the improvement of the quality of your conscious being, the evolution of mind, the growing-up and maturing of spirit. Why? Because that is the nature of the reality we live in. You will see that the physical nature as well as the spiritual nature of our reality is straightforwardly derived from the natural process of consciousness evolution. By the end of the next two sections, science will have logically derived the origins, nature, purpose, and mechanics of both spirituality (increasing consciousness quality through evolution) and your physical world.

You will eventually discover that our reality is fundamentally nonphysical (from a PMR perspective) and is animated and driven by profitability toward states of lower entropy. If your efforts do not produce measurable, significant growth, your personal science is only illusory. The knowledge gained through personal science continually and dramatically modifies itself as it grows and changes. On the other hand, cultural, personal, religious, or scientific belief systems require only a sincere belief in the assumed truth of their associated dogma, doctrine, and creed.

A belief system requires faith in the correctness of its beliefs. Because correctness is simply assumed, actual results are not required (correctness cannot be objectively demonstrated – that is the nature of belief). Mature and stable belief systems, including those generated by cultural, scientific and religious belief, once in place, do not tend to change. There is a logical disincentive to modify significantly what is, by definition, assumed to be complete and perfect. In contrast, the knowledge gained from mature personal scientific experience is always in continual flux. Open-minded skepticism and continual scientific exploration for new data make sure of that. The search for truth is, by its nature, in a constant state of discovery, refinement, assessment, and reassessment because new data continue to pour in as long as the individual is aware and interested in growth.

Honest truth seekers never become know-it-alls – there is always room to improve your self as well as your knowledge. When you know it all, when you believe that you have all the answers, you have, in fact, lost it all – nothing remains but a hollow shell.

You do not need any particular belief, disbelief, or faith to motivate you to start on this journey. You need only to grasp the possibility of a greater reality of some sort. After that, the desire to discover the truth should be motivation enough. Additionally, if this just-perhaps-possible larger reality is also potentially very important and significant to your life and being, nothing should hold you back from expending the necessary energy to explore the truth of the matter for yourself.

You can and should learn from others to the greatest extent possible, but you must grow yourself. Learning from those who have gone before can speed your progress; however, choosing those that you think you can best learn from is an iterative process that must constantly be reevaluated in light of your experience and your results. Those who can be most helpful, at any given time of your life, will change as you and your situation changes.

Do not get stuck in patterns, habits, or rituals. Do not look to groups or organizations to tell you what to do. Do not fall into belief traps. Have confidence in yourself. You not only can do it yourself, but you must do it yourself eventually, quickly or slowly, easily or with great struggle. We are all constantly evolving our consciousness. Evolution forces choice and change. Remaining the same by choosing the no action option is not possible. Change cannot be avoided. Change can take place as either positive growth or negative deterioration; the individual choices you make ultimately determine the direction (positive or negative) of your growth.

A good teacher provides encouragement, makes the learning experience more intense and more concentrated, and gives the student an opportunity to learn more quickly. Unfortunately, the more you need a good teacher, the less likely you are to be able to tell a good one from a bad one.

A good teacher focuses your effort to speed up your progress; a bad one misdirects your efforts and inhibits progress. Always stay skeptical, open-minded and belief free, and most of all, taste that pudding – continue to require and evaluate actual measurable results. If six months go by with no obvious measurable results, this indicates that you need to buckle down and get serious, or changed your approach.

Results, results, results, results. Actual, clear, un-subtle, measurable results – that is how you must evaluate the efficacy of your process. Intellectual knowledge and intellectual results are not the results I am referring to. These are no substitute for the real results of a growing, changing being. Knowing about it can be interesting and helpful, but it should never be confused with being it.

A change in the quality of your being, growth in the quality of your consciousness, evolution of your spirit: these are the results I am talking about – results of the being, not results of the intellect. It is about who you are, not what you know. It is about why you do what you do, not what you say, or what you do. When you start intending, doing, and being differently, you will produce measurable results. The tests you must pass are not written ones. Great factual knowledge cannot help you pass a test of the quality of your being. You are who and what you are – and it shows – no matter how good you might be at controlling your behavior with your intellect.

Truth is absolute, but how to discover it, and express it within your being, must be personal. Develop your tentative road map by applying open-minded skepticism to the experience and conjecture (theory) of others. Then modify that map as you collect your data. This makes good sense, and offers you the possibility of leveraging the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of others as you define your unique growth path. Adopting a set of beliefs is a comparatively unproductive and risky approach to the evolution of your being and the quality of your consciousness.

How do you go about increasing the quality of your consciousness? How do you purposely pursue the evolution of your spirit? If dogma, ritual, and intellectual or emotional group-gropes are out, how do you get from here to there on your own?

For the scientists who are wondering what consciousness and all this blather about spirituality has to do with physics, let me assure you that I have not lost my focus and that this discussion is directly on the path to a scientifically legitimate, more general theory of physics. However, we are now, and will be for some time, developing the necessary basic concepts required to construct this Big TOE. Because this is a Big TOE and not a little TOE, a larger perspective supported by several wholly new paradigms must be developed. This process may appear, from time to time, to wander through irrelevant, ridiculous, or far-out ideological territory but if you can maintain open-minded skepticism through the end of Section 6, you will eventually understand these unusual connections and their significance to science.

Because this is science and not theology, let me digress in the following aside on the process of getting from here (wherever you happen to be) to there (an increased quality of consciousness). The journey to higher quality consciousness is more simple and straightforward than you might think. I cannot promise easy and quick, but I can promise easy-to-do techniques and exercises that are simple and effective. For some it will be as easy as learning to swim, for others progress may come slowly; nevertheless, all dedicated and courageous explorers can succeed superbly if their desire to do so is sufficient.

# Because improving the quality of your consciousness (spiritual growth) is not, and cannot be, an intellectual achievement, it makes little difference how you intellectually approach the initiation of such improvements. How you start or what you do to improve the quality of your consciousness is insignificant compared to the act of starting. Additionally, an improvement in the quality of your being does not automatically flow from any external activity or practice. All you need is the will and the insuppressible drive (energy) to grow your being and the path, the process, to do so will appear before you. You are surrounded by opportunity to grow; your optimal path starts from wherever you are. I am talking about changing your being, intent, motivation, and attitude; modifying the quality of your interactions with others – changes in behavior and action (what you do) are secondary (results, not causes) and will follow on their own. Primary changes, when significant, are clear, obvious, and measurable to you and to others.

The evolution of consciousness is an extremely difficult concept for the Western mind to grasp because we are exclusively focused on the materially productive fact that right results are the products of right action. Westerners want to know what action they should take to get the results they want. Because they deal almost exclusively with external actions designed to produce external results they do not appreciate that internal results follow a different logic. What you are presently doing, how you live your life from day to day, is probably good enough as it is – what you need to change or improve is why you are doing it. When the “why” – the motivation and intent of what you do – is right, the “what” will take care of itself. Improving the “why” can start anywhere any time because it requires modifying internal variables, not external variables; nothing must change but you.

You can hope and pray for someone else to provide you with enlightenment (trust me, that won’t happen), or you can take the steps to develop and grow it. Do not expect to find shortcuts through the flypaper realms of religious, scientific, or personal dogma, or along the midway of a New Age carnival. You must keep your mind free to change and grow. The right question is: How has the fundamental quality of your being changed. The answer to that question defines the metric of your progress. Self-proclaimed success means nothing; progress must be demonstrated by clear and obvious results.

The answer to how the fundamental quality of your being has changed is either totally obvious to everyone (including yourself), or not much progress has been accumulated. Genuine results are not subtle. You and most other people, given enough time with an individual, have the capability to tell the difference between a wise and loving being and one that is only trying to appear that way. This is not rocket science; it is not difficult to determine if you are making real progress. A significant change in your capacity to love is as subtle as the healing of a badly broken leg – nobody, including you, could miss noticing the change.

Are you like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car – frozen, unable to take the first step? Because of our cultural belief that we must do something in PMR in order to affect change (even if that change is within our consciousness), most people are effectively paralyzed and cannot take that first step. “What should I do? Where should I start?” they ask, looking for a prescription or set of clearly directed “how to” steps. Improving the quality of your consciousness, energizing spiritual growth, and gaining a Big Picture perspective are not accomplished by changing what you do, but by changing what you are. Reread the previous sentence at least twice and think about your need for a physical process to develop your consciousness. You are a product of your culture – you cannot help that.

Spiritual growth, improving the quality of your consciousness, is about changing your attitude, expanding your awareness, outgrowing your fears, reducing your ego, and improving your capacity to love. To succeed, you must change your intent, and modify your motivation. The problem (and the solution) is one of being, not one of doing. You can do everything by the book, meditate regularly, be conscientious, try very hard, go through the proper prescribed motions and still make little progress. Going through the motions does nothing if the mind is not open to, and in pursuit of, fundamental internal change.

The prospect of fundamental internal change can be very frightening. When change begins to occur, many people run away because they are terrified of the unknown. They are afraid of where the changes may lead (which is often directly into the face of their fear) and of not being able to intellectually control the process. They find that shaking the foundation of their being at its deepest level is too unsettling an activity. What if the entire I-structure comes tumbling down into ruins? The ego begins to fear its own dissolution and death.

Fear and belief cause many well-meaning people to reject fundamental internal change, particularly if their beliefs are incompatible with the required changes. Instead of embracing change and facing fears, many would-be spiritual seekers focus on the external rituals associated with some type of mental or spiritual discipline: They go to church or learn to meditate. Many meditators and a few churchgoers hope to produce measurable external changes and to have cool internal metaphysical experiences.

In the West, meditation is acultural and an individual, rather than a social, activity. Most church goers continue their attendance out of social convenience, habit, duty, or cultural expectation – whereas most meditators eventually decide that meditation does not do anything for them, or at least not enough to be worth the effort and time required for a long-term commitment. A few of each group pretend their effort has made them superior. The more honest and objective of the failed meditators give up in frustration or due to a simple lack of interest and soon forget about it. “I tried spiritual exercises, and they didn’t work for me.”

Practicing some form of meditation to effect external change, gain paranormal abilities, placate the guilt of doing nothing, or simply because you think you should, is analogous to a carpenter trying to build cabinets while holding the screwdriver and hammer by the wrong ends. All the pieces are there, but the execution is flawed. Make the required internal changes and the measurable external changes will occur on their own. You have to grab the screwdriver and hammer by the wooden end or you will come to the erroneous conclusion that they are useless tools that only someone else can effectively use. Or, more arrogantly, that nobody could use such stupid tools, that cabinets are a logical impossibility, and that all carpenters are delusional frauds and fools.

You must realize that you cannot modify being merely by taking physical action within the local physical reality. Westerners have a particularly difficult time understanding this fact and often feel helpless without a way to compel results from the outside. The opportunity to bolt to personal success and freedom by employing a more complete knowledge is lost in a culturally conditioned false commitment to the little picture. Belief traps are bigger problems than most of us think they are.

I know, after all that, you still want to know what you should do, how you can best modify your being, and what the most effective techniques are. Let me guess, you feel that you could use a hint – a little help, a little direction to get started. All right, all right, I give up! To help you get started here are some things you can do that may lead to opportunities to grow your being; however, it is entirely up to you to recognize, seize, and develop the opportunities that come your way. You already have plenty of opportunities, but let’s pretend that by doing what I am going to tell you, more obvious and easier opportunities will appear before you. That will get us started with a hopeful, positive attitude.

What is more likely to happen is that by conscientiously working at the following exercises, your perspective will change, enabling you to see opportunities that are now as invisible to you as water is to a fish that lives two miles down in the middle of a four mile deep ocean. With no light and only a dim awareness, the fish knows nothing of water. Water just is, has always been, and is taken for granted. The fish does not ponder the nature of water, it swims in it. We swim in an ocean of consciousness. We are not aware of the ocean, but only of our local interactions with it.

The first and most necessary ingredient is a sincere desire to grow the quality of your consciousness – to evolve your being – to permanently change yourself at a deeply personal level. The second most necessary ingredient is to have the courage to change – the courage to face your fears – to face death and personal destruction, for that is the story your ego will tell (and try to get you to believe) when it comes whining to you with its tail between its legs hoping to dissuade you from increasing the quality of your consciousness.

Why would your sweet little ego do a mean thing like that? Because the ego’s main job is to keep you feeling good by managing various systems of belief that are designed to keep your fears beyond the reach of your intellectual awareness. Increasing the quality of your consciousness requires you to face your fears, overcome them, and dissolve your ego. You should expect the ego to struggle mightily. *

## Ego does not necessarily imply arrogant self-centeredness. Ego comes in an infinite array of expressions – arrogance is only one. Being timid, unsure, or a worrier are also manifestations of ego. Insecurity and anxiety about that insecurity are common. How each personality expresses that insecurity and anxiety reflects individual quality and style. The strategies that are used to deal with fear, though common at the top level, are uniquely applied to each individual. Great ego reflects great fear; it does not necessarily reflect great arrogance or great pride, though it may reflect both. Self-centered, self-focused, and self-absorbed are three of the many possible aspects of ego – each of these three can be directed either inwardly (producing timidity) or outwardly (producing arrogance) to create personality traits that appear to be opposite.

Courage and determination will grow sufficiently to overcome fear if the intent to succeed is sufficiently strong, steady, and clear.

I will more carefully define ego and explain its functions (how it works and achieves its goals) in an aside in Chapter 8, Book 2. Go there now if you are seriously confused. **

# The most obvious pathway to the exploration of consciousness is through the exploration of your personal consciousness – a scientific investigation of your subjective experience. Studying consciousness from the outside (objectively) is like studying biology by looking at pictures of zoo animals. Consciousness is fundamentally individual and personal. Our objective sense of consciousness is derived from the reflection of our personal consciousness from the uniquely curvy surface of a mirror that we call “another.”

Our objective experience of other consciousness is the result of an interaction of our personal consciousness (representing one set of possible choices or ways of being) with another, which suggests to us new configurations, interactions, and possibilities for our being. We project our awareness of consciousness into “other,” define the nature of “other” in terms of ourselves, and thus see only a reflection of ourselves in the mirror of interaction with “other.”

To preserve the symmetry of interaction, we also serve as a uniquely shaped mirror in which others can see themselves reflected in challenging new ways. Within this fun-house hall of interactive mirrors, your consciousness is a singular actor. Opportunities for change arise, choices are made, reality is actualized, and progress or regression in terms of personal growth is achieved. Your conscious awareness defines your personal reality. There are as many different shades and levels of personal reality as there are of personal awareness. “Other” provides opportunity for the improvement of the quality of your consciousness by accurately reflecting the truth of you.

If improved consciousness quality along with personal effectiveness, growth, and power are your goals, approaching consciousness from the inside, from the scientific exploration of inner space, is the only logical approach that delivers results. An approach from the outside will limit you to collecting the facts about the shadow that consciousness projects upon the wall of PMR.

We project our personal consciousness onto the field of action of a multi-player interactive reality game whose point is our individual growth and learning. The experience of consciousness, as well as the evolution of consciousness through choice, is entirely personal. However, an awareness of a larger (source) consciousness and an understanding of its properties are accessible through scientifically probing and objectively assessing the value and operational characteristics of the subjective experience of personal consciousness.

One method of accomplishing an assessment of subjective inner space is through meditation. Learning to meditate is like learning to play a musical instrument: It takes a serious steady effort before you should expect to make music instead of screeching noises. It takes dedication over a much longer time before you can master the basics of the instrument and play it well. Unfortunately, most people who pick up an instrument and give it a try give up before they ever learn to play it well. So it is with meditation.

As mentioned previously, going through the motions, or in this analogy, pretending to play an instrument, regardless of how perfect or impressive the visual (external) display, produces no significant results.

There are many effective paths to personal growth – meditation is only one. Within the wide range of practices that circumscribe what we have loosely defined as meditation, there are many different types, approaches, and methods. Because it is the easiest, most effective, and universally applicable, a simple mental-awareness meditation is the path of choice for most teachers and students who have no dogma to propagate. Within this subset of meditation, there are many differing techniques. The technique you choose is not as important as the application of steady effort – so choose a technique that suits you. Within this genre of meditation, you do not actually have to learn how to meditate; you need only to learn how to stop blocking the meditation state from occurring naturally.

Though we are pursuing the dubious subject of what you can do in order to undo what you have inadvertently done, I will help you out here because I know your cultural beliefs force you to begin with a physical process. It will be helpful to your doing and undoing if you understand meditation – its purpose and how it works. With this understanding, you can custom design your own personal spiritual growth doing thing – a physical and mental process that may lead you toward a higher quality of being. The doing process cannot get you there by itself, but it can serve as the on-ramp.

The meditation state that I encourage you to achieve represents a condition of inner attentiveness wherein you become aware of your personal consciousness. This, in time, leads to the awareness that you are a unit of consciousness among many such units. Eventually, you will regain your fundamental identity as a spiritual (nonphysical) entity – as well as understand your relationship, your oneness, with all consciousness. Personal growth is a natural result of meditation.

Becoming aware of your consciousness is analogous to that fish becoming aware of water. The fish is aware only of its interaction with water. It experiences water through doing, through action, through its objective causal interactions with water. Yet water has existence and significance in its own right beyond the interactions of that and other fish. To become aware of water, one must differentiate between water and a subset of the properties of water. The fish is aware only of the latter.

The fish experiences water only in terms of its limited interactions (experience). It experiences variations in current, temperature, salinity, viscosity, and dynamic limitations, but does it actually experience water in a fundamental or broad sense? Is the fish right? Is water nothing more than the sensed variations in its properties? Does water with no variations in its properties cease to exist as water, or does it simply become an invisible background to the fish because the fish can no longer perceive it? To appreciate your and the fish’s limitations, imagine the perfect sensory deprivation tank where your local environment disappears because of zero input to your senses. Granted, this is not a perfect analogy, but you get the idea. When you are totally immersed in something, such as cultural belief systems for example, that something often becomes invisible because you cannot differentiate it from the background of your local reality – there is no contrast to bring it to the attention of your senses. Consciousness is like that.

Like the fish, we define our consciousness in terms of our doing – in terms of the physical actions it allows us to take. The major attribute of consciousness can be summed up as awareness, yet we and our fish brethren are aware only of what we can physically do with it, how we interact with a subset of its properties. Moreover, we can only interact with that subset of properties that is contrasted enough against the invisible background of primal consciousness for us to notice. We create a foreground of contrasts, relationships, and variations in the fabric of absolute consciousness that we define as representing ourselves. “See that cute little wad of wrinkles in the fabric of consciousness? That’s me!” But you are more than the wrinkles; you are also consciousness, a piece of the whole. Meditation lets us experience the invisible background of consciousness. It lets us notice the water itself, not just variations and contrasts in its local properties relative to an invariant constant.

The point of meditation is to enable you to become aware of your consciousness and thereby introduce you to your larger self. Becoming aware of your consciousness at a fundamental level will eventually lead you to see the real you, the complete you, the whole you, the sacred and the soiled – fears and all. Without the ego to hide the scary parts by inventing an attention-getting “I vs. other” delusional contrast, it is not always a pretty sight.

How does meditation lead you to experience your consciousness? By turning down the contrast, noise, and other activity that make up the busy foreground – by turning down, and eventually turning off, the cacophony of mental interactions, judgments, and operational processes. To become aware of your consciousness (as opposed to being aware of the thoughts that inhabit your consciousness) you must eliminate the obsessive preoccupations most of us have with ego based self-definition – the contrasts that you use to define yourself against the relatively unchanging, invisible background of your individual consciousness. Meditation is thus an act of not doing. It is an exercise in removing enough of the contrasting clutter of your mind to get a glimpse of the real you.

Individual consciousness is a subset of absolute consciousness. You are not only the clutter, the wrinkles, the ego, the thoughts – even if that is how you unwittingly define yourself. You are much more than that. Meditation allows you to discover that fact in a uniquely personal way. That is its purpose – self-discovery – a glimpse of the fundamental reality of which you are an integral part.

This discovery is possible for humans because, at least theoretically, our memory capacity and processing capability are somewhat greater (and contain less entropy) than that of the average fish. The fish will never directly experience or contemplate unvarying water (the fish equivalent to total sensory deprivation), but you can experience the fundamental nature of your consciousness if you truly want to. If your desire to know yourself and to know the truth at the deepest level of your existence is not strong enough to provide the necessary focus, energy, and persistence required to succeed, you are not yet ready to begin that journey. There is no rush and no penalty for not being ready. It is much better to wait until you are ready than to push yourself into a state of self-limiting frustration.

Do you see why meditation is almost universally prescribed as the first step – the doorway to understanding and exploring consciousness, as well as to the attainment of spiritual growth? It makes sense that a program to develop your consciousness should naturally start with finding and becoming acquainted with that consciousness. There are other methods, but they apply less universally, are more difficult to learn, and are much more difficult to teach. Meditation will work wonderfully when you are ready. You may first need to work on getting ready by developing an honest desire to grow spiritually and the courage to pursue Big Truth to its conclusion. You may need to first overcome some of the fear and cultural beliefs to which you have become attached.

How does meditation clear out the clutter and reduce the noise level of a mind caught in a self-referential endless loop of obfuscating circular logic? The technique is simple and straightforward – the trappings of ritual, dogma, belief, and physical process are mostly irrelevant. You simply stop the incessant operational, self-referential, contrast producing chatter of the mind by filling the mind up with something less distracting, less self-focused and less obsessively driven. While the mind is preoccupied with non-operative busy-work, you can experience the still center of your being. Eventually, after much practice, you can let go of the mental busy-work and explore the larger reality of consciousness from an imperturbable, still, and quiet place that will slowly develop and grow larger at the center of your being.

Some traditions call this mental busy-work assignment a “mantra.” Traditionally this is a sound of some sort, but in this Big TOE we are bound only by science, not tradition. We quickly move to toss belief, dogma, and ritual out of the window and focus, by experimental result, only on the active ingredients of mantra. Science allows the concept of mantra to be generalized to accommodate the various ways we take in and process information through our five senses. Typically, people tend to take in most of their experiential input data through their ears (auditory), eyes (visual) or sense of touch (kinesthetic). Many people absorb information more effectively through one of these avenues of data input than they do through the others. Over the previous decade or so, the popular literature is full of assessments of personality type and characteristics by data input preference. It makes no sense to force everyone down the traditional auditory path – some people simply do not get it that way.

If you are not now successfully meditating, and have no idea where or how to find a suitable technique to do so, I will provide to you, free of charge – for this one time only – a mentally calming busy work mantra custom made for your personal mind that is based upon each of the dominant perception types. Simply use the one or combination that seems to work the best for you. For those more heavily into smell and taste than the average humanoid form, I am sure that you can follow the three examples given to custom fit a smelly or yummy mantra to suit your individual preferences.

After explaining each mantra, I will, against my better judgment, tell you what you can do with them. Oh, no, not like that – I wouldn’t be that rude! I understand that your Western mind-set needs to begin everything with physical process whether it makes sense or not.

Those who seriously want to get started on their spiritual journey, but find themselves caught in the headlights of physical action-reaction causality, will now have something to do. It may or may not help you improve the quality of your consciousness – that depends on you – but it will give the committed doers a place to start. Often that is what is needed – a place to start – a doable approach to the problem of how to modify the quality of your being. This could be the step you need to break free from the mesmerizing glare of those cultural beliefs that reduce, rather than extend, your vision. Try it: You may surprise yourself with some dramatic results.

For the audio types, we need a sound that means nothing, is two syllables, and ends in a soothing or vibratory sound. Here are a few examples of proven quality – take your pick or make up one of your own: “sehr-ring”, “da-room”, “ra-zing”, “ca-ouhn”, “sah-roon”, and “sher-loom.” For a simple multi-syllable repetitive string (chant), try: “ah-lum-bar-dee-dum – ah-lum-baa-dee-dum.” When the “bar” and “baa” regularly interchange themselves effortlessly, you will be well on your way. These are sounds, not words – it is important that they carry no intellectual meaning. The point of this exercise is to quiet your operative intellect so that you can experience consciousness directly by reducing the variations, comparisons, and contrasts that your ego-intellect imposes upon consciousness.

Feel free to mix and match – put any of the first syllables in front of any of the second syllables to produce no fewer than thirty-six unique mantras. For most people, it won’t make much difference which sound is used, but if one sound feels more natural than the others, use it. Obsessive-compulsive types should take care not to get wrapped around the axle trying to find the best one – any will do.

Lighten up; do not be intense and serious. Have no expectations. Sit in a comfortable quiet place where you will not be disturbed, close your eyes, and fill your mind with the sound of your chosen mantra – no need to make an actual sound. Focus your attention on the sound. Let the sound fill your mind – think of nothing else. Use whatever devices you need to stay focused on the sound – merely listen to it repeat itself. The repetition may be simple and straightforward or occur in interesting ways – perhaps with complex variations.

Eventually, let the sound of the mantra slow to a rhythmic, bland repetition and then slow and smear further into a continuous background sound. If thoughts creep in, gently put them aside and refill your mind with the sound. If intruding thoughts constantly stream into your awareness, give the mantra a more active form. As thoughts disappear, leaving your mind empty, simplify and soften the sound of the mantra. Continue the meditation process uninterrupted for at least twenty minutes, twice a day for three months before evaluating the results. If the sound slips away, but no extraneous thoughts appear, let it go and drift in the quiet blankness of your consciousness – you will love it.

Visual types need a non-personal visualization that begins with complexity (but not detail) and ends with simplicity. You may start with a black and white soccer ball – then let the colors change to red and blue, let the ball begin to rotate slowly, let the colors change. Your image should be as clear as a watercolor painting, not as precise as a high-resolution photograph. Switch to a series of simple geometric shapes such as spheres, cubes, circles, triangles, cylinders, rectangles, and lines. Let them rotate slowly. Slowly change their size and colors. Choose one shape and let it change very slowly. Watch your images intently – think of nothing else.

Gradually progress your images toward greater simplicity and slower motion. Do not force the images; let them do what they want to as long as they do not disturb your tranquility. Look at your images uncritically and dispassionately, as if you were watching a plotless movie. If thoughts creep in, gently put them aside and refill your mind with more active images. Continue the meditation process uninterrupted for at least twenty minutes, twice a day for three months before evaluating the results. If the images slip away, but no extraneous thoughts appear, let them go and drift in the still oneness of your consciousness.

If you enjoy natural places, you might start with a scene – perhaps a generic beach. Hear the waves, feel the sand, smell the salt spray, listen to the sea gulls. Be there with all of your senses. Slowly simplify your image and focus on a few items at a time. Eventually you may narrow your focus to a single grain of sand. Go in close to inspect the tiny crystal from every angle. Choose the viewing angle you prefer and see how the light plays off the surface of the crystal. Back away until you can barely see its surface features. Hold that view as only you and the grain of sand quietly coexist within the void.

Choose images that particularly suit you. Be careful not to try too hard, and do not struggle with high resolution, image quality, or anything else. Images may be felt as well as seen. Struggling to make your meditation be how you think it should be is always counterproductive. No expectations. No struggle. No demands. The point is not to force your will on the process, but to let the process unfold naturally as it captivates your attention.

Remember that what you are trying to do without trying is to not do. Read that sentence again – don’t you just love it? If it makes sense to you, you are on your way. If it sounds like idiotic gibberish you should go back to the beginning of this aside and start over – but don’t get stuck in an endless loop – twice is enough.

For the kinesthetic types, we need textures that are non-personal, interesting and pleasant. For example, feel a rich velvet or fur coat as you mentally rub your hands slowly over it. Dig into it with your fingers, feel it rub across your arms and face. Explore the buttons or zipper, the seams, sleeves, and collar. Become tiny (or create a giant coat) and roll around on it, crawl into a pocket. Slowly let your sensing of the coat become simple and rhythmic. You might do the same thing with walking barefoot in squishy mud, or walking in the rain, or swimming in a pool filled with grape jelly. Start with complexity and progress to more and more simple rhythmic sensory stimulations. If thoughts creep in, gently put them aside and refill your mind with the sensations. Continue the meditation process uninterrupted for at least twenty minutes, twice a day for three months before evaluating the results. If the sensations slip away, but no extraneous thoughts appear, let the sensations go and drift aimlessly in the boundless depths of your consciousness.

Smell and taste mantras would work similarly to the kinesthetic mantra above. Use your imagination. Do not be afraid to mix and match the senses; combine them in ways that work for you. Have no intellectual or emotional connection to your mantra. Maintain only enough complexity to keep extraneous thoughts away – nothing should be in your mind except the sound, sight, feel, taste, or smell of the mantra. As intruding thoughts become less of a problem, simplify your mantra. When you no longer need it to maintain a state of blank thoughtless existence, let it go. *

## Speaking of experiencing a state of thoughtless existence through meditation – let’s do another ego-tweak – a real blatant one this time – and have some fun.

Hey ladies, why do you think most spiritual gurus are men? Think about it. Do you give up? Because, men are born thoughtless and remain that way the rest of their lives! Why else?

Oooh…what a low blow!

Uh oh, easy fellows, I was only kidding – just a little double-entendre word play. Come on now…what’s the matter guys? Remember the rules: peace and light – no violence until after I leave.

Oh well, at least the ladies thought it was funny – they get it. **

# The point here is to learn to control your thoughts and your operative mind so that you can experience your consciousness. This is a first and necessary step. Later you can learn how to direct that consciousness once you have freed it from a noisy, frantic, ego serving, perpetual tail chase. Do not try to direct it too soon – that will only delay your progress – get in touch with, and follow, the source of your intuition. Do not pursue or chase after specific or general results. All results must come to you. If you go after them, it will only delay your progress.

Continue to experiment and to taste the pudding periodically. Natural, easy, patient, and gentle are the hallmarks of a successful process. Result driven, ego driven, success driven, frustrated, forced, fearful, and having preconceived notions and expectations are the hallmarks of a wrong-headed flawed execution of the meditation process.

Experiment to find what works best and what feels most natural to you. After you find it, stick with it for a while. If thoughts intrude, as soon as you realize that your mind is no longer exclusively working with the mantra, put them gently aside. If thoughts continue to come, increase the complexity of your mantra a little. As thoughts disappear and do not return, decrease the complexity. Never try too hard. If you ever become frustrated, you are trying too hard. This is most important: Have absolutely no expectations and no specific goals.

This is also important: Do not begin to judge how well or poorly your meditation is working until you have found and implemented a productive meditation process twice daily for at least three to six months – then taste the pudding.

Do not analyze or compare, just experience – this is not an intellectual exercise and your analyzing justifying intellect will only get in the way. Never force the mantra – go with it, flow with it, and let whatever happens happen – this is a gentle activity with no preconceived notions of what the outcome should be or feel like. There will be plenty of time for evaluation and pudding tasting after you gain some basic competence. There must be a time to be critical, but not now – you do not know enough to be productively critical yet.

Let every meditation be an entirely new and unique experience. Do not force every meditation experience to be like a previous experience that was judged to be a good one. Continue tasting the pudding at three month intervals. Look for the existence of measurable results in the form of objective changes in your being. After six months, ask people who are close to you if they notice a change in your approach to life. Be aware of your mental state, and how that state changes as the meditation progresses. Customize your meditation to suit yourself. Your meditation should become easier, more effective, and more efficient over time. Be patient, do not rush the process – trying to speed-up or push the process will only delay your progress.

Pay careful attention to the choices you make throughout your day. Examine your motivations and intent relative to those choices. By an act of your will, modify your intents to be more giving, caring, loving, and to be less self-serving. Shift the focus from you, from what you want, need and desire, to what you can give to, and do for, others. In the same manner, change where and how you invest the energy that follows your intent in your relationships and interactions with other people.

Examine your motivations and intent as described above immediately before and after, but not during, each meditation. You must be consistent – that is most important. Once you get used to the exercise, thirty minutes twice a day is enough to accomplish both the meditation and the examination of your choices – take more if you wish, but much more is not necessary.

If you constantly end up in a state of frustration instead of a state of expanded awareness, let go, back off, and take a break until you can find a different perspective, a different attitude, or a different intent. Try a different mantra. Perhaps you are trying too hard. Perhaps you are limited by your belief and fear, or lack the necessary courage and drive. Perhaps you need to read and follow the instructions more carefully. Perhaps you are using a meditation technique that does not suit you. Perhaps you are not ready at this time. Don’t worry: Everything works out in its own time. There is no blame, no reason to feel badly, and no failure on your part. Continue to apply the meditation process gently and consistently and one day, when you relax, success will take you by surprise.

Everyone grows in their own way and in their own time. No one faults children for not being adults, though most children wish they were adults. There is no practical technique that allows you to skip steps. You are who and what you are – accept that gracefully. Work on getting ready by continuing to practice the given exercises gently and with no expectations. There is no faster process or better way to get ready than that.

Thus, we see that getting prepared and ready to grow, as well as actively progressing along a growth path, as well as optimizing the growth path that you are on, all follow the same prescription. It matters not what your initial conditions are or where your starting point is, the same set of meditation exercises is optimal and appropriate for all. That is why virtually everyone who wishes to follow the Path of Knowledge toward spiritual growth, toward improving the quality of their consciousness, is instructed to begin with daily meditation. Each individual will naturally extract from their meditation what they need for their next step. This personalization of the growth process takes place naturally because each individual is essentially engaged in a “bootstrapping” (pulling themselves up by their bootstraps) operation with his or her own consciousness. The meditation experience is as individual and personal as is your consciousness.

This is a life’s work; it takes significant time to take root, blossom and bear fruit. Results will accrue in proportion to the energy that is invested productively. For example, with moderate effort, significant results should become obvious within six months to a year. Continue to apply the meditation process with gentle resolve; there is no rush, no test, and no diploma. You have all the time you need to get it right. Some will get it right away; others may take a long time. Gracefully accept however it comes to you – you have no choice. A teacher can only encourage and facilitate the evolution of your consciousness by helping you find opportunities to exploit on your own – spiritual growth, as any growth, is an internal process and cannot be forced from the outside.

Hopefully, these meditation exercises have addressed your need for a physical process to facilitate positive consciousness development. However, in doing so, I may have created a new problem for you – how to deal with the frustration that is often created by the inadequacy of doing to produce dramatic spiritual progress quickly. The Western attention span is notoriously short. To make matters worse, dramatic results are often required to overcome strongly opposing cultural belief systems. The fact is that progress in meditation, like progress in playing a musical instrument, usually accrues slowly and only becomes dramatic after significant time and effort has been invested. Progress accrues by the accumulation of many unnoticeable tiny successes. Take the long view and have patience.

Westerners caught in the glaring headlights of their cultural beliefs desperately need something to do before they become spiritual road kill – run-over by mindless conformity and a blind obedience to the cultural norm. Thump! Splat! Oh jeez, what a mess! All the king’s horses and all the king’s men will have a difficult time getting that one back on the road to spiritual progress again.

Actually, it is unfair of me to pick on Westerners as being particularly limited by needing to do something in order to be something. Most Easterners are in the same doing-fixated boat. Their do-boat may appear to be bigger – not as confining perhaps – but just as limiting. Doing within a spiritual-cultural tradition is as problematical and unproductive as doing within a material-cultural tradition.

If you are so inclined, you now have something productive to do as well as an expanded perspective on the limitations and personal nature of that doing. *

You now know what to do and how to do it, and if you settle in for the long haul with a serious commitment to finding Big Truth, you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

© © Tom Campbell, 09-09-2002. License: All rights reserved