How to Know?

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” –Goethe

As came up in my last radio interview, there are quite a few different points of view regarding otherworldly or ‘non-human’ entities who have, are or will influence our world – angels, demons, aliens, ancient gods, ethereal masters, spirit guides and the like. Debate arises when one attempts to determine, are they good guys or not, and how do we know for sure? Early on in my blog I touched on this; Aliens: Gods or Demons? is one example, and True Masters is another angle, along with my article The Good Guys.

My mission is to attempt to help people find and use their own sense of discernment in these matters. It’s why I wrote my book. The truth is within us; in fact this is one way to tell if a guide is really a friend or not – they will tell you (if they tell you anything at all, for real good guys rarely interfere): the truth is within yourself. We just have to learn to access it. That’s what good guys like Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Krishnamurti, Ueshiba and others have tried to explain. It’s also why in my book I placed much of their wisdom next to topics like UFOs and secret societies; it’s a great way to learn how to think about such things. There is a Way to Know. The Chinese called this Way the Tao. It’s pulsing through you right now. Do you have the ears to hear?

…Over twelve years ago, a group of individuals from several different worlds gathered at a discreet location in our solar system near earth for the purpose of observing the alien intervention that is occurring in our world. From their hidden vantage point, they were able to determine the identity, organization and intentions of those visiting our world and monitor the visitors’ activities. This group of observers call themselves the ‘Allies of Humanity.’” You can read their first book free online here (Thanks, Kingsley). Their message is to warn us that the various “alien visitors” to our world have not come to “promote the advancement of humanity or the spiritual education of humanity…As has occurred in your own world in your own history, the first to reach the new lands are the explorers and the conquerors. They do not come for altruistic reasons. They come seeking power, resources and dominion…The challenge is for humanity to understand who its allies really are and to be able to distinguish them from its potential adversaries.” According to the Allies, spiritually advanced races do not engage in regular space travel, commerce or interfere with other worlds – they prefer to remain unseen.

“They bad guys love to disguise themselves as the good guys,”- Surfing the Tao: A Revolution of Free Will. The Allies write, “The visitors will try and create the impression that they are ‘the allies of humanity.’ They will say they are here to save humanity from itself, that only they can offer the great hope that humanity cannot provide for itself, that only they can establish true order and harmony in the world. But this order and this harmony will be theirs, not yours. And the freedom that they promise will not be yours to enjoy.” These visitors seek to gain our “trust and… devotion,” telling people they’re here to “uplift humanity spiritually, to give humanity new hope, new blessings and new power…once this allegiance is established, it becomes increasingly difficult for people to discern what they know within themselves from what is being told to them. It is a very subtle but very pervasive form of persuasion and manipulation.” “Subtlety is the name of the game.”-Surfing the Tao.

So how do we know? The Allies claim not to want any relationship with our world, nor will they interfere on our behalf; rather they say they are only here to help us advance mentally and spiritually to the point where we can discern and act for ourselves before it’s too late. In contrast to the ‘visitors’, they “advocate a spirituality…not the spirituality that is governed by nations, government of political alliances, but a natural spirituality – the ability to know, to see and to act…In the Greater Community, spirituality is embodied in what we call Knowledge, Knowledge meaning the intelligence of Spirit and the movement of Spirit within you. This empowers you to know rather than only believe. This gives you immunity from persuasion and manipulation, for Knowledge cannot be manipulated by any worldly power or force…If you can respond to Knowledge and learn a Greater Community Way of Knowledge, you will be able to see these things for yourself. Then you will confirm our words rather than only believe them or deny them. The Creator is making this possible, for the Creator wills that humanity prepare for its future…Knowledge enables you to think in a number of ways, to act spontaneously, to perceive reality beyond the obvious and to experience the future and the past.”

Are these “Allies” good guys themselves? Look within yourself for answers. Dharmacist Edward Namerdy in his book Another Place in Space wisely suggests we “see what we believe,” rather than merely “believe what we see.” Lao Tzu said, “The Master observes the world but trusts his inner vision.” From Ueshiba, “On occasion the Voice of Peace resounds like thunder, jolting human beings out of their stupor.” Bernard Bromage wrote, “The wise man is he whose ears are very attuned to the Divine Whisperer, and who, through all the delusions of a cheaper civilization, hears the Voice.” And lastly, from Hosea 14:9,”Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them.”

Tao Te Ching

If you want to be a great leader,
You must learn to follow the Tao.
Stop trying to control.
Let go of fixed plans and concepts,
And the world will govern itself.

The more prohibitions you have,
The less virtuous people will be.
The more weapons you have,
The less secure people will be.
The more subsidies you have,
The less self-reliant people will be.

There fore the Master says:
I let go of the law,
And people become honest.
I let go of economics,
And people become prosperous.
I let go of religion,
And people become serene.
I let go of all desire for the common good,
And the good becomes common as grass. -#57

Lao Tzu says it so much better than I could. One imagines our world is too far gone now to try not-doing – and yet, we can all learn from this wisdom, and dream of a better world.

American Patriotism

The Random House dictionary defines a patriot as one who “defends his or her country and its interests,” but it also regards a patriot as a “defender, esp. of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.”

Our country today is troubled not only with another war abroad, but with a war of words at home. On one side are those who defend the present government without question. They are angered by those on the other side, who speak out against policies and decisions made by those in power today. Both sides claim patriotism, but to what? Could it be that our differing definitions of ‘patriotism’ could be undermining the stability of the very country we are all claim to be defending? Lao Tzu wrote in his Tao Te Ching, “When the country falls into chaos, patriotism is born.” Has it gotten that bad already?

The Revolutionary War was fought by so-called ‘patriots’ – those who sought freedom from a government they didn’t agree with. Did Britain consider them to be patriots? In a sense these ‘patriots’ were actually rebels, engaged in what they considered to be a righteous rebellion against tyranny. Adlai Stevenson said, “Do not… regard the critics as questionable patriots. What were Washington and Jefferson and Adams but profound critics of the colonial status quo?”

And what issues did our founding fathers have with this ‘tyrannical’ rule of the time? Our forefathers sought freedom from taxation without representation; they sought religious freedom; they sought freedom of speech and expression; they sought self-rule. The resulting Declaration of Independence and Constitution attempted to provide a satisfactory alternative to rule by monarchy.

Especially since 9/11, many argue that some of these freedoms have been curtailed, ironically by the USA Patriot Act, and other acts of government in which the general population had no say. Was it done, as they say, to protect our freedom? I suppose, as I believe Donald Rumsfeld once said, that we can have freedom or security, but not both. Of course now we are at war as well, and many cry out in against those who choose not to support our government in this effort, claiming such people are un-patriotic.

I support our troops without question. Those men and women didn’t start the war, they are just doing their duty, which happens to be following orders – many times to the death. I applaud these people for their fortitude and stamina in this seemingly unending war against terrorism. Regardless of the arguments some make about Iraq not having WMDs, or that Iraq didn’t destroy the WTC, or that war is a means to profit for the elite – these men and women in uniform aren’t to blame and should have our gratitude and respect.

But to call someone un-patriotic for questioning their government? Of course the government itself feels slighted, so as Henry Steele Commager said, “Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.” But going back again to the days of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, certainly these men would support the right to speak out. They hoped the republic they created would provide a balance between the rulers and the ruled. They provided the right to free speech and to bear arms – not so people could run around yelling and killing each other, but so they could defend themselves from a dishonest government if need be. Certainly the citizenry will not always agree on whether this is the case – but don’t we have the right to disagree? Shouldn’t we at the very least respect each other’s opinion, and take the time to listen to each other? Isn’t that really what it means to be an American?

If you research famous quotes on patriotism the result is surprising. Those who refuse to question the policies of our government might be advised to reread a little history. It’s our job as patriots! I saw a bumper sticker once which said, “Sometimes a patriot needs to defend his country against its government.” And along those lines many famous people have spoken out over the years.

From Teddy Roosevelt, “To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” (1918)

From Mark Twain: “The government is merely a servant — merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.”

From James Baldwin: “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

From Edward R. Murrow: “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.”

To be loyal to America doesn’t mean to sit back and allow one administration or another the power to make decisions without debate or dissent. To be a loyal American is to stand up for our original freedoms, to stand up as our forefathers did, as ‘rebellious patriots’, and fight for the rights that made our country great – particularly the right to disagree, without repercussion. This is the heart and soul of America, and when that is gone, then we become Americans in name only. Some argue, this has already happened, but as long as this article remains posted we still have a chance.

Someday soon, I fear, being an “American” could become a thing of the past, in name as well. As Ronald Reagan famously said in 1985, “I couldn’t help but say to [Mr. Gorbachev], just think how easy his task and mine might be in these meetings that we held if suddenly there was a threat to this world from another planet. [We’d] find out once and for all that we really are all human beings here on this earth together.” If we are truly on the road to world government, as many believe, we as Americans will have a lot more to fight for someday. If our sovereignty is ever threatened, I can only hope that all Americans – those on both sides of the ‘patriot’ argument today – will come together to defend her from those who seek ultimate power. As Daniel Webster said in 1850, “I was born an American; I will live an American; I shall die an American!”

The Tao of Buddha

“Few cross over the river.

Most are stranded on this side.

On the riverbank they run up and down.

But the wise person, following the way,

Crosses over, beyond the reach of death…”

-Teachings of the Buddha (from the Dhammapada, trans. Thomas Byrom)

The Buddha was born a prince in ancient India, and raised in wealthy seclusion. He began to see the misery of much of the rest of the world as he grew older. He left home as a young man to seek the truth of what he found, hoping to find an end to the sorrows of human existence. He lived for awhile as an ascetic in the forests, but soon realized he had found no further wisdom in such a life. He one day realized that peace of mind and freedom of spirit could be found in a simple life of balance. He called his teachings the Dharma, or “Way”. (Remember that “Tao” is Chinese for “Way”.)

The word ‘Buddha’ means ‘one who is awake’. The Buddhist tradition attempts to teach the experience of ‘awakening to the truth of life’. They seek to liberate the body and the mind from the materialism of the world, offering instead a Middle Path of peace and balance.

Buddha’s words are in fact strikingly similar in spirit to those of Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching. Of course the religious practices that have developed down the ages took different angles. However, if we consider the original words passed down by these two sages, it begins to seem as if they were both talking about the same realizations – and indeed much the same Way to live.

Buddha said, “Live in joy, in love, even among those who hate.” (Dhammapada) Lao Tzu taught, “The master…is good to people who are good. She is also good to people who aren’t good. This is true goodness.” (Tao Te Ching)

Buddha taught, “Look within. Be still. Free from fear and attachment, Know the sweet joy of the way.” Lao Tzu may have had a different tone and spoke a completely different language, and yet the spirit of his words is familiar: “Since before time and space were, the Tao is. It is beyond ‘is’ and ‘is not’. How do I know this is true? I look inside myself and see…if you want to be given everything, give everything up.”

“The Master keeps her mind always at one with the Tao, that is what gives her her radiance…she doesn’t cling to ideas,” wrote Lao Tzu. “A mind unshaken when touched by the worldly states, sorrowless, stainless, and secure, this is the blessing supreme,” taught the Buddha.

Both also recognized the futility in the very act of trying to put the great truths into words. Lao Tzu commented, “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.” In turn Buddha lamented, “Words! The Way is beyond language, for in it there is no yesterday, no tomorrow, no today.” (trans. Richard B. Clarke)

One cannot but help notice that the teachings are similar in tone to other great teachers of note, including some I have mentioned previously such as Ueshiba and Tagore. Once a student begins to truly internalize this higher awareness, they become aware of a ‘Way’ to live or to be, a simple, loving, unselfish and calm state of mind. They see the divine in the mundane, and allow the Way to spread before them, “If you want to accord with the Tao, just do your job, then let go,” wrote Lao Tzu. Or, as Buddha put it so beautifully, “To live in the Great Way is neither easy not difficult…Just let things be in their own way.”

No Religion

Religion is the creation of man. It is how people have defined and structured spirituality in our world. More often than not it has been established and even forced upon people as a means of power and control throughout time, and still today. Within such confines, people are generally not taught how to connect with the Spirit within themselves, rather they are given a set of beliefs, taught specific rituals and to heed a worldly ‘religious’ authority.

Some even say that secret spiritual information (or disinformation) has been passed down from generation to generation within various spiritual organizations, particularly so-called ‘mystery’ religions, placing certain people in positions of power and even subtly misguiding the populace towards false beliefs and priorities. They use metaphysical truth to their advantage, cleverly interlacing it with small lies no one might notice. Their love for ritual and control has established strange rites and rituals, not to mention politics, in nearly every religion. Even the ancient and adored texts have praise for the Tao intermixed with strange stories of alien gods, bent on doing their own will in our dimension.

There is not one religion on our Earth today that is pure to the Tao, our one ‘God’ of love. They blurred our understanding using semantics and misinterpretations, so even the very word “God” has become corrupt. This has led many to refuse to consider any spiritual or metaphysical truths whatsoever, thereby throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.

Instead of arguing which religion is ‘right’ (or refusing the investigate them at all), learn the basic truths each has to offer, repeated over and over again by our greatest sages, like Jesus, Lao Tzu, and Buddha. Read their own words, not what others have written about them, or the worldly ‘religions’ created in their wake. Instead, follow their simple Way of life. Live each moment in love and with compassion for your neighbor. Seek a higher awareness within yourself; learn to Surf the Tao and help transform the world.

“Ritual is the husk of true faith, the beginning of chaos.” –Tao Te Ching, #38

Taoism, The Great Way of Life

There was something formless and perfect

Before the universe was born.

It is serene. Empty.

Solitary. Unchanging.

Infinite. Eternally present.

It is the mother of the universe.

For lack of a better name,

I call it the Tao.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching #25

What is the “Tao”? It is a Chinese word which means “Way”. Buddha also spoke of this One Way, and even Jesus said, “I am the Way…” I believe they were all referring to the Void, this great Everything; God, in the universal sense. Finding words to describe this Force is difficult. I recommend quantum physics as another avenue towards understanding (check out the book The Tao of Physics by Frijof Capra). I call this Way of Life “Surfing the Tao”, and I use the wisdom from various sources to further the message.

“All things, material and spiritual, originate from one source and are related as if they were one family. The past, present, and future are all contained in the life force. The universe emerged and developed from one source, and we evolved through the optimal process of unification and harmonization.” -Ueshiba, The Art of Peace.

Simple realization of this Tao, or Way, can change ones perspective radically. Introspection and meditation can lead one to higher levels of awareness and understanding. One eventually realizes that it is the pursuit of the impersonal wherein realization of the Self arises: when one understands that All is One, and there is no Self – that is, that we are rather part of the Great Self – then our daily sufferings become perceptively smaller.

Emptiness here, Emptiness there,

But the infinite universe stands

Always before your eyes.

Infinitely large and infinitely small;

No difference, for definitions have vanished

And no boundaries are seen…

One thing, all things:

Move among and intermingling,

Without distinction.

To live in this realization

Is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.

-Buddha

Sounds like Lao Tzu, doesn’t it? Buddha, like Lao Tzu, also suggests not to dislike the world of senses and ideas, but just to realize, with enlightenment there is no liking or disliking. Lao Tzu said, “the Master observes the world but trusts his inner vision. He allows things to come and go. His heart is open as the sky.”

These masters taught us, that even though reality as we see it is an illusion, that to be a good and loving person within it is important. They teach compassion, harmony, peace, generosity and serenity. Buddha said, “To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult, but those with limited views are fearful and irresolute; the faster they hurry, the slower they go, and attachment cannot be limited: even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming nor going.”

The True Masters

Discernment comes not from the mind, not from reading a book or following a set of rules or rituals, but through the spirit. Learning to Surf the Tao means acquiring the skill to bypass thought, and listen instead to the Voice within. Our sages, the true masters, attempted to teach this; though their words might be different, the essence is the same. “Be still, and know that I am God”(Psalms 46:10); “Look within. Be still. Free from fear and attachment, Know the sweet joy of the Way.” (Buddha); “When the five senses and the mind are still, and reason itself rests in silence, then begins the Path supreme.” (Katha Upanishad); “Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace.” (Lao Tzu); “If your have not liked yourself to true emptiness, you will never understand The Art of Peace.” (Ueshiba).

‘Tao’ means ‘Way’, and it was originally meant to set forth a Way of Life, not as a ‘religion’ or sect. Buddha’s original teachings mirror this philosophy. Indeed the words of Jesus also point this Way, but in all of these cases their words were added to, and shaped around differing sects and worldly institutions of power and control. Instead, the Way is far simpler. Live in love, and follow its divine essence in every aspect of life. If you do, you can begin to Know for yourself, who the ‘good guys’ are. They teach this simple truth, despite the paradox of trying to put the Unknowable into words, for as Lao Tzu wrote, “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.”

The ancient masters were subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.
The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable.
Because it is unfathomable,
All we can do is describe their appearance.
Watchful, like men crossing a winter stream.
Alert, like men aware of danger.
Courteous, like visiting guests.
Yielding, like ice about to melt.
Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood.
Hollow, like caves.
Opaque, like muddy pools.

Who can wait quietly while the mud settles?
Who can remain still until the moment of action?
Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfillment.
Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by desire for change.

(Tao Te Ching, verse 15, trans. Fia-fu Feng and Jane English, Vintage Books Edition, 1972.) For more on my website, check out http://www.surfingthetao.com/The_Good_Guys.htm