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.”

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The Law of Attraction

“The life force is all-pervasive and its strength boundless. The Art of Peace allows us to perceive and tap into that tremendous reserve of universal energy.” – Ueshiba, The Art of Peace

Today we find much discussion regarding the evolution of consciousness and the realization that we take part in the creation of our reality; books like The Tao of Physics and films such as What The Bleep Do We Know!? and The Secret track our coming of age on these topics. Modern day physicists, spiritualists and free thinkers are beginning to realize that truth lies somewhere between outdated concepts of ‘science’ and ‘religion.’ If we think, speak and visualize in positive ways, the law of attraction plays a role in amassing positive outcomes for our lives.

“Our world is made up of interlocking wavelengths of light. Matter is a matter of opinion. When you speak into this quantum void, you are creating your own reality whether you know it or not, constructing and deconstructing the ‘frozen music’ that makes up our reality.” – Surfing the Tao: A Revolution of Free Will

These ideas are not in fact ‘new’, but can be found within many of our world’s spiritual traditions. Each culture and era phrases it differently, but the importance of this spiritual law hasn’t changed.

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” – Proverbs 23:7

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” – Buddha

Oftentimes people wonder about the difficulty of controlling one’s thoughts; or what one should be visualizing for themselves. The good news is, if we can find a grateful, loving and positive frame of mind, we can put these questions out to the Universe, and it will take care of the details for you. Some say “let go, let God” and this is a good way to put it.

“Peace originates with the flow of things – its heart is like the movement of the wind and waves. The Way is like the veins that circulate blood through our bodies, following the natural flow of the life force. If you are separated in the slightest from that divine essence, you are far off the path.” –The Art of Peace

Surfing the Tao refers to simply choosing love for the direction of your actions; allow the Tao (God, Brahman, the Force, the Great Spirit…whatever you call it) to flow through you, and hop on for the ride of your life. Truth is simple – Walk the Walk; Live the Way. Use various methods – you can use a long board or a short board, right-footed or left, but you’re still allowing the wave to carry you. I suggest this revolution of thought, of our free will, is radical and yet of utmost importance in today’s world. Learn to create a new reality in harmony with the Tao. Choose love and watch your life, and the world, transform.

“…There is evil and disorder in the world because people have forgotten that all things emanate from one source. Return to that source and leave behind all self-centered thoughts, petty desires, and anger.” –The Art of Peace

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.”

Ueshiba and The Art of Peace

“One does not need buildings, money, power or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.” – Ueshiba, The Art of Peace

I didn’t find the Tao (or ‘God’, or the Force, whatever,) in church or a book. I found it in Kung Fu. It led me to discern this Source of energy from within myself. The earliest roots of Kung Fu come from Taoist monks, who thousands of years ago strived to keep the peace, not promote fights. They were the first to teach how to ‘surf’ this ‘flow’, dancing with the rhythm of the universe.

Kung Fu is an Art of Peace. The key to finding this Empty Force is maintaining a consciousness of love. I study Yee Chuan Tao Kung Fu, one of the last arts to have been passed down within a family. (check out http://www.yeechuantao.com.) However there is another teacher anyone can learn from – Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. Aikido is extremely similar to Kung Fu, especially in its teachings of peace, and having only defensive moves.

Morihei Ueshiba lived from 1883 until 1969, and was known even into his old age for his ability to take down any opponent ‘with a single finger.’ But though he was undefeated, he detested violence, and taught Aikido as his ‘Way’ to peace. In my opinion his Art of Peace has become one of the few true manuals of the Way. It was compiled from a lifetime of his poems and sayings.

During his life Ueshiba experienced three powerful visions which transformed him. “…I felt transformed into a golden image, and my body seemed as light as a feather. All at once I understood the nature of creation: the Way of a Warrior is to manifest Divine Love, a spirit that embraces and nurtures all things…” (intro to the Art of Peace, compiled by John Stevens, Shambhala Publications, Boston, 1992.) He developed Aikido as a way to handle the aggression in the world, and believed that everyone, martial artist or not, could be a Warrior for Peace.

“Contemplate the workings of this world, listen to the words of the wise, and take all that is good as your own. With this as your base, open your own door to truth. Do not overlook the truth that is right before you. Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything – even mountains, rivers, plants, and trees – should be your teacher.” -Ueshiba

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