Referring to this model, the black background, labeled The Void,” is the ground of all being, the Great Mystery from which all creation arises. It is not possible to form any accurate concept of this Mystery because that would make it into an object, and it is not an object. It is always the seer, not an object to be seen. It is the fertile soil from which all Consciousness arises, the bed of all potentiality. Even though we can’t make it an object of our thought, it is at the root of our own personal subjective Consciousness, and every other personal subjective Consciousness in the Universe.
All the colored parts, labeled All-That-Is, collectively represent the manifest Universe.
The white sphere at the top of the graphic represents the Creator, or Creative Awareness if you like. Here is where manifestation arises out of the Void in the form of energies that flow into the Higher Consciousness (pink sphere).
The Higher Consciousness is an Awareness that condenses energies from the Creator into thoughtforms and energy flow patterns that can be used by living creatures. These thoughtforms and patterns of energy descend into the Collective Consciousness of all living beings (violet sphere) where they can be understood and known by the beings.
Various forms of Individual Consciousnesses — human, animal, plant, microorganism, and inanimate object awarenesses (small violet bubbles) are reflections of All-That-Is and participate in the Collective Consciousness.
The multi-colored background represents the chaotic snake pit of the Collective Unconscious, made up of the mostly negative thoughtforms and energies that have been ignored or actively rejected and denied by individuals in the more rational Collective Consciousness. This Collective Unconscious is also a repository for some positive energy patterns and thoughtforms, such as outdated archetypes and archaic gods and goddesses abandoned by their people and forgotten through nonuse. The negative energies and thoughtforms in the Collective Unconscious can be transmuted through a process of recognition and forgiveness and returned to the Collective Consciousness.
It should be understood that this graphic shows only one possible version of a model of the Universe. It is clearly incomplete. For one thing, it is rendered in only two dimensions (which you may be able to view as three by imagining that the circles are spheres), but lacks the dimension of time and any other higher dimensions. The parts that are named and pictured separately would surely move and morph and intermingle in various ways in real life, and no doubt many other parts and functions are missing. This incomplete model is provided simply as a way to illustrate how a few unhealthy patterns in Consciousness can be dealt with to make our journeys through physical manifestation more pleasant and comfortable.
The usefulness of a model of All-That-Is that it give us a perspective from which to understand that WE ARE THE ENTIRETY OF ALL-THAT-IS. We’re not just separate little purple bubbles. Within each individual consciousness is the complete nonlocal presence of everything in the Universe. We are like holograms of the totality of All-That-Is, but more than that, in a mysterious way we don’t know how to think about, each seemingly separate individual is All-That-Is. Wisdom traditions all over the world have this teaching. We just need to realize it.
That means YOU are already All-That Is.
By simply seeing and understanding this model you’ve taken an important step in living from your true identity as All-That-is. Keep remembering that All-That-Is is who you really are. You have access to all parts of it, and you have the powers of the Creator, Higher Consciousness, and Collective Consciousness to transmute thought forms and energies. The Collective Unconscious is also reflected in your own personal consciousness and you have the power to transmute its negative thought forms and energy patterns into positive forms and flows.
We’ll show you how.
Blocks to Enlightenment
We’re tempted to blame our egos for keeping us trapped in feelings of separation from All-That-Is. We have egos because no one can completely escape having experiences of rejection, shame and resultant feelings of unworthiness at some time in their lives. We build our egos to compensate for these feelings by convincing ourselves that not only are we separate from everyone else, we are better than them. We do it to feel good about ourselves and so we can make our families proud and always be treated with respect.
There are other, legitimate, ego forces that keep us separate. The drive to be separate isn’t only some sort of character defect. We have egos because we have bodies to keep alive. We didn’t deliberately create ourselves in the form of separate bodies in need of nourishment and protection. We simply found ourselves here on Earth as separate material bodies. Soon enough we learned that our minds were also separate, usually when we found out, often with relief, that others don’t usually seem to know what we’re thinking.
Being separate is natural and useful. In complex civilizations, people need to specialize in various survival tasks, providing each other with food, shelter, childcare, protection, entertainment, etc. Each person concentrates on their own specific tasks, and this is easier if we’re not constantly bombarded by the chaos of everyone else’s thoughts and feelings. It makes sense that we’re naturally closed off like separate little laboratories where we can focus closely on our own fields of expertise, inventing new techniques and developing master level skills.
Still, our separateness, useful as it is for ordinary life, brings suffering. We’re like the Little Mermaid in the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, who fell in love with a human prince and longed to become a human girl to win his heart. A witch granted her wish and replaced her fish tail with human legs, but only on condition that every step she took would be excruciatingly painful, like walking on "pointed needles and sharp knives.” She endured this for the sake of her love, but alas, in the end, the prince married a human princess, and the Little Mermaid, despairing, threw herself into the sea. The angel-like Daughters of the Air were watching and took pity on her, changing her into an aerial being like themselves and welcoming her into their loving tribe.
The story of the Little Mermaid and the pain she suffered to be human resonates with us because we all pay dearly for our human form, in coins of disease, accident, injury, conflict, fear, guilt, grief, and rejection. We struggle to make ourselves acceptable to others, because they have the power to shun us, and without their support our lives would be, in the words of Seventeenth Century English Philosopher Thomas Hobbes, “poor, solitary, nasty, brutish and short.” But in the end, like the Little Mermaid, we hope to be transformed and accepted into a Greater Life.
As long as we’re in a body, we’re going to have to function part of the time as an Individual Consciousness to take care of our body’s needs and maintain the good will of our fellow humans. But though this involves separation and causes us to suffer, we can learn to transmute our suffering into joy.
It’s the part of our ego that wants to feel superior that’s responsible for most of our suffering — the part that judges others as bad, wrong, lesser than ourselves, unworthy of our attention or consideration, and disposable. Most of us are so obsessed with making sure we fit in and remain acceptable to our fellow humans that we think of little else. When we can take a break from this preoccupation and look at ourselves and the whole human race with appreciation and compassion, our consciousness awakens and expands beyond its confining ego box into realms of grace, love, and beauty.
Just knowing we can transmute our suffering makes it easier to bear.
A good way to do this is to pay attention to our negative thoughts and feelings. When we recognize and accept that they really do exist in us, and stop projecting them on others and judging them as bad and wrong and keeping them tamped down in our unconscious minds and the Collective Unconscious, we can open the door a beautiful awakened life for ourselves.
How Negative Thought Forms End up in the Collective Unconscious
Let’s look at how negative thought forms and energy patterns end up in the Collective Unconscious. A trauma, such as a physical blow, accidental injury, or the unkindness of being criticized, shunned and rejected, happens to a person, giving rise to pain and negative emotions such as fear, guilt, anger, disgust, etc. The person represses the memories of the trauma and the thought forms that go with them because they are so painful, and sends them down into her individual unconscious mind, which communicates with the Collective Unconscious.
Later when the person finds herself in a situation that reminds her of the original trauma, the memory triggers the same constellation of negative emotions she felt then. The person again rejects the painful thought forms and emotional energy patterns and pushes them back down into unconsciousness. Every time this pattern is repeated, the unwanted thought forms and emotional energy patterns gain strength.
For example, a little girl is sexually molested by a nasty uncle. Against her will, this arouses sexual feelings in her. The uncle knows he’s doing wrong, and she picks up on his sense of wrongness and associates it with her sexual feelings. As a result, she represses her sexual feelings along with her fear, disgust and anger. As she grows up, she associates any sexual feeling that naturally arises with this sense of wrongness and the negative emotions she felt at the time, and represses the whole ugly complex of sexual arousal soiled with wrongness, fear, and disgust. The repressed energies are immobilized in her body and filter into the Collective Unconscious, where she fervently hopes they’ll remain.
But as natural sexual feelings keep arising in her body as she matures, she has to spend energy to suppress them, and the effort of this generates new energies of guilt, frustration, and desperation to add to the tangled complex of energies that have to be kept down. Her suffering is intense.
The Collective Unconscious is already full of repressed experiences that not only we ourselves, but also every being who has ever lived on earth, have experienced, as both victim and perpetrator — judgments, punishments, traumas, injustices, betrayals, abandonments, ridicule, and rejection — that exert a subtle pressure on our Awareness. Most of the time we try to ignore these negative memories and thought forms, and even take an active part in keeping them down. But as everyone knows, it doesn’t really work to repress this stuff. The more we try to keep it down, the more it bubbles up and poisons our outlook.
How Suppression Leads to Negative Judgments of Others
Suppressed energies and thought forms are easily triggered to rise up from our unconscious mind into our Individual Consciousness and cause trouble whenever we find ourselves in a situation that reminds us of the original trauma. Our individual unconscious mind is a repository for repressed emotions, bodily feelings and thoughts in addition to impulses and sensory impressions too faint to have reached our conscious minds.
These repressed energies are also present in the Collective Unconscious along with energies and thought forms repressed by our ancestors and everyone else. When the little girl who was sexually molested grows up and experiences sexual feelings, she may be flooded not only with her own repressed energies of guilt, shame, anger, and revulsion, but also with the whole tangled mass of other people’s rejected feelings.
Such an eruption of powerful negative emotional reactions can also be triggered when she notices another person’s sexuality. Her own sexual feelings are triggered, and though her body can’t help resonating with them she refuses to own them, instead projecting them onto the other person with harsh judgments of “shameless,” “dirty," “nasty,” “immoral,” and so on. These judgments make it impossible for her to treat the other person as a fellow human being. She is likely to let her disapproval show, which triggers a corresponding hostile response in the other person. Even if both parties are too civilized to come to blows, their toxic emotions, suppressed, will find their way to the Collective Unconscious, ready to be triggered into other people’s lives. Though we’re not usually directly aware of the Collective Unconscious, it exerts an invisible drag on humanity’s life force and moods.
It’s a vicious cycle, a repeating energy pattern. An emotion (which is a form of energy) is triggered in a person’s body, and like all energies, wants to move. Left alone it would reach peak intensity in a minute or less and die away. But when we don’t want to feel an emotion we tighten up against it, shove it down deep in our body where it can’t get out. The energy still wants to move even though we’ve refused to be consciously aware of it, and it clamors for attention, making trouble on the cellular level, depleting our life force and making us sick.
Our conscious minds are pretty good at protecting our boundaries, keeping our inner thoughts and feelings private and separate, but when parts of us, especially repressed emotions, are unconscious, when we’ve forbidden our conscious minds to “go there,” our boundaries keep them out of our individual field of conscious awareness but do nothing to keep them out of the surrounding field of Collective Consciousness. Other people can easily see what we’re trying to hide. You may have noticed how easy it is for people to spot each other’s emotional weak points and come up with hurtful nicknames and mimicry that lets us know exactly where our pride is most vulnerable. (This is how comedians make a living.) We take great pains to keep ourselves blind to our own “bad” thoughts and feelings without realizing how transparent we are to others.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are skillful means to break the patterns of these “bad” thoughts and feelings and transmute their energies into free-flowing streams of kindness and compassion.
Skillful Means: Forgiveness and Clearing the Soul
Forgiveness has long been recognized as a golden highway to peace. Forgiveness breaks up the patterns of tit-for-tat attack and retaliation. We like to think that we, living in civilized countries, are beyond Hatfield and McCoy tribal feuds. After all, we have police and justice systems to punish aggressors. We don’t have to do it ourselves and risk retaliation. Nevertheless, many still live by the code of “an eye for an eye” and never feel so alive as when they’re carrying a grudge and blaming others for their own negative impulses.
The good news is that as a species we’re evolving into greater kindness and altruism. According to biologist E.O. Wilson, we have become the most successful species on the planet mainly because of our ability to cooperate with each other and form complex societies in which altruism is highly valued, even at the expense of personal survival. Altruistic humans such as soldiers and suicide bombers contribute to the survival of their groups. Even if they don’t live long enough to pass on their own genes, they make it more likely for their group’s genes to be passed on. Altruism gives a survival advantage to groups of humans just as it does in ant and bee colonies. As we evolve, we should expect to see more altruistic, compassionate and caring people among us, and less selfish, vengeful, grudge-carrying individuals.
On the individual level, bearing a grudge is extremely bad for the health. It takes energy to maintain the negative emotions required to keep it fresh. The fires of outrage have to be continually stoked, the self-righteousness of victimhood continually replenished. This grudge, this sense of injury, becomes the peg that holds the victim’s self-identity in place, for without it who would he be? The replaying of negative emotions makes us feel alive and expands our sense of importance. Having someone to hate keeps us in vital tension and saves us from the yawning void a dull existence without strife (otherwise known as peace).
Forgiving others is essential, but even more important is forgiving ourselves. When we make negative judgments of another person, it’s often because they mirror something we don’t like in ourselves. True forgiveness of others necessarily involves forgiveness of ourselves for harboring the same negative thought forms and emotions we judge in others.
For the sake of your health and well-being, decide on a practice of forgiveness that not only erases your negative judgments of another but reaches so deep into your being that it erases the negativity hidden in your own unconscious and the Collective Unconscious. As the old folks say, refusing to forgive others is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Refusing to forgive yourself is like drinking poison and turning into poison.
Practice forgiveness for your own sake. If you’re serious about Enlightenment, do it as a next critical step on the Path.
Forgiveness Method based on Ho’oponopono
There are many “skillful means” based on forgiveness. Catholics do it with confession, repentance and prayer; psychotherapists do it with talk therapy; mediators do it by balancing conflicting interests of disputants; spiritual healers do it by getting disputants together to empathize with each other’s thoughts and feelings and see each other’s souls
A forgiveness method I have found extremely useful is Ho’oponopono, developed by Dr. Hew Len based on a traditional Hawaiian process for reconciling intratribal conflicts. “Ho’oponopono” means “to make right.” Given my fascination with the mysteries of identity, self and other, solipsism and evolving social complexity, it’s not surprising that I was drawn to his work, which he calls “Self-Identity Through Ho’oponopono.”
I learned the Ho’oponopono method directly from Dr. Len in the early 2000s. The following explanations and instructions are inspired by his teachings, but so much modified by my own understandings and practices that I can’t claim to be presenting an accurate portrayal of his method. The world owes him a great debt of gratitude for his pioneering work in this field. I hope I have added useful ideas, explanations, and specifics to aid in the practice self-forgiveness. Any mistakes and misunderstandings are my own.
I was especially impressed by Dr. Len’s account of using ho’oponopono to heal an entire ward full of criminally insane patients at the Hawaii State Hospital Kaneohe.
When he started work at the hospital, the ward was a hell hole where staff had to walk with their backs against the wall for fear of attack by the dangerous patients. Turnover was high and staff routinely quit or called in sick. He set to work in his own unconventional way. Instead of meeting with patients one-on-one, he addressed the situation by spending time alone in his office reviewing their charts and working on himself. Then he would walk the halls and laugh and have fun with the patients and staff. He genuinely enjoyed his job, and they all responded in kind. Everyone liked him even if they didn’t think he was doing much work.
Miraculously, patients began to heal. After a few months, patients who had formerly been heavily medicated and shackled could be taken off the meds and allowed to walk freely. The staff now enjoyed their work and stopped calling in sick. Turnover disappeared. After four years, when Dr. Len finally left the hospital, all his patients, even those previously considered incurable, had been discharged. With no more patients, the entire ward for the criminally insane was closed.
Dr. Len’s book, Zero Limits, reveals his approach to healing, explaining that he operates from the perspective that everything in his experience exists as an actualization of the thoughts in his mind. If his thoughts are toxic, he says, they create a toxic physical reality. If they are “perfect,” they create a physical reality full of love. When those criminally insane patients appeared in his life, he knew he was responsible for them because they were actualizations of his thoughts.
This may sound extreme, as though Dr. Len doesn’t believe in a real, physical world out there beyond his own thoughts, one that might have nothing at all to do with him and may not even exist. If so, no one can prove him wrong. But what he is certainly right about is that every time we separate ourselves from another person by negatively judging them, for example, if we label someone as depressed and start treating them like an object to be manipulated with drugs and therapeutic techniques, we forget that we wouldn’t even know what depression was if we didn’t already have depressive tendencies ourselves.
Dr. Len is also right that it doesn’t make sense rationally or morally to try to separate others from ourselves by judging them because they are not, in fact, separate from ourselves. We are all part of the same Consciousness, and when we feel separate it hurts.
If you got teased as a child, called names — like “Dummy” or “Piggy” or “Jello Butt,” and retorted, “It takes one to know one,” you were smarter than you knew. We are able to judge the character traits of others only when we know from our own experience what those traits are. If we never even remotely felt what it was like to have those traits we wouldn’t be able to recognize them in someone else. When we’re scolded and shamed for taking the last cookie, we find out that greedy behavior is bad and usually try to suppress any thought that we might still be greedy. We really don’t want to feel that shame again. And because the very idea of greediness carries this charge of suppressed emotion, we notice greedy behavior immediately in another person and feel superior, telling ourselves, “That guy is the one who’s greedy, not me.”
As I understand it, a healer can judge a patient as a “paranoid schizophrenic” or “psychopath” only when he knows from his own experience what those words mean. If he has an experience of dangerous mental illness in his world it is because his own thoughts are “creating” it — in the sense that he chooses to isolate the thought forms and energy patterns of the patient’s crazy behavior to be labelled and recognized out from all the other chaotic signals his sense organs are receiving.
If one has the self-awareness to understand this mechanism, he can either choose to take responsibility to deal with the judgmental thought forms and energy patterns inside his own mind, or project them out onto his patient, along with all the other baggage his mind associates with the concepts “paranoid schizophrenic” and “psychopath.”
By choosing to deal with it in his own body-mind, the healer affirms that we are all one in Consciousness, and by forgiving himself for having made such a judgment of his patient, he creates a healing thought form and energy pattern not only in his own mind, but also in the Collective Consciousness. The healing pattern then reaches the patient through the field of the Collective Consciousness and results in his recovery. The new healing pattern also migrates into the Collective Unconscious and the Healer’s individual unconscious mind, helping to clear similar toxic energies and thought forms.
But if the healer persists in judging and projecting the toxic energies and thought forms onto his patient, he intensifies their negative energy in both himself and the Collective Consciousness. As a result, these intensified psychotic patterns reach the patient through the Collective Consciousness and worsen his condition. And the healer, suppressing the negative energies in himself, forces them down through his individual unconscious mind into the Collective Unconscious, where they lurk with magnified venom, clamoring to get out and do harm.
How to Practice the Forgiveness Method
- I can recognize I have made a negative judgment about a person, place, object, or situation.
- I can remember that we are all One in Consciousness and that my thoughts influence others.
- I can be grateful that the Greater Consciousness has brought the fact that I have made a negative judgment to my attention so that I can clear it, and say, “Thank you.”
- I can realize that I wouldn’t have been able to discern the quality I was judging if the thought form and energy pattern for this quality weren’t present in myself and say, “I’m sorry.”
- I can ask the Greater Consciousness, which includes the quality I judged against, to help me forgive myself and say, “Forgive me.”
- I can notice the emotions and bodily feelings that arise in me with the negative judgment. Superiority? Disgust? Nausea? Revulsion? Shame? Anger? Fear?
- I can fully accept and welcome each emotion and bodily feeling, letting each feeling intensify and grow, reach a peak, and begin to move out. I can be determined to stay with it, knowing it only takes a minute or two for each feeling that arises to reach its peak and begin to clear.
- I can say “I love you,” directing the love to the person, place, object, or situation I judged against, to the entire Cosmos, and most importantly, to myself.