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Robust Robby

Increasingly means it gets more when time passes. Intense means extending its influence over other senses. Realization means the recognition of a concept in the perception of reality. Collective means what we all have in common. Potential are the available possibilities. The whole sentence's meaning is: Progress makes you see the possibilities better that nature and society offer you.

The Structure of Progress

The increasingly intense realization of the collective potential by the individual, is the nature of progress. This is the meaning of progress from both the point of view of the collective as well as of the individual. The collective constantly wants to increase its forms and complexity of expression. The individual wants to fully expand the use of its potential. The collective has no other means of expression then through the individual members it consists of. So, progress in the expression of the collective is the same as progress in the realization of the potential of the individual. The individual gives form to the progress of the collective. Like we are the result of the progress the collective has gained before.

Since we have to deal with what nature has given us, the attention is the only tool we have to gain progress. If you want to have more money you will have to get a better job. The way to higher level jobs is through a higher level of education, which is gained through study. To study means to focus the attention to specific subjects for long periods of time. So focusing the attention is the key to a higher education which in turn brings in more money. So the tool that you have for financial progress, to get more money, is your attention. This is the same for all kinds of progress; therefore we can say that cause of progress is a specific selection of the kind of subjects one focuses the attention upon.

If someone wants to increase something or gain some other kind of progress, the first thing he needs to know is what causes that change. The change from the former situation that was less, to the later situation that is more, gets triggered by something. The cause of that change is always something that has to do with where the attention is focused. Focus on text and get more knowledge, focus on school and get more money, focus on sport and activity and get a better physical condition. Social improvement can be caused by focusing the attention upon people in powerful positions, and progress in human relationships is the result of being attentive of one's limitations and possibilities.

Arrow

This may sound simple but it is a bit more complicated. Take for instance when I say that focusing on text gets you more knowledge: When I encounter something in the real world it becomes a reproduction within my mind that I put into words. After you have read it, your mind makes a reproduction of that phrased impression of mine. So the picture that comes up in your mind is very different from what I have originally encountered. First of all because it is a picture and not the real thing, second because the picture you have is limited by the fact I had to put it into words. When I see a round shaped crystal that consists of many small flat surfaces, I could call it a ball. But when you hear the word ball you think of something round only and the details of the flat surfaces has disappeared.

The third way where the picture in your mind deviates from reality is due to the fact that it is a reproduction of a reproduction. The thing I perceived was already not the real thing but a reproduction of it made up by my mind. That impression was coloured, put into context and limited by my personality even before I limited it further by transferring it to a verbal, intellectual reality. Or in this case I translate my impression of reality into little blue signs on a screen. You will have to translate those symbols back into some form of reality. But what you get though is a thought; you will never be able to make more out of it than a thought. And obviously there is a difference between reality and the thoughts about it.

In the past there have been wise men that tried to explain the word consciousness to the people. They used exotic phrases such as Tao, Krshna or Bhoddhi that all indicate the same thing, we call consciousness. Funny thing was that the people that listened to those wise men made up a completely wrong impression of those words. Say a wise man wanted to talk about the difference between consciousness and the content of consciousness, which happens to be the next subject we are going to discuss also. This is clearly a very difficult concept to put into words and even more difficult to understand. And don't forget that the inhabitants of the past were not able to think in terms of abstract or linear logic, schools did not teach that sort of things back then. So when the wise men mentioned the difference between consciousness and the content of consciousness, awareness and what we are aware of, they might have called it Krshna and Rama.

The word Krshna means black and Rama significance nature. So Rama is the field of perception and Krshna is that what perceives.

There are two main forces in our corner of reality: the forces of physics and the forces of living nature. The field where physics takes place is space; the forces of living nature are all contained within consciousness.

The wise men also said they are alive; they are life, what they meant was that life consists of those two forces. The word life means individualized consciousness that is conscious of the brainwaves of an individualized unit of nature. But hardly anyone can understand that of course, the audience of the wise men made up a completely different picture in their minds when being told about Krshna and Rama. They thought since they are alive they must be persons, a kind of super-people, but persons nonetheless. So they started to worship those deities and made statues of them that where holy too. This meant that to them consciousness became a stone idol and nature became a dead statue. No wonder they were not able to decipher what those symbols actually where symbolizing.

The same thing happened over and over again during history: Somebody witnessed something new and important, and to indicate that he used a symbol, a word. Later people forgot that a symbol is like a sign, it points to something. Instead they began worshipping the symbol as if it was what it was symbolizing. The word, the idol and the symbol always becomes more important than reality, because those are the things the mind actually deals with. Reality is something the mind can only make an indirect impression of, but thought concepts such as words and symbols are more real from the minds point of view. This will be the downfall of any religion that cannot overcome the limitations of symbols, holy books and idols. So don't you dare making an idol of me, if you want to make a god out of me let it be the god that doesn't like people that worship images of gods. (I'm just joking)

So, focusing the attention is the key word, that is the only tool you have to progress. This and the understanding there is a difference between reality and thoughts about reality, otherwise you would be chasing dreams all the time. The next step in linear logic would be to ask what is the cause of progress in general and how can we transfer that to the individual. The most basic and direct answer to that is contained within just four phrases. Fully understanding those four words means to understand the structure of progress. That what triggers progress for the individual is contained in the meaning of those words, but they are such abstract concepts that it is very hard to grasp their significance.

The phrases are in two pairs and the first pair as we have mentioned before, is consciousness and the content of consciousness. To be able to separate the meaning of those two words is one of the two ingredients needed to speed up the progress of the individual. The second pair are the concepts everything and nothing, two ideas that are too vague to tell apart. Of those four the concept of nothingness is the most basic and therefore the most important to understand. There was a time when the concept of the number zero was unknown to Europeans. It had to be imported from Arabic nations where wise Sufi mystics had come up with it. This opened a whole new dimension of calculating and thinking. The same can be said about the concept of nothingness; it creates a context in which the relationship between things becomes clear. One of those ways things can be in relationship with each other is unity; the way things can unite is one of those realizations that become clearer when the concept of nothingness is introduced into the thinking process. And the unity of things points towards the concept of everything, the totality of all perceptions as being one thing: in your case, your life.

Car

The understanding of those four words and an attitude of truthfulness and goal-pointed thinking is all that is needed for an increase in the speed of progress. Those ideas have to be fully integrated into the thinking process of a person that agrees that this is the right thing to do. Because not all change is progress of course, one has to be very careful the direction of growth is actually progress. Things have to become significantly improved before a change can be called progress. But once truthful and goal-pointed thinking becomes a deep rooted habit of the mind, the direction of growth towards quick progress is guarded. Change is one of the main characteristics of reality, everything is always changing. The body does not stay the same no matter how hard he would try. Those who do not care for progress often think they are happy with what they have. But this way one forgets that change is unavoidable and not to progress means to decay. Since there is no such thing as changelessness we have to guard that the changes we go through are actually an improvement, progress.

Vase
Even the ancient Greek knew life is like being in a cave
and everything is just out of reach.

Flowers

So all this knowledge about progress can be summed up in seven phrases only: Consciousness and its content, nothingness and everything, truthfulness and goal-pointed thinking and finally unity. That is all there is to it, these words cover all ground. You know this, you know it all. On the other hand, I know that thieves and dictators pay extra attention to my words but it will be in vain, without one of the necessary ingredients, knowledge about progress remains a mystery. Thieves lack truthfulness, and what goal can be possibly achieved by dictating others when that only increases one's sense of inferiority. To them real progress would mean to stop being what they are, and to identified people that seems to equal suicide. The thief cannot realize he has a thievy personality, instead he thinks he is a thief. He cannot get rid of this identification because he cannot understand what identifying is; therefore all doors to progress are blocked. Even when he would steal this knowledge, he would not be able to progress; lacking the insight into one of the seven words makes it impossible to understand the others. A thief or dishonest person can change, but by definition are they not able to progress because to them progress would mean to stop being dishonest.

So here is a definition of the seven words that are a minimal requirement to succeed in life. Doing this would be the same as if I would tell you to put one leg in front of the other repeatedly, and then promise that you will go forwards.

CONSCIOUSNESS is not the state of something, it is not so that you are conscious in the sense that you are in the state of consciousness. You are conscious means just that: you are consciousness. That is what you really are: consciousness. However, you think you are your body; that is the way consciousness functions: it takes the form of what it wants to reproduce. So if there is yellow in front of you, your eyes and brain will form a perception. Consciousness will identify with that perception and will become yellow that is the process of detection. To identify means to give up the original form and take the form of what it is identifying with. To identify means to think you are what you see.

Consciousness identifies itself with the perceptions, which is the only thing it does. This means perception is of course the body in which it resides. The signals that form our perception originate from the body, therefore consciousness confuses itself with that body. It seems consciousness is produced by the body, instead it just perceives the body but exists separately from it. Don't forget that when we discuss this subject we are not talking about some mystical theory, no it is right here, right now. You read this text right now, the fact that you are actually conscious of what you are seeing is the consciousness we talk about. You do not experience it like that, but consciousness is one thing that is beyond time.

The electricity that runs through a cable is the same electricity that runs through another part of the cable. In the same way, the consciousness of one living being is the same consciousness that seems to enliven another. It is one thing. Time is a part of what we perceive and therefore not an aspect of the consciousness that perceives. Consciousness sees time, it identifies itself with the flow of time, but itself is not influenced by time. Like water can be square inside a square container and round in a round container, water itself has no form. Something that has no form cannot decay. Consciousness takes the form of flowing time inside an identified person, but contained inside a person without identification it takes the form of eternity. The influence of time will decay the container but has no grip on the formlessness of consciousness.

Consciousness

The CONTENT OF CONSCIOUSNESS is what it is conscious of. These two appear to be mixed but are really two very different things. It is only because the two always appear simultaneously that we cannot tell them apart. Consciousness cannot see itself because it is what sees. The content of consciousness cannot exist without its medium just like a wave cannot exist without water. Therefore the two appear to be mixed, appear to be the same thing. To tell them apart is a major milestone in the development of human progress. Only when we realize there is something within us that is beyond time, do words like eternity get a meaning. Before that they were mere sounds.

When you think you are your personality you leave yourself no space for serious progress. Because giving up parts of that personality would seem equal to suicide. Those that are not identified with their personality have no trouble exchanging parts of that personality because they are not actually changing. They just have a slightly different perception of things.

So the content of consciousness is produced by the body in reaction to its own state and the situation it is in. The thoughts that we have is the content of the mind, which is also an organ of the body. The mind is the part of the body which steers it. It creates perceptions just like eyes and ears.

NOTHING is a very important concept, just like the number zero. When we said that consciousness cannot see itself, that was not the complete truth. What was meant was that it cannot see itself as long as it is conscious of something else. When consciousness perceives nothing it becomes aware of itself. This is however much more complicated as it sounds. The mind is an instrument that mimics reality. When you want to focus your attention on nothing the mind immediately comes up with thoughts about nothingness. But thinking about nothingness is not the same as the absence of thoughts, of course. So the harder you try to stop your mind the more it will start thinking about stopping the mind. If you try you will find out you have no control over the functions of the mind whatsoever.

This is where nothing becomes very important, and I know that sounds strange. Even the impression of the absence of impressions is an impression. It turns out that the concept of nothingness is too much for the mind to handle, it keeps coming up with definition of it instead of the absence of definitions. The more consciousness is identified with the mind the more difficult it becomes to steer it, instead of being steered by it. Needless to say that most methods and efforts to control the mind only increase the level of identification. After all, the wish to control the mind is a form of identification as well. Someone without identification with the mind does not have the wish to stop it, because that is a thought as well. Such a person simply stops his train of thoughts the way you hold your breath. It is not something that you do; it is something that you don't do.

The importance of nothingness lies not in what it is, because it isn't anything, but in its quality of being context. When you take something and compare it with the absence of it, you get a whole different point of view. The most striking example is the way one looks at his own thoughts. When you become aware of a line of thoughts you tend to get absorbed by it. The result is that you see those thoughts only; they fill the screen completely, so to speak. What is not there anymore is a context, an objective point of view. There is also another way of looking at thoughts: having thoughts relates to nothingness like air relates to vacuum. A part of space can either be filled with air or it can be an empty vacuum. Someone's consciousness can be either filled with thoughts or it can remain empty, filled with nothing. Realizing this makes a person see his thoughts for what they really are, seeing it as objective as it were someone else's thoughts. You can understand my thoughts are just a fluctuating electric currency, why can't you see your own thoughts that way?

EVERYTHING is on the other side of the coin as nothing; you can't have the one without the other. With everything is not meant every object in the universe! You cannot possibly see everything the universe contains, so it is useless to consider that. Objects on the other side of the universe have no relation with you therefore will thoughts about them never become reality. No, what is really meant with the word everything is every perception you will ever make, the totality of your life. That is what the word everything means from your point of view. The things that other people see, but you have not seen, are not part of your reality. From your point of view the word everything does indicate your complete life of experiences and perceptions.

This totality of your life we could call your field of experiences. This closed bubble that is your field of experiences relates to the rest of the universe the way a raindrop relates to the ocean: Once it gets in contact with the ocean, it becomes the ocean. In the same way does this bubble, this field of perception, experience itself as being separated from the rest of reality as long as it is not aware of the unity of things. However, as soon as this individual perception bubble comes into contact with the unity of life, it becomes that unity. The illusion of separation disappears and the reality of unity that was there all along, becomes visible.

Integrity is something that you lose when you lie, steal, spy, deliberately hurt beings or approve of such activities. Honest people still have their pride. The moment you steal something you might gain that, but you lose simultaneously your pride, your honour and your integrity. When the integrity is breached the parts of an object or person do not longer form a functioning whole. But you can keep your integrity by not doing to others what you don't want them to do to you.

INTEGRITY and truthfulness are very important attitudes for someone that wants to progress. Understanding these two pairs mentioned before guarantees change. But it is only truthfulness that can make sure this change actually is progress, you do not want the results of your efforts to be negative. The reason for this is that real progress happens on the level of reality, not on the mental level. Believing you are more intelligent as before, does not really makes you more intelligent. Truth is the verbalized, intellectual version of reality, something that is not the truth, also is not real. So if someone creates a change that is not in harmony with the truth, the result will not manifest itself on the level of reality. Or to put it differently: The liar confuses in the first place himself. Say a thief thinks stealing more money will make him happier. He may get the money but if it will make him happier is doubtful, the actual goal is not achieved. That is the result of dishonesty: one loses sight of his original goals and no progress is actually achieved. Also the opposite is true, someone will achieve his goals much faster when being in harmony with reality. The honest person has more real result of his efforts, which is a proven fact.

GOAL POINTED THINKING is the result when the mind gets completely absorbed in the truth and no lies or illusions cloud the thinking process. Goal pointed thinking means the mind takes the shortest route to improvement, while remaining contently in the present reality. It is the opposite of confusion, that is usually the result of a disharmonious thinking process, rather than resulting from incorrect information. Many people do not think straight and block their own progress with unrealistic expectations, traumas from the past, fears or plain lack of insight in their own potential capacities.

Therefore goal pointed thinking is an important tool, it tells you which steps you should take to get somewhere. It is the way of thinking that guarantees the maximum result possible for your efforts. And the very nice thing about it is, it is a side effect of the breathing exercise that we mentioned earlier on. You don't have to specifically train your mind to improve your goal pointed thinking, when doing the breathing exercise you are already doing it. The brain is like a muscle that gets stronger when trained and weaker when neglected. The breathing exercise practices focusing the attention upon a harmonious level and is therefore a very good example for goal pointed thinking. It maximizes the speed of progress because unity, the goal of the thinking process, is something that is already real but hidden. The exercise focuses on the unity between you and the rest of nature, the highest level of reality. That is a goal that will uplift your spirit and introduces a more clear way of thinking.

UNITY is a word that reveres to a kind of knowledge that used to be hidden under the seventh seal. This is symbolic speak for an ancient wisdom that was not understandable for the common man. It also reveres to a kind of mystic impressions that are produced on the topside of the brain, at a certain nerve centre. It is a knot in the structure of the brain that, when functioning, is capable of producing impressions that have a much higher level of objectivity than the impulses in the rest of the brain. You could call it the physical expression of the unity of nature, or the sense to see things in their right context. This sense to see things as part of a whole is something that develops along with the mental progress of those that do the exercise. Those that have realized the unity of things tend to have harmonious thoughts marked by empathy, while those unfortunates that lack this understanding have an uncontrollable mind that focuses on selfish impressions only.

The unity of things is something that really exists even when we cannot see it. It is simply too big for our senses to detect, besides that we are part of it and therefore look at it from the inside. We know unity has three main aspects because those are manifested in nature. We could say that the unity of things is three things at the same moment, like someone can be daughter, mother and sister at once. The universe is one thing: a unity, consciousness is collective and part of that unity, and reality is eternal. The unity of matter, unity of minds and unity of time. All together as one thing. Or to put it in religious terms: the Creator is simultaneously the Creation and the eternal soul at once. Unity expresses those three qualities and we are that expression. Unity is the reality of the universe, which is its physical appearance. That same unity is also the collective consciousness because it is part of that reality of the universe. The eternal aspect of unity manifests itself as sexuality and reproduction, which is what makes living nature lasting. When parents die and children live there is something continuing, something remains the same: This is the manifestation of eternity through living nature. First nature consisted of the parents later it consists of the children, but nature itself is eternal as the evolution has proved. And we are that nature, we are that unity.

Flowers

So this is the necessary information needed to progress in life and to make sure you spent your time wisely. Now you still might wonder how knowledge about something so abstract as the word everything, can help you to progress. It does not seem to make sense. The point is: no, that particular bit of information is not going to help you at all. But it is part of a set of knowledge and rules that together gives you a certain direction in life. Those seven phrases together describe a certain level of thinking; form a system of things you can do that will result in progress. Those words can also help you understanding ancient religions and philosophy, re-explain them in light of science.

But the main reason you should know all of this is because your senses don't always tell you the truth. There are aspects of reality our senses do not detect. Still you have to know what the structure of reality exactly is, in order to maximize the result of you actions. So this is a description of those parts of reality that are neglected by our perceptions but are very real nonetheless.

So, if the increasingly intense realization of collective potential within the individual is the nature of progress, then your own sense of limitation and separation are the obstacles to it. You yourself or at least the way you define yourself, your identification and individuality, are what needs to be conquered in order to truly progress.

Often it is fear that stands in the way of progress. The situation as it is might not be perfect but the fear for the new and unknown is often bigger as the need for change. There is the fear of leaving behind the familiar, the fear of failure, the fear of becoming different as the other members of the group, the fear for uncertainty etc. And these are only the rational fears, people that walk around with unhealed traumas from the past usually have all kinds of irrational fears.

All of this brings us to two conclusions: the result of progress is first an inner state of mind. It is for instance not the accumulation of possessions that are the result of progress; it is the feeling of happiness such possessions give to some people that is the real goal of progress. For a person that is poor but happy, it would not be a form of progress to become rich but unhappy. In the end it is the state of mind that counts and the goal of progress is to achieve that particular state of mind. The full realization of the collective potential by the individual is also a state of mind after all.

The second conclusion we have mentioned before: also the obstacles to achieve progress are a product of the mind, which means that the whole process of progression is in fact a mental process. Even though the results of progress are physical and visible, as evolution has proved, the factual process of improvement and growth is a mental one. That is the reason mental and psychological exercises and understanding are mentioned here as the cause for progress. When you know that certain impulses cause the mind to improve and certain mental states such as fear block improvement, than you know that the right state of mind is the key to progress.

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