Copyright by:
R.F. Bronkhorst
P.O. Box 9274
5000 HG Tilburg
The Netherlands

E-mail: rbronkhorst@quickprogress.com

Hi, I am Robust Robby. I am the guide that will tell you about the ways of the wise men and the wonders of the world. People say I am a strange duck, you know, the kind of guy that says things like: "I am the personification of truth, and the stand-in for reality. Because truth is a verbalized and limited version of reality." Not that it actually means something, but it looks real cool when I say things like that. So when you hear me producing text like that, don't pay too much attention, I'm just showing off.

Over there you see my three stupid nephews. They are not interested in the ways of the wise men and the wonders of the world. As you can see they do have real small heads and some concepts simply don't fit inside there. They have no mental space for big thoughts, like patterns in reality. To them those words are mere sounds without a meaning. What is a pattern and what is reality? They will have no clue.

You, on the other hand, will understand those things when you pay attention. A pattern is of course a repeated series of events, and reality is the universe including you and your perception of reality. Those are difficult words, I know, but they are the only words we've got to talk about big subjects like that. Besides, this is the way I talk, using long words in sentences that seem to have no meaning. Like: "Insight in the patterns of reality makes you know what to expect". Does that sentence really mean something?

When my stupid nephews are making too much noise or are getting on my nerves, I start using words like perception and consciousness. That always baffles them because they have no idea what that means. What they cannot see does not really exist for the stupid nephews. Those are words that indicate a certain idea, not a material object, it's called a concept. The word perception is that what you see or hear or feel. The word consciousness means the fact that you are actually seeing and hearing. So my friend, make sure you are paying enough attention to my words, or I will punish you by explaining the difference between perceptions and consciousness. The difference between what you see and that what is seeing.

So here we are, ready to meet the ways of the wise men and the world's wonders. I'll take it for granted that your first surprise was to see me as your guide. I know what you're thinking: Can we trust this duck, you think, what does he want from me? Well, like I said before, I am the personification of truth. Besides, who else is there you can trust with subjects of this magnitude? So I am a strange duck, so what. Does that mean that you think that a duck cannot be a good guide that would be race discrimination. We ducks have our pride too, you know. Besides, if you think that I am small, well let me tell you: There once was a time when you were very small as well, but you don't even remember that, don't you. That is because you don't want to be reminded of the fact you were once small too. So I don't want to hear anything about a small duck not being able to guide people to the wonders and ways of the wise men, o.k.?

Now, what you are about to read is very important because you can make use of this knowledge for the rest of your life. Knowing what to expect in life is very useful. But you will have to pay a prize before the words written here will actually enter your head and become real knowledge. The prize you have to pay is that you will have to wrestle with those difficult words that seem to have no meaning. That is where I come in and I will whisper the meaning of those words in your ear. That is my job as guide, and let me tell you it is quite an important job. Never underestimate the power of an educated duck.

Have you ever looked at night sky, enjoyed the silence and wondered what it actually was you where staring at? Sure, we all know about stars and light-years, meteors and galaxies, but what is it? All those names and numbers do not seem to have any relation with what we see above us. We know the meaning of words like reality and universe but do we actually know what it is? That question is important to us because we are a little part of that universe ourselves. Our life is nothing but a struggle to deal with reality so we should know what it is.

The stars we see at night remind us that we are part of something that is too big to grasp in one thought. Even though we have a name for it, the universe is too big to fit in one thought. Or such a thought would not fit into our heads. Anyway, that is the reason we look at the sky and feel a sense of wonder. In some people this sense of wonder develops into a healthy curiosity about the structure of reality. They want to answer that question about the nature of life and the universe. For those people these words are penned down. So you can look at the stars and know what it is you are looking at, and what it is that is looking.

A pattern is a repeated sequence of events. Recognizing this repeating series of happenings makes you know what to expect, once you have realized you are experiencing a part of a cycle. This can be done by analyzing the situation to see its relation with similar events. Analyzing means to think about what makes the situation to what it is, and how those aspects relate to each other. An aspect is a specific part.

The Structure of Reality

The structure is the relationship between components of a subject. The reality is the totality of what can be perceived. This totality is composed out of individual components. The main component of your reality is you. This fact is a basic aspect of reality as it is perceived by you. You have no way of knowing how reality looks like for the person next to you. Everybody thinks the world cycles around him or her. So, to explain the structure of reality to you means in the first place to point out the relationship you have with the totality of things. Because to be an acceptable explanation, it has to be verifiable by you. Since you cannot perceive the totality of reality we can only discuss the structure of the reality as it appears to you. From these clarifications we can generalize some basic facts about reality as a whole, including those aspects you have not personally witnessed.

What we attempt to do here is to analyze reality in a completely different way as what has been done before. Usually science takes one little detail from the completeness of the totality of things. This one component of reality gets fully analyzed. The resulting information is formulated in such an abstract way, it does not describe that particular component but all components similar to the one analyzed. Science takes one particular atom and looks at it that intensely, it can draw conclusions that fit all the similar atoms that make up reality. Such is the power of abstract logic. What we do here is different, it is called linear logic. We look at the totality of all atoms with such clarity, that we are able to define the characteristics of one particular atom.

What we are doing here is analyzing reality. The real reality, meaning that what you see right now right here. Not some sort of abstract, almost virtual reality of modern science. Linear logic delivers us a different perspective of reality. We are talking about a level of truth that can be verified by analyzing information that is readily available. Truth is verbalization of reality. Squeezing reality into words. Even though there is only one ultimate reality, different sets of words can be used to describe the same thing. Therefore, when different kinds of logic come up with different statements about the same thing, that does not indicate that one of them is wrong. Just another way to look at it. There is one reality, but many ways to formulate the truth.

We already have one definition of reality: Every individual being has its own view of what makes up reality as a result of individual perceptions. Reality is the sum of all things, including all those individual realities.

We could also look in reality at a completely different way: When we dream we often sense the impression of reality, the dream situation appears real. This implies that we seem to be able to imagine a sense of reality. It also implies that at times the daytime reality could be imagined reality by us. During your dream your worries about daytime life are not real to you. That brings us to a conclusion that seems to be contradicting our first definition of reality. We could call reality the sum of all things. We could also say that reality is that sensory input we attach a sense of being real to. Does the dream monster resemble a teacher that is chasing you, for real? Well, he certainly appears to be so when you meet him. Are the exams and their deadline real? Well, from your point of view their reality is only apparent when you are not sleeping. So, is the sense of reality real? There obviously is one reality out there that is common to us all. But our sense of reality is clearly blurred. The fact that we perceive something to be real does not make it certain that it actually is. Not that one object could be more real than another. But if we can be mistaking our self when it comes to chasing dream monsters, it could be possible that one day you wake up to a different state of consciousness and suddenly remember that your daytime life is as real as dreams.

So we have two realities: The universe size, zillions of years old objective one and the couple of decennia old subjective reality of your life. This last subjective reality is the only one that matters to you. Right here and right now is the only reality that is real to you. You do not want to know about a reality that is occupied by distant stars. You care about the reality as you experience it. Therefore that will be the reality whose structure we are looking at. After all, the two realities are not separated from each other as the first definition showed us.

Structure means the way different aspects together form a situation. Normally we use this word only for physical objects. Reality as we see it today is the end result of what happened in the past. In the past certain elements were introduced that form the structure of reality today. So the word structure indicates the answer to the question why the things are the way they are.

The sum of all your experiences is the only thing you can be really, absolutely one hundred percent sure of. The subjective micro reality that makes life to how you perceive it, is the only reality from your point of view. This reality has a structure even though you cannot see it. This personal one man's reality as you see it is in fact a part of the universal reality. Because the objective reality is strictly structured as science tells us, also the subjective personal reality is integrated into this universal structure.

In other words: It is the universe that dictates what you perceive therefore is there a structure in your experiences. That is the structure we are looking for here: the hidden patterns of life. Knowing this makes it possible for you to know what to expect.

One of the first things that strikes us about reality is that it is seldom according to our wishes. That is why you want to know about its structures, so you can deal with it. Life is a challenge and we have to overcome the problems. This is the root of those problems: The impressions we perceive show us a subjective, completely personalized point of view. But these impressions are also often painful or frightening. There is this contradiction within our instruments of perception. We have these highly complex, almost miraculously sophisticated tools for perception, eyes, ears, feelings etc. and yet what we see is often not pleasant.

This is an indication the universe dictates what we perceive. It is not us our self creating our perceptions, nor even our instruments of perception. Impressions are delivered to us, including our sense of individuality. That is a contradiction. That has to result in tensions and misconceptions and leads to the impression that reality is not that what we wished for.

There are more contradictions like that: We are part of a universe that is almost eternal, yet we live only a very brief life span. We feel we are made to live forever, but we don't. Bummer, highly dissatisfying. And it gets worse: Evolution has shown us there is a constant in the developments of reality, progress. Everything is always on the move looking for progress. Nature is changing all the time but one thing remains constant, progress. The progress that has been made in the past in the form of evolution is available to us. We are the result of that evolving of those before us.

Yet our own personal life does not seem to include any permanent progress. We live and we die and everything we gain is temporary. We are a part of a developing universe, a result of that evolution even. But the benefits of that all seem to pass us by. It is contradicting.

All these three contradictions are rooted in the same misconception. We are given a part of reality, a little part of the universe we call mine, but it is usually not according to our wishes. It is temporary; everything we achieve will be taken away. And the whole point of living does not seem to be very uplifting and progressing.

The problem is that we do not perceive reality as it is. The picture that is delivered to us by our senses is an individualist version of reality. You see reality only from your own highly personalized, totally private and uniquely individual point of view. That is not an accurate impression of reality!

The real world differs from the world as you see it. In reality it does not turn around you, you are not really the centre of it. Your eyes make you believe that things are grouped around you. But they aren't. This false notion that we are at the centre of our perceptions makes us individualize our experiences. Individualize means: limit, separate. Individualize our experiences means separate our self from the rest. Limit our sense of individuality to that particular point of view our senses deliver us.

So, if we feel the reality is not according to our wishes, it is because we think we are separated from the rest of reality. And we aren't. If we think we live only temporary, it is because we falsely limit our definition of our self to one particular point of view. We don't experience evolution because our illusionary sense of individuality keeps us from realizing the countless eons that made us to what we are.

We are at the center of what we see, not at the centre of the world.

This is the most basic structure of reality: We are undoubtedly an integrated aspect of the whole of reality. Yet we define our self as completely separated from what surrounds us. That is what our senses tell us. We fail to see that those senses themselves are nature too, are a part of the universe, an aspect of reality. After all, we did not make our eye's our self.

From this basic structure of reality derive most other patterns in experiences. The hidden patterns of life have their source in the false notice of isolation from the rest of nature. They take form as the kind of thoughts and habits a person has, the way others react, fortune or misfortune, life span, etc .

The way a person reacts depends in the first place on the self-definition of that person. What a person thinks about himself does also strongly influence the way others will respond. A low self esteem and a negative self image will result in bad habits and self-destructive tendencies thereby lowering a person's chances and life span.

And all this is triggered by the wrong conception our senses deliver to us. It looks like we are the centre of the universe but we are not. This makes us believe that we are completely separated from the rest of nature. This wrong self image limits our possibilities; it isolates us from our potential.

The process of mistakenly thinking that you are what you see, is called identification. People identify with their perceptions. Thereby completely forgetting they really are an integrated part of nature. Identification makes you take a tiny little aspect of reality and say "that is me" thereby excluding everything else. Identification makes you mistakenly think you're very limited and one sided view of reality is in fact reality. And above all does identification of the self with the sensory input, make it impossible to be aware of the unity of things.

It is clear to see that the process of identification is one of isolation and limitation. But it is not something we consciously do; this is the image that the senses deliver to us. We can only know and understand why things are the way they are. From the hidden patterns of life we can learn what to expect: The more a person sees himself as the centre of the world, the more he isolates and limits himself. This will create negative thoughts and self destructive habits. People tend to dislike ego-centric strangers; it is more difficult to be happy like that. The life expectancy of isolated people is clearly lower. The entire life of a person is depending on his self definition.

It is like this: Your senses show you an experience and you identify with it, saying that is me. Then this identification creates unpleasant experiences. This makes you distance yourself from it. Finally you don't want to be that you identified with. And the balance of truth is restored again. The more identification associated with egoism and selfishness, the more painful experiences are needed to make a person wants to realize reality again. Misconceptions are like hallucinations; you cannot live a dream forever. A misguided self image is such a dream that has to end with a rude awakening. Call it a law of nature, call it a structure of reality or a hidden pattern of life, you could even call it magical future prediction. Fact is that the universe is in a state of balance. This implies that misconceptions have to disappear sooner or later. One could say that the universe has a tendency to destroy misconceptions. One could also say that when you have hallucinations you are bound to get into trouble. Anyway is it a fact that identification attracts resistance.

Identifying with what our senses tell us is like watching a movie. The moment you are intensely watching a movie, you are not aware anymore of yourself sitting down. You can watch for a very long time because you don't really feel your body. You are aware of the movie instead, your emotions respond to what you see. Such is the power of identification. If someone would force you to sit still even without moving your eyes much, it would be torture. Being identified with a movie however, you might laugh at a joke even after more than one hour sitting still.

Identification makes you forget your real self, and assume a more limited, restricted and isolated definition of yourself. After all, being a movie watcher is a very limited, restricted and socially isolated thing to do. Identification with perceptions has exactly the same effect. When watching a movie you restrict yourself and focus consciously on only one thing. Identification makes you restrict and focus yourself on one point of view. Isolating yourself by excluding all other points of view. Doing so makes you forget your self. The identity one assumes after identification is always less than the original one!

So, all these words written here are just to confirm what we have already made sure of in the beginning: Your eyes tell you that everything is situated around you. That is not for real however. Everybody else has the same experience and you know the others are not the centre of everything. Your body is a fully integrated part of nature; you are an expression of the whole. Your life is a little piece of reality. What you see is just what you see; it is not what you are. What you see is a view of reality, not reality itself .

Picture yourself looking at the night sky. Maybe it is late one evening in August. It is still warm, the sky is clear and the silence is intense. You look up and see the stars. It is sheer infinity, eternal and infinite, and you are looking at it. It is hard to realize that things like eternity and infinity can be that real they are actually visible. Still, just look up and it is really there. We are not talking about believing something here. Science can exactly tell you how old this eternity already is, and the size of infinity. The fact these numbers exist does not make infinity suddenly limited. No, the age and size of the universe are just numbers to help us cope with something that is too big to even think about. So, eternity has existed for a zillion years already, does that make it any less eternal?

All this can cross your mind looking up at the infinity above us. This kind of situation would be the right moment for romance as well. The countless twinkling stars, the incredible distances, it makes you feel so small you need to hold somebody so you don't lose yourself.

Anyway, when we look at the stars what do we actually see? It seems too silly to ask, but when we look up at night what do we actually see? The plain answer "stars" is not fully correct. The scientist will tell you what you see at night are photons emitted by hot matter. That is abstract knowledge; we put a name and number on the subject and by doing so we know what it is. In the time period I am writing this down each and every scientist will swear on his life that when we look up at night we detect photons. Still at the same time none of them can give a definition of a photon. But they keep insisting they know what star light is even at the same moment they have to admit they don't exactly know what it is.

That is the limitation of abstract knowledge: If it cannot come up with an answer it refuses to acknowledge there might be other ways of finding the truth. People that have no other knowledge than abstract logic suffer from the same limitation. If they don't know, nobody else can possibly know.

Philosophers are more broad minded then scientists. When we ask them what we see in the night sky they say we see the past. Starlight travels many years before it reaches earth, in some occasions even millions of years. That is what we see! With our own eyes we actually perceive something that happened a million years ago. Even the sun is in reality 8 minutes away from where we see it, a considerable distance. The night sky is eternity staring us right in the face. Why believe in some antic religion, why believe the scientist's numbers, when eternity and infinity are visible facts. That is what philosophers would say and they are right of course. Not that the abstract logic of the scientists is wrong, it is just that their truth is not the highest truth.

Unity is a way in which individual things can relate to each other. F.i. the limps and different organs of your body only function because together they form a unity; that is their relation to each other.

And what is linear logic's answer to what we see at night? You see a reflection, an image created by your own mind; you definitely don't see stars, photons or whatever. When the starlight hits the eye it doesn't actually enter the skull. The light itself bounces off your eyes just like it does with everything else. The eye produces an electrical signal that gets transmitted to the brain. The brain uses this electrical signal to reproduce the image you saw. Yes, that is right; the brain reproduces the image of the stars inside your brain. That is what you see, a reproduction created by your own brain. All these stars, all these photons, yes, all these ideas about the universe, are nothing but brainwaves. Fluctuating electrical currencies inside your brain that is what the highest reality is.

So, we came to a brand new conclusion about the structure of reality. A truth deeper as science and higher as religion. What is the nature of your experiences, what is reality as you perceive it? Reality as you perceive it is a reflection, a re-creation, a reproduction, a mere brainwave!

Now, if what we see is a mere reflection of reality and not reality itself we are bound to have misconceptions. For instance, when scientists are trying to investigate the nature of something, they are really only measuring the limitations of that reflection, that reproduction. Not of the real object itself. Do you understand? When what they see is a reflection, a mental reproduction, such as the investigated object, the tools to do so etc., the result will only show the qualities of that reflection. It is like dreaming you are investigating something, the results can only show the qualities of a dream. Not the qualities of the investigated object because that never even existed.

This is proof there can be a difference between reality and its reflection. Colour blind people are even more aware of the fact that the senses don't always tell you the truth. The main thing that the senses don't show us, but is there in reality, is the unity of things. Our eyes tell us that every object has an independent, individual and isolated identity. That is a reflection however, a reproduction by the mind. That what is reflected is a totality, a unity. The difference between the reality and its reflection is a result of the point of view of the senses. We should not forget that the senses are also a part of that totality. In the same way you cannot detect the identity of a person by putting a camera inside him, your eyes cannot see the totality of things. The reality is the universe, and it is not possible to perceive the whole universe. So we are like the blind man who finds it hard to believe that the trunk and the tail of an elephant are actually one and the same thing. They seem to move independently.

That brings us back to the fact that we are not the centre of the universe but we are an integrated part of it. When reality, the universe, is a totality, a unity, than your true nature is that unity as well. But your senses don't show you that, your eyes tell you that objects are isolated. That is the source of a lot of problems. It is important to know and remember that all things are together one. One universe, one creation, whatever name we give it. Once that knowledge is hammered into your thick skull you will see that you are not the centre of all things.

After that, things will become much clearer to you, I can promise you that much. Besides many other things this knowledge is the source of correct moral behavior. So understanding this does not only clear up your mind, it is very benefiting for society as well. People that understand that nature is one thing don't go and make war against some unknown but alien strangers. And it works for small things as well.

If I would explain every little detail of the structure of reality I could go on forever, that is a whole library. Let's do something better instead and tell you where you can dig up this knowledge yourself. I have already told you what the main root of the problem is, and I will tell you what to do about it. But until then there is one more thing I want you to understand. It is about another misconception you have.

So the reality as you perceive it is actually a reflection, a re-creation, a brainwave. However, your brain has the same limitations as your other senses have: You are identified with it, and therefore you perceive your brain to be fully isolated from everything else. You assume you are your brain, not that you have a brain. Being identified means you think your brain is the centre of things, it is you. Everything else is positioned around that centre. Being identified also means you are not capable anymore to see that your brain is just as much a product of nature (or God) as everything else is. You have a brain; it is not something that you are.

Let's face it: You do not know how to make a thought! You have no clue as to how your brain functions. Thoughts simply pop up inside your head, how they are produced is beyond your reach.

There are two aspects to a thought, the physical brain and its electrical currencies, and the content, the thought as you perceive it. The way the physical brain came into existence is something we can only have theories about. One thing is for sure though: You did not make your brain! Nor did your parents have the knowledge how to make a brain. Your brain exists so the knowledge how to create a brain has to come from somewhere. The identified idea of "I am this brain, I am my body" is somewhat short sighted considering we have no clue about how it functions.

So you have a brain that functions no matter what you think about it. When you try to stop thinking for just one minute you will see that it is not possible. Your brain constantly delivers thoughts to you, even when you are asleep. All this shows that the notion of identification is wrong, you are really in essence separated from your brain. That mysterious brain of yours creates a thought and at the moment you detect it, it seems you actually are this thought. The reason this illusion is so convincing is that you seem to control what you are thinking. This impression is a result of identification also, however.

Bottom line is that you do not really know how to create a thought. They just happen to you. Like we said, there are two aspects to a thought: the physical brain that produces it and the content of it. So, if the creation of the brain is something beyond our comprehension, does that mean we have no way if influencing what we think? Yes, it is possible! Since progressing is the essence of nature also our thinking process is susceptible to progress. There is a structure in the content of thoughts and by understanding that, it is possible to influence what your future thoughts will be. By solving the mystery about what makes you think you can shape your future mental activity. Since this is the aspect of reality you actually experience, you could say that you can create your future reality this way. Knowing the structure of the content of thoughts gives you control over it.

Well let me tell you how the content of thoughts gets created: The basic direction of a thought is similar to the attitude and common factor of your thoughts and actions in general. Say for instance that you are walking in the snow. It is the situation as such, that is the source for the thought "cold". It depends on what kind of person you are what direction this thought about cold will take. If you have the tendency towards an extremely good mood or if you are deeply in love, the information about the temperature has hardly any influence on the flow of happy thoughts.

A person with a very negative attitude that is always focused on the bad side of people and situations will suffer more because he is more aware of the cold. A child playing in the snow might not even realize the temperature. So, even thought the temperature is a factor out of our control at that moment, the way that fact is experienced is depending on the kind of thoughts one is used to think. We should not forget: what you experience is your reality. To the playing child and the passing lovers the reality of the temperature is pleasant and positive. To the person that is used to give in to unkind thoughts and actions the exact same situation will be an unpleasant and depressing reality. The cold is the same but the realities people experience is different. The kind of reality people experience is depending on their own previous thoughts.

So, in a way they are your own thoughts that shape the future reality. By thinking and acting the way you do right now, you create your own future as you will experience it. Ignorant people just let themselves drift towards unhappiness by the circle of negative impressions. Smart people take responsibility for their own life by avoiding excessive negativity and unkindness. The very smart people wonder at this point: If the brain delivers our thoughts to us without asking us if we want them, then how can we change that flow of thoughts. The answer is that the brain comes with a set of options. One of those options is that you can focus your attention. By steering your attention you can influence the mental activity.

Say the thought arises in you that you feel the desire to hit the child next to you. This thought might arise without you wanting it. Maybe it is out of anger, envy or a projection from earlier emotions upon this child, you cannot even be sure. Now, if you focus you attention on this subject the thought will become stronger. If you fantasize about hitting the child it is most likely that at one point you are going to do it. The thought becomes too strong to resist. This is the beginning of a chain of troubles.

But if you focus your attention consciously on another subject all of this will not happen. The moment you feel aggression towards someone you can simply focus yourself on something else. Think about food, beautiful women, God or a joke, anything, and your anger will immediately be reduced. You might still have to face an unpleasant situation, but at least you did not create an unpleasant future reaction for your self.

So this is the trick to create a better reality for yourself in the future: Don't dwell longer as strictly necessary on negative thoughts, don't give in to anger, envy or self pity and greed. And don't do to others what you don't want them to do to you. That's all, sounds vaguely familiar doesn't it?

In case you are really interested in the functions of the brain and you want to know why a thought has influence on future thoughts to come, I quickly explain: As has been said before the real nature of a thought is a small flow of electricity inside the brain. We experience thoughts as individually rising and subsiding. That is not the reality however. In reality a thought is a fluctuation of a currency that is constantly there. It is not so that one thought enters our head and disappears after a while to make place for the next one. That is how it looks like. No, the electrical currency is there all the time, it fluctuates.

Every fluctuation is a thought. This thought leaves a residue, an imprint, on the nature of the electrical flow. Not a residue in the sense that something is actually left behind, but in the sense that it influences the condition of the currency. In that way it creates the conditions for future thoughts to take shape. Those future thoughts are made out of the same materials, building blocks, as the ones before. That is the relation thoughts in different moments in time have with each other.

So, instead of individual thoughts like clouds floating through your head, the mind is more like soft clay. First it takes the form of one thought, than it transforms and the same clay takes the form of another thought. The form that the mind takes is the content of the thought. A quick sequence of shapes appears to us as the flow of thoughts. This is what is meant by the word fluctuation. The flow of electrical currency through our brain is constant. But its route and structure is constantly changing. Every shape the qualities of this currency take, represent an individual thought. That creates the illusion of individual thoughts floating through our brain. Like the individual shots of a movie appear to us as a flowing story.

So the mental activity of today is what determines what kind of thoughts will pop up in your head tomorrow. Our mental activity can be influenced by our attention. If we repeatedly steer our attention to certain kinds of thoughts we create the circumstances necessary for a particular future reaction. When the situation at work for instance leaves someone with a dissatisfied feeling, then the repetition of that feeling is the ideal breeding ground for anger. Having the attention focused on one impression creates the circumstances necessary for another.

Or when a woman regularly admires the charms and good looks of a man, the repetition of that thought will make it possible that impressions of love arise. Or after a scary movie the sounds late at night can be more frightening. The mind reacts then to thoughts that were there before and are not relevant now. Or take two people that are playing a game of chess. One person does many exercises and mental trainings and lives a positive lifestyle before the match. The other regularly drinks much alcohol, quarrels a lot and is depressed. Who do you think has the best chances of winning the game of chess? Notice that here too it is the mental content long before the game that makes the conditions what a person thinks during the event.

If mental states can be brought about by repetitions of certain thoughts then we want to know what the source of happiness and intelligence is. Because we all want to be happy and smart. And because all this knowledge about the structure of the mind has no use if it does not make us function better. When you are done reading this you don't have more money and you will not be better looking. But you will know what to avoid to create a better future reality for yourself.

Because what you think now is a direct result of your mental activity in the past. So the right circumstances to think happy and smart thoughts in the future can be created today. The best time to plant a tree is hundred years ago, the second best time is now. Improving the future thoughts should be done now. Enhanced intelligence will be explained later, but I can tell you about the secret of happiness. Let's start with getting rid of a common misconception: The story that by becoming rich one also becomes happy is not true!

Having less as minimally required will prevent feelings of happiness, but that does not mean that having more things makes you happier. I know some very rich but very unhappy people. No, the real secret to happiness is harmony. One has to be in harmony with the rest, to experience true happiness. Selfish people feel isolated from their surroundings and are therefore seldom really happy. It is like singing with a group of people. When there is harmony it sounds beautiful and it is pleasant to do. A slightly altered tone makes the beauty disappear. Happiness is like beauty, when there is harmony it is suddenly there. Just a small sense of isolation will make it disappear.

So, happiness is the result of harmony. Happiness cannot be achieved by selfishly acquiring ever more possessions, because then you are focused on feelings of dissatisfaction. There is no such thing as enough! On the contrary, the basis for happiness is contentment, one cannot be happy without being content. Constantly wanting to have more possessions is in fact discontentment of course. So, first you have to be reasonably content with what you have and then focus on harmony. The harmony will become the source of a flow of happy thoughts. Not that happiness can be forced, but it is like singing. Work to achieve harmony and suddenly the beauty will be there. Work to achieve harmony in life, and happiness will suddenly appear out of nowhere.

EXERCISE FOR INCREASING HARMONY AND DECREASING IDENTIFICATION: This is something that can be done every day for about 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure you will not be disturbed during that period. Sit in a comfortable position with your back strait and no tight clothing. Close your eyes and focus your attention on your breathing process. Breath relaxed in and out while you think "it breathes within me". This is the opposite of thinking ''I breath", so instead of thinking that you are breathing your -self, you should focus on the realization that the breathing process is done for you. You just sit there and watch it, looking silently within, being aware it is breathing within you.

Sounds pretty simple and easy, doesn't it. But in reality it is a lot harder to do as one would expect. All kinds of thoughts will come up and one just has to ignore them. Suspending all activity to a later moment. The body will start itching and one just has to ignore that as well. But after a while you will feel a peace and a sense of calmness come over you that will make this exercise very pleasant to do. Do this for a period of time on a regular basis without much expectation. What you are doing is creating the right circumstances needed to have more happy and less identified thoughts in the future. Now, if you start focusing on how much happiness you are busy acquiring, you are just being selfish again. The trick is to be in the here and now, just doing this meditation without much expectation. I am not promising you nirvana or enlightenment here, leave that to the mystics. I am not promising you heaven or fortune and fame either. So don't spend much thought on that kind of things.

What I can promise you however is that if you do this exercise sincerely, you get back what was rightfully yours in the first place: The possibility to think happy and pleasant thoughts when you want to. You will also decrease your level of identification without you even being aware of it. That will make you avoid a lot of problems, but you will not even notice that. Since you cannot know what problems you have avoided, you also cannot tell how functional this exercise was. You just going to have to believe me, and progress rapidly. Or don't have this faith and go on the way you were before, it doesn't matter to me.

Identification has also a moral aspect; it strongly influences ones perception of right and wrong. Doing the meditation mentioned above will reduce identification and thereby change the moral values of a person. Simplifying we could say: identification makes a person believe what is good and what is in his interest is the same thing. Everything else is bad. An aspect of identification can be egocentric, egoistic, and narcissistic or power abusing behavior. Depending on the level of identification, a person will show more or less signs of mental isolation.

A person without identification will see that what is helping the totality of things to progress is what is called good. Bad is what prevents progress from taking place. Obviously, what is helping the totality of things, is also helping the individual. The difference between identified or not is the focus, is one focused on one's self or on one's role in life. The difference between feeling isolated from the surrounding or being part of nature. The difference between confronting or harmonious, the difference between me and us. What you really are is consciousness, because that is the decisive factor that you actually see. So, identification is the fact that you have forgotten this, and believe what you see is what you are.

Your real self is consciousness and limitless but what you see is very limited. Therefore is identifying with what you see like locking yourself in a box, limit your mind to the details you see instead of the surrounding whole of reality.

It is good to understand how your moral values function, after all we depend on them for our sense of direction in life. The process of making a moral decision is something you can easily understand. It is not so that a thought about what is good and what is bad just pops up inside your head without any good reason. Clearly there is a reason why some things are good and others not. Part of it is education; children copy their parent's moral values. But since there are a lot of unpleasant people it is clear that these values forced upon us often don't stick. So there must be another reason why people behave badly and that reason is identification. Very identified people simply don't believe what their mother has told them about good and bad. To them the only thing that is real is themselves.

The process of taking moral decisions has two aspects, the physical perceptions and the inner moral values. Sometimes we find our self in an unusual situation, and we have to decide how to approach it. Say, you see somebody doing something and you have to decide between interfering, telling your opinion or ignoring it. There is a process going on in your mind, a balancing of reasons to decide how to act. You are most likely not very aware of it, so I will explain what happens. It is strange but there are a lot of processes going on inside your head without you even knowing it. You just become aware of the outcome; it is unclear where these thoughts come from.

The most central of all motivations is the one of self preservation. In the way the brain is wired the urge for self preservation is dominant. This is a result of evolution, those who are like this live longer and therefore raise more babies. This central region of the brain gets fed with information from two directions. The physical senses deliver the perceptions about the situations this urge for self preservation needs to control. At the same time the inner moral values deliver their commentary on that situation. In case one is under attack the mechanism for self preservation can choose between fighting and fleeing. Those are the most basic of all responses but they have only value in case of imminent danger.

Most of the time there will not be any of the direct danger these mechanisms are designed for. Still the urge for self preservation will check all the incoming information. The situations that the senses are aware of are as they are, not threatening. But it is very much up to inner moral values to decide how that urge will judge in response to those situations. That judgment can go two directions, the direction of egoism, or that of empathy. The more one is identified, the more one thinks "I am my senses" instead of "I have the senses"; the more the self preservation will tend to egoism. The less one is isolated, selfless, the stronger will be the impulses of empathy and integrated social behaviour.

It is the way one defines oneself that determines what kind of self needs to be preserved. The more one is identified with the body, the more the self preservation will act the way it was originally designed, with fighting or fleeing. The more one defines oneself as a member of a social structure, the more the brain is capable of placing itself in somebody else's position and respond with empathy. The original goal of this mechanism was just to survive. When there are no strong impulses into either direction, then that is what the person will do: he will survive until his time has come. However, when the inner moral values push the urge for self preservation in the direction of egoism, the person will develop sadistic tendencies. This is very harmful for society, especially for those that come into contact with such a person. On the other hand if inner moral values deliver a socially harmonious view of reality, the person becomes aware of the relativity of his mental concepts.

Such a person develops a much wider view of reality than the limited egoist.

Consciousness is the fact that you are alive,
Awareness is the fact that you are alive and awake,
Attention is the fact that you are alive, awake and actually reading this.

Being attentive is reading many words about reality,
Being concentrated is reading many words about reality and understanding them,
Realization is seeing reality.

It is needless to say that the identified and egoistic people will be less happy than the socially integrated ones, it is obvious. Now, you do remember how to influence this process, don't you? The way you direct your attention will decide if you become a sadist or a wise person. The focusing of your attention is the only tool you have to influence the outcome, since the thoughts you have now, are the result of past mental activity. What you focus your attention upon today will be your living reality tomorrow, well, at least over a longer period of time.

So, if you have thoughts that will make you more mentally isolated, like anger, greed, envy, egoism, hate or sadism, replace those thoughts with harmonious ones. Don't repress your mental activity, this will not work. Also don't deny you have those thoughts, they will not go away that way. Just replace them with more pleasant thoughts. Focus your attention to what is contradicting selfish tendencies. When angry look for what you and your enemy have in common. When egoistic, search for pleasant and harmonious contacts with people. When sadistic, focus on pleasant things, you know, something that gives you real joy. And most of all: when identified, and you surely are identified, do the exercise as mentioned before. The situation might not be perfect for you right now, but at least you can make sure the future will be better.

Now we have cleared how to handle the subjective reality as you perceive it, we still keep wondering about the big objective reality. We can stick a name on it and call it the universe but that doesn't make it more clear what it actually is. For as long as we know people have been fascinated by the mysteries of the night sky. We know it is bigger and more complex than we can possibly imagine. Science can tell us the numbers and names of infinite distant star systems, but that does not tell us what it in fact is.

One thing is clear thought, the reality as you perceive it is like a bubble in the ocean of existence. No one can look beyond his own bubble because that is it: the field of perception. Our bubble is the totality of our life, and our point of view is always inside it. Our senses tell us there is a vast ocean around us but all we can actually detect is our own bubble of reflected reproduction. Everybody lives inside their own bubble of experiences. To us our bubble is all there is and is therefore of the utmost importance to us. To the universe our bubble is just one between uncountable others, in an ocean that is bigger as can possibly be reflected. Now, if you identify with your field of experiences you should feel microscopically small. Just look up, see the infinity of the night sky and know that you are close to nothing. The identified person might be very important to himself but objectively he is almost too small to detect.

Some one that is not identified with his bubble of perceptions looks upon the same thing completely different however. If one does not think "that bubble of experiences is me, that is what I am" there can only remain the plain notion that perceptions is what you see, not what you are. Remains the question however: if it is not me, what is it? The answer is simple, the universe is one thing! What you see might be a reflected reproduction of reality, it is still real. So, your own personal bubble of experiences is in essence an inseparable aspect of the universe. It is the universe, or at least a little part of it.

What you see is not reality, even though it appears to be so. What you actually see is a reproduced image created by your mind. Now, if this reproduced image is not you, it is the universe. It appears only separated from the universe from someone's point of view that is identified with it. To everybody else it is clear to see: a person is a little part of the totality of the universe. You have no problems understanding this when it comes to other people. So instead of looking upon yourself as being isolated from everything else, it is better to look upon yourself the same way you see others, within a context. Others are clearly a part of the universe and so are you. Bottom line is: you are the universe!! At least a little part of it. This means the qualities of the universe are also your qualities. The nature of the whole of totality is also your nature. The essence of existence is also your essence. Your real true being is infinite, eternal and omniscient. It is only because your senses wrongly tell you that you are isolated from the rest of reality, therefore you are not aware of this. This way you limit yourself and you cannot make use of your fullest potential.

The Structure of Living Nature

Knowledge has to be stored. Libraries, universities, and old people, are places where large amounts of knowledge can be stored. Science keeps progressing and adding to the mountain of knowledge that has to be stored. As culture and industry progress also they develop knowledge that has to be maintained. Civil administration and history in general, all generate data that people want to keep. It is very important to store all this information because it ensures the continuity of life as we know it. Just a small gap in the continuity would mean that knowledge has disappeared. Knowledge that is gone is seldom missed, people are not aware of what is not there. Therefore they will not go looking for knowledge that was once there but has disappeared. If there would be a small gap in the continuity of storing knowledge, science, culture and civil life would return to an earlier stage of development. All the progress had to be done all over again, if the information about the results would not be available. This means that progress made could be defined as the amount of knowledge and discoveries that are stored. Progressing as such is nothing but adding to that amount.

Evolution works on the same principle. Individual beings gather knowledge and the species develop. Also here the continuity of that knowledge is very important. Countless millions of years were necessary to gather the genetic information needed to create a now extinct bird called Dodo. Then there was a gap in the continuity of the storage of that genetic information. It did not matter how big that gap was, once the information was gone it was definitely gone. After there was no living Dodo for more than one second, the chain of millions of years of Dodo progress had definitely finished. And all the knowledge that all the former Dodo's had gathered was no longer available. So, the continuity of the knowledge of what makes a kind of beings to what they are is the most basic ingredient for their existence. Progress is the amount of knowledge that is stored, and continuity of that storage is vital.

Now, thinking about that sad story of the Dodo, a question arises if we look at it very carefully. The Dodo has disappeared because there was a disruption of the continuity of genetically stored information. Millions of years of the experiences of Dodo's had been crystallized into that what defined Dodo's as a kind: their genetic material. Remember the medium used to store information has to be an undisrupted continuum to be effective. And remember that the science involved in translating natural selection into sequences of amino acids is immeasurable complex. Because that is what genes are.

That leaves us with one question: Where is the knowledge stored to do so? Where is the information that tells us how to translate natural selection into genes? Obviously not in the genes themselves, the method how to reproduce genes had to exist before genes could come into existence. Otherwise it had stayed a onetime event. So there has to be a continuum that contains the information that is used in the process of natural selection. Or to be mere clear: What is it exactly that progresses during the process of evolution? It is clearly not the individual being that is evolving. The only contribution from the individual to natural selection is either to reproduce and die, or not to reproduce and die. The individual beings just gather the necessary information; it is the totality that is progressing. Evolution is something that is done by nature as a whole, not by individuals or species.

That gives us an indication to where the information needed for natural selection is stored, nature as a whole is the only continuum able to do so. No individual being lives long enough to oversee the changes of evolution, or even be aware of it. Also we as people are both the result of evolution, as well as a link in the development of mankind. Still we are completely unaware of this. We accept our body just as a given fact and its relationship with our ancestors remains hidden. We do not even seriously consider the fact that our actions shape the future. We only are aware of our individual point of view. The fact that we are an expression of the progress of nature as a whole, is something beyond our perception. Our senses are not capable to see the place we have in the grand scheme of things.

Our sense of isolated individuality is an illusion however. Nature as a whole is evolving and we are an expression of that. Evolution created our senses, even our sense of individuality. But it is this same sense of individuality that keeps us from seeing we are an integrated part of the whole. We see aspects of our self repeated in our children but we don't realize that is only because both we as well as our children are manifestations of the whole of nature, of evolution.

That brings us back to the Dodo. If the Dodo gene pool was the building plan on how to make a Dodo, than somewhere there has to be the information on how to make a building plan. You have to subtle genetic code of amino acids. The unbelievably complex method to do so is part of an even more subtle level of existence. So first there is information about the way to preserve the results of natural selection. This information exists on such a subtle level it cannot be measured or even localized because it does not exist on the level of the individual. This information gives way to the genetic structures as they exist within every cell of our body. This is a less subtle level of existence, not visible to the eye but it can be measured. This genetic code is the reason why our body looks the way it does, the source why we are who we are. This is the least subtle level; it is clearly visible what the origin is and what is the result. So, the bird is gone because the reproduction of its building plan was disrupted. But the knowledge how to make a building plan for a Dodo still exists of course; it was never part of Dodo-kind but part of nature as a whole.

It is very likely that some of the features that made the Dodo to what it was will reappear somewhere in the future. If another species of birds gets into the position where they can use the Dodo experience, say walking around, typical Dodo genes will suddenly become part of the gene pool of that kind of bird. That would be impossible if genetic information was the only factor that defined a being. But if one remembers that it is nature as a whole that is evolving and progressing, it is easy to understand that the blue print to create one species can be used to support another. Nature is the undisrupted continuum where the information is stored how to make that blue print. For that reason components of that blue print, little blocs of information, can be transferred to other designs even across time. Their basic structure is the same, and they are both different manifestations of the same thing: nature.

Nature is a word without a clear definition, usually associated with mountains and trees. We have no clear picture of the whole of nature because we only see little parts of it at a time. What we do know about nature is that it has three main aspects: 1) the rivers, rocks and mountains that make up the earth 2) the countless living individual beings, plants and micro-organisms 3) consciousness, the one thing all these beings have in common.

So nature can be divided into living and non-living nature. Living nature has two aspects: the physical bodies of beings and their consciousness. There is not much to say about non-living nature in this context, it is the field of the kind of science that needs measurements and calculations. Living nature however, is something we are an integrated part of ourselves. We hardly think of our self as nature, but if you want to find Mother Nature's essence all you have to do is look inside. Our own body is an expression of the miracle of life; our own consciousness contains mysteries beyond our wildest dreams. Still we don't know what nature exactly is, we are not born with that knowledge. Even though we are an expression of nature our selves, is the knowledge what nature exactly is, not an inherent part of existence. That is of course also due to the limitations of our senses, the knowledge is there all the time but we just don't see it. Unless someone points it out to us. Then it becomes that obvious it is hard to understand why we did not figure it out our selves. And that is exactly what I intent to do here: point out to you what you really are.

Let's start with the bottom line here: what you really are is consciousness. The most essential part of your being is the consciousness that dwells inside your body. If you would lose a limp you would still be the same person, you would not become someone else. But if you would be without any form of consciousness you would be dead. When you are sleeping you are unconscious, you are not without consciousness. Being unconscious means that the senses are no longer connected to the centre of perception. Being unconscious means not being conscious of anything, which is not the same as being without consciousness. An unconscious body is just sleeping; a body without consciousness is dead.

So, consciousness and life are two words indicating the same thing. If we talk about what existence really is, we call it life. But if we focus on what this life exactly does, we see it is conscious of itself and its surroundings. Consciousness makes you aware of these words written here, the text may be there and your eyes may be looking at it, consciousness is the fact you actually are aware what is written. Do you understand this?

Try to focus on this fact: you are aware of what you see. That makes two different things, first there is the subject you are seeing and then there is the fact you are actually aware of what you are seeing. Right now your eyes do see these words and your mind sees the meaning of it. And there is the fact that you are actually conscious of it all, it is alive. If we would put a dead person in front of this text, we would have the same ingredients, there are eyes and there is this text. Still there would be no actual seeing. It is not the eyes that see, it is consciousness that is using the eyes to see. The eyes are only an instrument, a camera; it is consciousness that is in fact looking through the eyes. Try to be aware of this right now, right here. There is this text you are reading and there is the fact that you actually see. There is the object you are looking at and there is the seeing as such. This was what is meant when we said that consciousness is the essence of your being, that what you really are.

More than 600 million years ago an event happened that still has echoes today. It was at this moment that living nature as we know it was born. It is very important to understand what happened because it laid the foundation for the structure of all that was to follow. Still it was a tiny little thing that had happened so long ago, very small, very quick and seemingly insignificant. It is hard to grasp that all of life had its origin in this one thing that had happened. But such is the structure of reality: the big things have their origin in small things at more subtle levels. The cause for that small origin is again more subtle, less material. Anyway, this is what happened more than 600 million years ago:

In the ocean lived a single cell creature, the first beginning of the chain of events we call life. This first creature was a real living being, it had a one cell body and it interacted with its environment. Because it had a body it had to interact with its environment to sustain that body. With interacting I mean some form of eating etc. Because it was somehow aware of its environment we can say with certainty that it had some form of consciousness. A very faint kind of consciousness of course, even less as the way plants are aware of their situation. So we have this tiny, tiny little creature that has this one cell body and a microscopic faint form of awareness. It is a real living being and it is the first of a chain of others to follow.

This being does only one thing; it has no organs what so ever to do anything at all besides this one activity. The divine and miraculous event that started all of life on earth was this: The single cell creature split in two. First there was one cell, and then there were two cells next to each other. It sounds like not much but it is something so big its implications and consequences are too much to oversee. One event that started 600 million years of the countless beings that together form life, that is a big event. Even when it doesn't look like much.

Now what is the significance of this one thing that happened? Try to picture this: first there was this one consciousness and it was aware of reality through the one cell body. That was the only information this consciousness received, being aware of the condition of this cell. You could say it had one eye to be aware of its situation. Then the one cell creature split into two independent functioning units. Consciousness had suddenly two independent streams of information. Do you understand this; this is the most difficult part of the book. There is one consciousness, it has no form as such and it is not localized at a particular place. It is not something material therefore it does not respond in the way that matter does. It can be at one place and it can simultaneously be at another place and is still one single object.

So we have one consciousness that is simultaneously aware of one independent cell, and of another cell. About the same way we use two eyes to create one image of reality. The difference is only that these two beings function completely independent from each other and therefore perceive completely different things. Can you imagine having two eyes but not at the same place? That brings us to the ultimate question, the one question that makes this subject significant: How many beings are there after this first split? It sounds easy but it is really tricky. When you cut your hair or fingernails you are still one person. But you could cut a part of some plants, put it in water and you have two plants. So could something be cut in two halves and still be one thing? Can a single cell organism split into two independent cells and still be one being? Yes, that is precisely what happened; only our eyes are not capable to perceive the unity of two separate forms.

Sometimes our eyes deceive us, sometimes they don't show us reality as it really is. There are plants that reproduce through their roots, popping up at different places. To our eyes it looks like we have more than one plant here, since they grow in different places. In reality it is one plant however, connected through the roots. If one of those apparently independent plants would be very dry and another one of those would be very wet, the roots would transport the surplus humidity. Thus indicating that the plants share a common nervous system, otherwise the one plant would not know about the dryness of the other.

So it is the state of consciousness that determines if two objects are one being or can be considered as two beings. Funny thing is there is not even a word for two consciousnesses. I try to convince you of something that everybody already knows: there is only one consciousness! So, if you cut your nail you do not get two different beings because there is only one consciousness, yours. The cut nail does not have an independent consciousness of its own, it does not perceive. If we cut a part of some kind of plants however it is possible to grow two independent plants. The characteristics of the two plants are identical, genetically they can be considered to be one plant. The point is do they have one or two consciousnesses. Each of those two plants develops its own field of experiences, its bubble of reality as its senses reproduce that reality. Just like you have your point of view, reality as you see it, the experiences within your field of awareness. Plants live in a reality made out of water, sunlight, wind and that sort of things. So even a plant makes his own version of reality where it responds to. That is the reason they look like individual beings to us. But when you cut a plant and grow two out of it, it is still the same being. One being located at two different points in space, if they have a memory they would share the same memory up to the point of separating. That aspect that determines if we can speak of one being or two separate beings is consciousness. It is the same consciousness that is aware of the condition of both plants, they are only not aware of each others condition. Each aspect of the plant lives in its own limited reality, and therefore they appear as functioning separately. It is one plant though even our eyes cannot fathom the context of unity they are part of, just like we cannot see the connection through the roots.

That brings us back to the first single cell organism that cut itself in half and became apparently two. What I try to explain here is that they only looked like two to our eyes, in reality it was still the same being. The single cell organism had evolved into a dual cell organism, where the two cells where not attached to each other. Can you imagine that: A micro-organism that consists of two cells but those two are not connected. That is how the origin of life looked like, that is the most basic structure of biology. I know this sounds controversial because it seems to contradict everything our senses tell us. But our eyes tell us also there is a rainbow above us even though we know that is an illusion. In the same way is our perception that beings are independently functioning and the unity of nature is hidden, an optical illusion. If we use the word life instead of consciousness it becomes clearer, we speak about life on earth as if it is one thing. The life in you and the life in me is one and the same thing. When a person dies his body becomes separated from this collective life. The individual is still there, the body, the senses, but there is no one actually seeing. Without the connection to collective life the body is no longer a unity of different organs and quickly falls apart. It is the unity of life that lends its characteristics to the multitude of cells, and forms them into the unity of the body.

So the single cell became two, and the two cells became four because they were all a perfect copy of the first. Since the first one knew how to divide himself, all the others did that too. The one being grew, since consciousness has no form it can expand without limits. The dual cell organism became four independently functioning cells. The name of this being is nature and it is still expanding today. Can you picture this: all living beings on earth are together one being? All apparently individual persons, plants, insects, animals and micro-organisms are all manifestations of one and the same being. One being as old as life on earth and as big as life on earth. All these countless individual lives that are connected by the same consciousness they all share.

It is this that evolves.

The concept of evolution requires the unity of beings
since it is the whole that evolves and not the individual beings.

Evolution is the growing process of the unity of life. Just like the experiences of our ancestors are expressed by our genes, is the level of consciousness an expression of the progress of nature as a whole. The wideness of human consciousness only exists because so many ancestors sought to widen it.

So the manifold of nature is an expression of the unity of consciousness. The progress of nature as evolution is a manifestation of the progress of consciousness. In this sense we can say that the essential result of the progress of life on earth is stored within consciousness. Its very being represents the progress as it has been made in the past, the fact beings function better over time is only an expression of that. Living nature represents the characteristics of consciousness, and better functioning means better representing those features.

The characteristics of consciousness are: 1) It is that aspect of reality what makes it real. Only when we are aware of things do they become the real reality to us. 2) Being aware is the basic feature of consciousness, that is what it does, it is aware of things. 3) Since it has no form of its own it has no end, it is eternal. Something that has been around for more than 600 million years can safely be called eternal. 4) But most of all, consciousness is one thing, it is collective. It is that what connects individual beings, that aspect of life what makes it one.

So consciousness tries to express those characteristics into physical nature, and during the course of evolution it has increasingly been able to do so. It expresses those four things in all living beings, also in you and in me. Consciousness creates its own version of reality for all individual beings. Consciousness makes you aware of that interpretation of reality. And consciousness is still there when the individual has passed away.

Inside you right now, right here the collective consciousness expresses itself first of all as the fact that you are aware of this text. You don't just look at it; no you are actually aware of it. Right now you have the sense that it is absolutely real what you are doing. No person could convince you that what you see is not real, even though sometimes you have that same impression when you dream. This sense of reality is also a manifestation of consciousness. The eternal nature of consciousness expresses itself through our libido, our sex drive. What we experience is lust but the first origin of that feeling is the eternal existence of our consciousness. Some force is driving animals to go at great length to mate, even though they don't understand the consequences of children and race survival. The force that drives them is the eternal nature of consciousness that tries to express itself. Individual animals cannot grasp the concept of reproduction; it is only in their collective consciousness where the concept of sustaining life is rooted.

The fact that consciousness is one thing is mainly expressed in human behaviour especially our culture. The political structure of the world and the way countries are organized is an expression of the consciousness of the people that live there. On the more personal level is love the word that is used for the wish of two people to unite as much as possible. Also that is an expression of the fact people are actually one on the level of consciousness. We don't see that because it is too subtle for our senses to detect but we instinctively feel it on rare occasions. Collective consciousness and the unity of life expresses itself right now, right here in the fact that you are breathing. Therefore focus on that and you will find out what it is that makes you breathing.

There is breathing inside your field of awareness.

Events take place in a sequence. This gives the impression time is passing. But events are accumulative, that means the results of yesterday are added to the day before yesterday. Together they form the present. So moments are not the same, every moment contains more as the one before. The same happens on the level of the mind: What you think now is the result of what you did and thought before. Every thought and action is an expression of the total pool of previous impressions.

You feel time passing, nothing can convince you otherwise. Until you realize: the you that is feeling is itself not subject to time. You have feelings, there is you and there is the feeling of passing time.

The Structure of Time

The sense that time is passing is the by-product of the process of perceiving and subsequently changes when situations one perceives change.

When you would understand this sentence above, you would not need to continue reading. But even when you think you understand this, you don't. The problem is the definition of the word time, the word points to three completely different phenomena. First there is the ticking of the clock, that aspect of time everyone shares. Then there is the fact that you feel time passing, the subjective perception of time. This is an individual experience; the same situation can be very fast to one and boringly slow to another. Third there is this concept of eternity, which does not mean an unlimited amount of time but rather the absence of time altogether.

So when we discuss the structure of time we have to see how these three independent phenomena relate to each other. First of all one has to understand one thing clearly: when there is no form of perception there is obviously also no sense of the passing of time. To a person deep asleep, time does not exist. To a person looking at that person fast asleep, the speed of time depends on if he is bored or enjoying himself. The clock ticks not matter if someone is looking or not. Those that understand the laws of relativity can also consider this: When the speed of the ticking of a clock depends on what speed this clock travels, than what is it indicating? Surely not something fixed, how could the traveling speed of an instrument for measurement influence the object it is measuring if that is fixed and stable. Imagine the thermometer to measure your temperature would fly around you at an enormous speed, that fact would not influence your temperature. So why would the time that a clock measures be different when that clock gains extreme velocity.

It helps if one compares time with a wave of the ocean. Water is a very real existing reality, a lot of water together we call an ocean and also that is a real existing reality. But a wave is not a thing as such; a wave is just a form that water can take. You could not exactly say where a wave begins or ends because it is all just water. You could not exactly locate a wave because it is not a thing as such but a movement of something. The wave is a result of the speed of the movement of water, when the wind pushes the water faster forwards the waves are higher.

Time is also no thing as such; time is the sequence of events. What is real existing reality is the fact that the position of the clock changes and the time that it indicates keeps moving. What we call time is just as real as the fact that we call a particular form of water a wave. If we say "water is real, a wave is only a name for water and no thing as such" we could also say "the sequence of events is real, time is only a name for that change, no thing as such". A clock is a part of reality, what the clock measures is not another part of that reality but the state of reality. What the clock tells us is this: In the last second things have changed. The next moment it will have the same message again. Obviously, the faster the velocity of the clock the faster things change from its point of view. Since the world turns nothing stays at its position, everything is constantly moving. It is this movement of everything that can be compared with the movement of water that forms waves. The water is the medium; the wave is its form. The movement of water is the cause, the wave the effect. Similarly, the universe is the medium, change is its form. Time is the appearance of that continuous change. Time is the state of that reality. The changing of reality is the cause, the sense that time is passing is the effect.

As we have mentioned before is there objective and subjective time, the objective fact the clock is ticking and the subjective feeling that time is passing. The comparison between time and a wave is true for both kinds of time, even though they are very different phenomena. Objective time is a wave of the universe; subjective time is a wave of the mind. With the ticking of the clock kind of time, the reality of the universe is the medium that waves. Perceptions are a mental reproduction of a little aspect of reality, a subjective view of it. Subjective time is the name for the sequence of that perceptions, the change between one perception and the next.

So both objective as subjective time are not existing realities but rather the state of something else.

Objective time is the state of the universe, the fact that things are constantly changing positions. Subjective time is a state of the mind, the fact that we constantly perceive different impressions. If the objects of the universe would not move, not only the clock would not tick, there would be no such thing as time. Time does not exist without movement, like a wave-less ocean.

In deep sleep we have no sequence of impressions and therefore no sense that time is passing. During sleep there is still brain activity, but there are no impressions. The only impression that makes sleep to what it is, is the fact that the senses are disconnected. This impression of disconnected senses is continued throughout the period of deep sleep, there is no changing flow of perceptions, just one continued impression. This lack of change results in the disappearance of the feeling time is passing.

To make it clear to you how subjective and objective time interacts, and to reveal the fundamental structures of time, we have to compare your perception of time with exceptional situations. In order to crystallize basic truth out of this confusing complex of objective and subjective realities it is good to have a clear picture.

So, at this point in the discussion the plan was to continue to compare situations where time exists with situations where it does not exist. It seemed logical to mention that both in the external as the mental universe places exist that are devoid of time, like the inside of black holes. In the inner mental reality there are situations devoid of time, like future predictions. But people living in the time frame where this is written would not understand. Therefore let me explain why people living in a fixed time frame cannot understand certain information:

Say I predict you will fall down tomorrow. You believe me and stay in bed with the result you don't fall down. Therefore the prediction is incorrect and useless, maybe you would not have fallen down, you never know. Read this previous sentence again.

Do you see the implications? The prediction is correct or incorrect depending on if someone believes it or not, regardless what happens. Say I predict you will fall down tomorrow, you don't believe it and it really happens. Then the same prediction would be correct, but still useless because it did not really warn you. To be clear: I don't predict such kind of things because it is useless no matter what the reaction. You won't fall. So let's try something more realistic. I predict really that over the period of the first one and a half centuries of the third millennium people will gradually loose all trust. People will stop believing in religion, politics and advertising, and for good reason. Science, public administration and even daily used technical devises are far beyond the grasp of those that are not directly involved. This will result in the collapse of culture.

The reason I pick this aspect of the future to predict is that negative correct predictions have more impact. There you have it, a prediction similar to the one where someone falls down but on a world wide scale this time. Does it have any use that I took the time to write this down? No, it is clearly useless. During those 150 years, nothing is going to change and the prediction will come true. But if people after that period of one and a half century remember this prediction they will make a larger than life legend out of me, and pay attention to what else I had to say. Thus re-introducing religion.

Do you understand such kind of prediction implies that no one will believe it? If it would be believed and prevented, the prediction would be incorrect. For the same reason it would be impossible to write something down here that does not belong in this time frame, reality would prevent me from doing it. And if I would push and write it down anyway it would be certain no soul on this earth would believe it. Unless it is something on a scale that large, it cannot be influenced. So it is possible to predict falling meteors, early springs or very large social events. But it is not possible to predict an accident in order to save your life, or science that belongs to the future.

This is the reason why I cannot discus situations devoid of time because such a thing is unimaginable to people in my time frame. That is knowledge that belongs in the future just like it would be absolutely impossible to teach micro electronics to a person from the Middle Ages. He would simply miss the mind set necessary to understand one word of it. Therefore if I state that future prediction means introducing a situation devoid of time into a time line, then those are bound to be hollow words without meaning. Until a time line has arrived were such a statement would fit into the already known science.

From this example however we can crystallize the most basic pattern of time: the less developed stages are previous to the more developed ones. The flow of time goes in the direction of increasing complexity and development. That may sound like an obvious statement to you, but it needs to be pointed out this is the most fundamental structure of time. You are way more developed as your ancestors and your offspring will be way more developed than you. So from an evolutionary point of view we could define time as the one factor necessary to change from the state of minimum development to maximum development. Or to formulate it abstractly: when you subtract the essence of that what is evolving from the goal of evolution, what remains is time.

The sequence of events that lead up to the state of maximum development has a fixed order. Because of this fact it is possible to predict what is coming. In any given situation the next event will be that what is needed to lift it to the next level of development! Problem is you can't use this rule to predict your own future because you cannot possibly know what your next stage of development will be. But in situations where we know the pattern of development , we can also know what to expect. Individuals and objects may show signs of decay, the totality of the situation will always show increasing complexity and development.

This is true both on a big as well as on a small scale. Group-dynamics shows that while the individual members of a group are just looking to optimize their personal situation, the group tends to progress as a whole. All this little selfish motivations combined are a strong force to improve the situation for the entire group. This happens even when the members of the group exchange and there is an inflow of new members. So the group progresses even while the individual members get older and finally even die, and get replaced. From the point of view of the individual there is no progress whatsoever, what kind of progress ends up in death?

Maybe the individual experiences some temporary improvement of his situation, before old age spoils all that is gained. In the end the individual experiences only benefit the progress of the human race, wanted or not. Selfish people are focused mainly on themselves, they are more strongly identified with their personal situation and think in terms of "I''. While more social oriented people are interested in the welfare of the group they are part of, they think in terms of "we". As we have seen, the outlook for the individual is grim, old age and death are his faith. So the selfish people are more intensely aware that considering the entire life span there is no such thing as progress. That is what makes them so grumpy and scared. On the other hand are more socially focused people aware that throughout history there was progress even though a lot of bad things happened. When one understand that society is progressing, the personal decay by aging seems less relevant. Contrary to selfish actions, social involvement can achieve results that are lasting.

To the individual person time is a strange thing; reality seems to have started to exist at his birth. The strange thing is: he can't remember his birth and early childhood. So reality seems to have some very hazy beginning from the point of view of the individual. During his entire life span there is only one event in future he can be completely sure of it will happen, he will die one day. Anything can happen in the future but only one thing is certain, mortality. Therefore time is by definition something limited and temporary from the point of view of the individual. Time had a misty beginning somewhere in the past and will end a few decades from here, so it looks like.

That there is also a non-individual time stretching trillions of years into the past and continuing forever even after all humans have died, is something a person is only vaguely aware of. It is something we read about but can't really make a clear mental picture of. We certainly don't experience anything of that grand eternity of time that we are part of. Again, the more we are identified with our own little lives, the less we notice the totality of time. Time seems too big and too vague for us to grasp. Not being identified is just another way of saying someone is aware of the existence of the totality of time, where our own life is just a tiny little component of. That way our vision is less limited by our own personal horizons.

That great big unlimited amount of time really exists. That limited amount the individual experiences, forms in no way an indication for the actual size of time. Our life is too short to make an impression what a billion years are. It is like trying to imagine what an ocean looks like when all you know is one drop of water. We have mentioned before time is not a thing as such, but the state of something. Reality looks like a universe, and what reality does is moving through time.

Eternity is a whole different concept as time, eternity does not mean a very big amount of time, eternity means no time at all. If we say time is the state the universe is in, we mean that time exists because everything is constantly moving. This means that in that stage of development of the universe where matter did not yet existed, there was nothing that could move and therefore there was no such thing as time.

We could compare this with the relation between vacuum and air. A vacuum is a space without air, it is pure space. We could say that the air is inside the vacuum, the air fills it, and it replaces the vacuum. The state of a certain space can be either filled with air, or it can be a vacuum. Now replace the word vacuum with the word eternity and the word air with time: Time is inside eternity, it fills it, and it replaces it. The state of the universe can either be eternal and non-moving or the universe can be in the state of experiencing time and movement. Before there was time there was eternity, then movement of matter split that eternity into individual moments. These moments are tiny little parts of eternity; this eternity is what they are made of. So time is crystallized eternity, time is eternity or at least a little part of it. A moment in time is a chip of eternity so small that our senses can detect it.

When we discuss time we are not talking about some abstract concept, the passing of time is something you are aware of right now. We have said that universal time is the result of movement, the universe starts out as chaos and moves in the direction of more complex order. Since the end result cannot immediately follow the beginning, there is movement and time appears. The fact that you feel time passing however, is the result of the process of perception. When one impression follows the previous one, this change in perception gives us the feeling time has passed. Without perception there is no such feeling.

The universal time is something we can only make theories about but our personal experience of time is something we can examine. Since you experience it, you can tell what its structure is; you can tell if what I am telling you here is right. We have said before that universal time is made out of eternity; a moment in time is only a little part of eternity. Your personal life span is also a little part of time in general; your life is an aspect of eternity like a bubble is part of the ocean. This means that also time as you experience it, is made out of eternity, this eternity is the essence of your life time. Which would also suggest that we could experience eternity, we should be able to know what time-less-ness is like. And you know what? Yes, you do know what eternity feels like because you are experiencing it while you are reading this. I just help you focus your attention to that aspect of your experience that was there all the time.

So, I tell you: you do experience eternity at this very moment. Eternity feels like "now"! The continuous sense of now you have, the unchanging sensation that it is now, that is what eternity feels like. Eternity is not a whole lot of time but it means time-less-ness, eternity means it is constantly now. One big, constant, unchanging, unending sensation of now, that is accompanying every perception you ever made. The sense of now is there all the time, whatever the date, whatever the clock says, one thing is sure: to you it is always now. That is the most basic characteristic of reality, its most obvious feature: reality is right now and right here. Everything that is not here now, is a thought, a concept or a fantasy. Thoughts are also really existent but the thought about reality is not the same as reality itself.

The reality of one minute ago is not real anymore; it is just a memory, a thought. At the moment this past was living reality the feeling of now prevailed, as soon it was not now anymore it was also not real anymore but became a thought. Tomorrow is also just an expectation, a fantasy, a mere thought; tomorrow does not really exist yet. When tomorrow has became the real reality we can be sure it has one obvious feature, it will be now. It is only in the present were you actually live, everything else is just mere thinking. So again, the main fact we can say about eternity is it is here now. Eternity manifests itself by constantly giving the impression it is now, no matter what else we experience at that moment. By isolating this sensation from other impressions we can actually experience eternity, by focusing the attention on this sense of now we can know what eternity is. There is an exercise that makes you see beyond the ever changing phenomena of the senses and reveals the underlying permanent and unchanging reality. During our daily life we are so bombarded with impressions, our mind is never silent enough to be able to see what is beyond all that thinking and perceiving. Eternity is at the back ground of all we do, unchanging. This exercise calms the mind to the extent that the eternal now becomes the most dominant impression on the mind. For the first time the mind does not constantly change shapes but remains in the same form during the exercise. The form the mind takes when not changing is the reflection of the eternity that makes up that time.

ADVANCED EXERCISE TO EXPERIENCE ETERNITY

The world is a chain of action and reaction, every situation is the result of something and causes something else. A person is the combined result of the past, a combination of evolutionary and personal experiences. It was the past that shaped the present and today we decide together what the future will look like. This is the way the different moments in time are linked to each other; a moment is the end result of all what happened before that. A moment is linked to all the time that has passed before, because together they are shaping the future. So from any given situation, object, idea or action, we can always ask what might be its cause. We know for certain it is caused by something, just as we know it will become the cause of something else. Everything is simultaneously both result of something as the cause for something else.

So what is the cause of the experiencing of eternity? Even a thought is caused by something, obviously there has to be a cause to trigger a particular experience. When you slap yourself you cause that you experience pain. It is a particular thought that causes the experience of eternity, because the whole process is within the mind. This experience is internal therefore its cause is also an internal one; it is a thought that triggers this sensation. But it is no ordinary thought of course, it is a very particular, very hard to think kind of thought. You can't expect an experience that important comes to you without much effort.

What I want you to think is a sound, a very complex sound that you would not be able to produce with your mouth. The sound is AUM. First you take the A like it is pronounced in America. Continue to think this sound: aaaaaaaa. Now take the sound OU as it is pronounced in You, continue to think this sound: uuuuuu. Then take the sound M and continue to think this sound: mmmmmmm. Now simultaneously.
This is the exercise: think those three sounds simultaneously, continuously and uninterrupted for a period of time, 10 minutes or 20, a half hour or maximum one hour. So, think aaaaaaa and at the same time think uuuuuu and simultaneously think mmmmmm. Together this will form the sound AUM an ancient mystery that was long ago part of different religions. The very advanced might even add a fourth element: the fact that this sound is conscious, it is made out of consciousness. This can be achieved by remembering that the whole process is within your mind; it is as real as a dream is real. To the outside world a sound inside your mind is not real, not part of common reality. So, think a, think u and think m while you are aware of your consciousness and flashes of eternity will enter your mind, I can promise you this. This experience will not be a thought but rather a form of awareness, a heightened awareness of now. Being completely and totally in the present in such an intense way that the present becomes without limits. The present becomes the screen on with the movie of daily life is projected, the one thing that is motionless and permanent in this constantly changing world of perceptions.

First this experience of eternity will come as a flash between two thoughts, suddenly you realize you experience now only. But the thought of that realization brings you back inside your mind again and the eternal now will be gone. This could be accompanied by a slight shake of the spine, a little shock of switching between being aware of the now only, and the thought about that. Don't expect something spectacular, the whole experience is more subtle as thoughts, better yet, don't expect anything at all because that is what it is. The experience of nothing, its only significance is the fact that it makes you realize you are actually standing still in time and the events are moving in front of you.

Those that are more experienced in this exercise will sink even deeper in the ocean of calmness you will find inside your mind. They completely loose the sense that time is passing, an hour of meditation seems like a few minutes. After a while by making it habit the sensation becomes permanent, the meditator does not move through time any longer but dwells inside the now permanently. The world still moves as always but to him it remains now, the movements are within the now, not within time. To others this change is invisible; they are stuck in their experience of time.

Finally the experience of eternity influences the way one perceives one self, the way one defines this self. First the meditator sees flashes of eternity, then the experience of eternity influences the way he looks at reality. Finally the meditator becomes eternal now himself, he becomes spiritual immortal. Not to be confused with physical immortality of course, that does not exist. Spiritual immortality means that a person has realized he has a body, he is not a body. A person perceives his body, he sort of dwells inside it. Those that define themselves as spiritual beings are essentially that what perceives, consciousness. On the other hand the body is a mere perception. To spirituals being the death of the body is as real as the dead of a movie character, it does hardly influence the viewer.

When one is completely submerged in the eternal now, there is nothing anymore that could be of great significance. Everything is just a perception, even dying is something that one sees happening. The now remains untouched by what it is witnessing; those events belong to the domain of time. With submerged in the eternal now I mean the way a raindrop submerges in the ocean, it becomes the ocean. It is simple: where there is no time there is also no death. Being without time can be subscribed as permanent, eternal, everlasting and unchanging. What remains when time has gone just is, it is not something, no, it just is. Those that are identified with their body have form, everything that has form changes and finally disappears. Those that gave up identification see themselves as the one that perceives, consciousness, the see-er, and therefore without form. That what is without form is not open to changes, only the form can change while the essence remains the same. During the course of your life the form of your body will change radically but you will never become another person. In the same way, the body of someone that has dissolved in the eternal now will be alive or be dead, but he will not become something else. To such a person dying looks like the way you look at puberty: It is a big change, but the only thing that changes is what you see, you remain the same person. Different but not somebody else.

And remember, this eternal now that we talk about is not some sort of mystical mystery, no, you experience it right now. With the word now is just meant the present, that what is neither the past nor the future because those are mere thoughts. Every experience you have of reality is accompanied by this sense that it is eternally now.

We could not discuss the subject of time without mentioning the future, because that is what you want to know. Every person is more or less curious about what the future has in store for him. Obviously I can only mention those aspects of the future that all people have in common, this is a text and I am not a fortune teller. But I can tell you however what the future will look like, take for instance the period between the year 2000 and 3000.

This is a time period so big it can be predicted because no one would attempt to change it and thus make the prediction false. The main aspect of the character of the 3rd millennium, that what makes this millennium differ from other millennia, is the domination of very big things over the inhabitants of the world. With big things are meant big companies, big projects, big national and international structures and governments. The third millennium is just one in a row of millennia that are needed to fully develop human culture and create increasingly complex worldwide social structures. The third millennium is that stage in development where people learn to control human nature. Everybody agrees that this history filled with wars and deception, cruelty and criminality cannot continue this way, therefore control is the big issue. When this time period started the word control meant the government controlling the people and that has already taken dictatorial forms when I write this. This is bound to be taken to the most extreme levels until the whole system collapses. Gradually the emphasis is put on inner mental control instead of outer forceful ways of controlling. Needless to say, with this text I already anticipate that development. The bad thing about the third millennium is that people with power over others tend to forget there is a difference between being big and strong, and being just and right. In other words: already right now at its very beginning I can see democracy crumbling, and slowly being replaced by new forms of technocratic dictatorship. This trend will obviously continue until people are getting fed up with being told what to do, instead of making their own decisions. The good aspect of the third millennium will be that at the end of this development there will be permanent peace and stability. The whole period is a transition between its bad aspects towards its good aspects. This means that at the beginning of this millennium we can witness forms of crime bigger and more evil as anything we have seen before. There will also be a slow but steady scientific progress that will shift its focus gradually from physical subjects to more subtle concepts such as harmony and causality, justness and astro-dynamics.

So, to make the end conclusion we can sum up the facts that we have discovered so far: The word time indicates two different concepts, the fact the clock is ticking and the fact you feel time passing. They are different because the clock always ticks at the same speed, but your sense of passing time changes depending on what you do. One is objective time and is a side effect of the movement of matter; the other is subjective time that is a side effect of the process of perception. So the time you actually experience is an aspect of the qualities of perceptions. To sum up some of the qualities of what you perceive right now: you see text, you think all this is very difficult, you feel slightly bored etc. All these are qualities of your perception right now and one of those sensations is that you feel time is passing. When you perceive nothing during your sleep or deep meditation you have no such feeling.

The essence of your being is consciousness, which is what you are. You have a body and you have a mind but you are consciousness. The only thing this consciousness does is being conscious of things, being aware of the perceptions the senses deliver to you. So there are two different things here, there is the consciousness itself, and there is that sensory input it is conscious of, the perceptions. One aspect of what is perceived is this impression of passing time. So time is an aspect of the perceptions not an aspect of consciousness itself. Consciousness sees time passing when you are awake, it is itself separated from that perception. What you see is not what you are, you yourself are just that: the one that sees, the receiver of impressions. One of those impressions is time.

The time is always now, whatever name we give it. That is how consciousness experiences its own position towards impressions, the perceptions change constantly but it is always now. That is the one constant at the background of all what you experience, this sense of now is unchanging and unlimited. The collective universal present will remain, even after the dead of an individual. From the point of view of this eternal now even our own dying is something we only experience, it does not really change the viewer of that event.

If we consider the world is a chain of action and reaction, cause and result, than what is the result of being aware of this inner eternal now? Awareness of the now gives you spiritual immortality. You will realize that the essence of your being does not disappear after death. Seeing the eternal now is like stepping out of the dimension of time, every moment is just a speck of eternity.

The universe is in a state of a certain harmony, stars and planets circle neatly within their galaxies. It was not always like that, the stars were formed from a big chaotically moving gas cloud. It is clear that the universe tends towards a more harmonious and complex state, it is in a transition from chaos to order. So there once was a situation of maximum chaos and minimum order and at that point there was a force pushing it towards minimum chaos and maximum order. Since the first state of the universe could not abruptly morph into its end situation, matter had to move to another position. And that change took time. That was the way time was created. The process from chaos to order creates time. The process from chaos to order is just a complicated way of saying: movement. In the same way as a moving object makes the air respond that is pushed aside, make all the moving objects together that the universe responds with being in the state of flowing time.

It is always now. Sometimes this now is marked by inhalation; sometimes the now is filled with exhalation. That is what makes moments differ from each other. But that is an illusion, it is always now.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A conclusion is a general statement after all new knowledge is integrated in what already existed. A context is the natural environment something fits into. A conclusion places knowledge within its context.

CONCLUSIONS

Look, do you see the stupid nephews over there; they are not capable of understanding the things we discuss here. It is sad for them, but not something we can change right now. Some persons simply have a head that is too small for all those big ideas and we should feel sorry for them. What we definitely should not do is feel somehow better as them, feel arrogantly superior to them. The stupid nephews also have the same right of existence as you, and they have their role in the great drama of life too. To think you are a better person as them just because you have read this, would be a big mistake for two reasons: First because it is not true, maybe somebody can run faster than you, does that make him a better person as you? No, a faster runner is not the same as a better person. And for the same reason, you are not a better person as the stupid ducks over there.

The second reason one should not judge too harshly over others that are less gifted as you is written in the text itself. If you think you belong to a class apart from the rest, or if you think you are fundamentally different from those simple minded you have not understood the text, which would make you equal to them. It says clearly that all people are essentially one because they share a common collective consciousness. It also states clearly that the tendency to mental isolation is the root of a lot of troubles. Feeling better and above other people does isolate a person from the rest of society. We could even mention a third reason, and is that it is also written it is not good to focus too long on negative subjects. Feeling arrogantly superior to others can be considered to be a negative impulse.

So when you deal with this kind of knowledge in daily life there are some points you have to consider. It is very important to consider others people's feelings, to place yourself in somebody else's shoes. Especially those that are less fortunate need to be approached with a certain respect and compassion. In a way they are your brothers and it could have been you that was born as a stupid duck. It is important to have the right attitude towards stupidity because you don't want to get dragged into that way of thinking. And you definitely don't want to share the results of that kind of thinking.

What you do need to consider however is the fact that you also don't understand this text entirely and to the fullest extent. You have to deal with your own stupidity as well or at least face the fact one cannot know everything. I can assure you with the hand on my heart; there is more to this text than you think. And how do I know this about you? Well, since I have studied these subjects myself of course, and I know how I did react to it. Everybody reacts the same; they all think they understand while they don't. I thought I had full insight in the matter myself, on several occasions. Until it turned out there was a deeper level to it, I was completely unaware of before. Couple of years later I would assume the same thing again. And who knows, probably one day a man will stand up to say he can look into this matters even deeper than I can. One day it will turn out what you are reading here is not the ultimate wisdom, but the second to ultimate knowledge. Until then you will have to do with this text however.

Now, you might wonder how it is possible that someone is not aware of the fact he doesn't know something. The problem arises when I use the word realization. I tried to avoid it as much as possible but we cannot get around it. There is a difference between knowing something and realizing something. Knowledge arises when you read a text and fit its content into what you already knew. Knowledge is something on the level of the mind, the world does not change when you know something, or not. Realization arises when a person actually elevates in the way he sees himself, thereby taking another position with another perspective. Realization is on the level of reality. Having another perspective, another point of view, makes you actually see something else. When someone reaches the highest realization of reality, he does not only have a different perspective of the world, but the world became actually a better place. Because when someone like that walks around, the world has more options, more possibilities.

Some scientific discoveries are the result of a higher level of self realization of the discoverer. Some scientists change during their research, being focused on truth and reality. The deeper they reach searching for the truth about the subject of study, the deeper the insight in their own nature becomes. Until they actually change their point of view and see something different. After that the world also has become a different place, where this formerly unknown piece of information became integrated into the rest of science.

This text is meant to excel the speed of your progress. With the word you in "your progress" all the readers are meant, not just you of course. By reading this you became part of a theoretical group of readers of this text. The purpose of that activity is to stimulate and elevate the level of thinking and speed up progress of that group of people. Can you understand this concept? You read this so the level of the group rises. Since you are part of that group, you get that benefit as well. If you do understand this, you have read the text well.

The reason for this is of course the nature of true progress. The exceedingly intense realization of the collective potential by the individual, is a hard to grasp concept. Is it the individual that progresses or is it the progress of the collective that is reflected by the individual? It's hard to tell, because that depends how you look at it. What are the priorities of progress? is a more easy to answer question. Obviously does evolution proofs, the progress of the collective had priority. The word evolution points to the collective progress of living nature, at the expense of the individuals that nature consisted of. Now you understand this, don't you? So keep studying and the world will become a better place.

From the point of view of the individual, progress consists of ever deeper realizations of some concepts. This means that the person that progresses gets a deeper understanding of those concepts and himself, and also starts actually seeing them. Those concepts are basically: consciousness and unity. To the fully realized person those two words exactly describe reality as they perceive it. To the stupid nephews those words hardly have a meaning. They did not progress even though their body is the result of the progress that nature made before. The stupid nephews don't want to contribute to the progress of collective nature.

Others do progress however, and they get an increasingly intense understanding of consciousness and unity. The words progress and this increase in understanding points to exactly the same change, it is the same thing. So, the most goal-pointed activity a person can do is studying those two concepts. That is the quickest way to progress. Therefore we will explain them again, let's try to get you to progress even further. Don't tell me it is boring, I know that. Just stay with me and, just as it did before,

CONSCIOUSNESS is not some strange foreign concept, you are conscious right now. But it is a very slippery word and it is hard to tell exactly what it means. You have attention, there is awareness and you are consciousness. All these words seem to indicate the same thing, so let me explain their difference: Your attention is fixed on this text right now. The word concentrate means to fix the attention on one point, focus on one subject only, locking the thoughts into one particular area. So attention is something you can influence, your attention is under control of your will. That is the reason it is the tool to influence the flow of thoughts, which is as such not under control of the will.

The word awareness means the field of awareness, everything that you perceive simultaneously. You might be concentrated on this text, but you could feel some kind of minor itch somewhere in your body at the same time. So, while your attention is focused on this text, you could be aware of both the text as well as the itch. Awareness is not under control of the will, it is a field, a fixed area of thought. Awareness is that part of the perceptions that come to your attention. At the moment you are reading this you are probably not feeling the contact between your behind and the chair. That is not within your field of awareness; it is not brought to your attention. Until I direct your attention to it, of course. Now, you feel yourself sitting in the chair. Do you understand the difference between attention and awareness? Attention is what you see right now, this text is what you are attentive of now. Awareness is what you have when you are awake. Your daily experiences fill your field of awareness that make up your waking hours.

Now understanding of the word consciousness gets very confusing because of the existence of the word unconscious. That word indicates someone can be without consciousness, but that is incorrect. The word unconscious got mixed up with the word unaware in the daily use of language by people that could not tell the difference. When we say someone is unconscious, we actually mean to say that he is unaware of his situation. That has nothing to do with the fact if someone has consciousness or not.

If we exchange the word consciousness with the word life it becomes easier to understand. To be without consciousness is to be without physical life. A person that is sleeping or knock-out is not without life, his consciousness is not connected to his senses. But he still has consciousness, just no awareness of his situation. His existing consciousness is not connected; the awareness is filled with nothing. The attention is not focused on something because of the absence of the will to steer it.

This consciousness is what you really are, your inner essence. When you close your eyes and forget your body, when you stop seeing and feeling and thinking things, that is when consciousness reveals itself. When consciousness is not conscious of something but not without awareness like in sleep, then it becomes aware of itself, of its own nature. This extraordinary state of consciousness that is devoid of a content of consciousness, being conscious of nothing, is the goal of meditation. Because during the period the mind spends in this state, it is slowly changing and progressing.

This is the change we call realization. The point of view literally changes from position, the perspective changes. First the centre of awareness seemed to be the thoughts, after the self realization, the centre and essence of a person becomes consciousness itself. First consciousness was conscious of the mind and thought it was the mind. Then the mind realized it was only the content of consciousness, the person that is thinking is consciousness itself. The mind and its functions is only something it is conscious of, it is not what it is. This mistake of consciousness to confuse itself with the mind is what we call identification. That is what we need to overcome in order to progress.

UNITY is the way to overcome that limitation in our functioning. Unity is a concept that has the power to block the process of identification. Don't forget: unity is a concept not a thing as such. Something can be in the state of unity, or it can be splintered and divided. The solar system is a good example of being in the state of unity. The sun and its planets move in harmony together, they behave as if they are one thing. Together they travel through the galaxy, being attracted and influenced by the centre of the galaxy as if they ares one object. Reality is a unity and we can find examples of this harmony on all levels of existence. And unity is also the state of mind of a person that has reached the highest levels of self realization. When the mind is in complete harmony with reality it thinks in terms of unity.

Unity can manifest itself on seven different levels:

First and main manifestation of unity is of course reality itself, the universe is one thing. There is absolutely no way we can be certain of the fact that the universe is one thing because we are part of it our self. Not only do we look at it from the inside, but we also perceive only such a small detail of it, we can't tell what it is.

Our vision is too limited by time, distance and subjectivity to actually see the universe for what it is. We could name a number as the age of the universe, but it is more exact to call it eternal. That would include the future. We could come up with a number after measuring the size of the universe, but it would be more exact to call it infinite. That would include the space it is occupying. We could say how many stars there are visible from here but it would be more exact to call it a unity. That would include the stars we can't see.

The universe is one thing, what can I say, you are just going to have to accept that from me. The subject is not even open to discussion because no amount of technological insight can ever come up with any significant and relevant data. Such is the limitation of abstract knowledge, it is good at generalizing from details but it is insufficient when it comes to the whole. With linear logic it is easy to conclude that the universe must be one thing considering the harmony between the objects it contains. Unity must be a reality considering the complexity of physical existence and living nature. We have to be part of something bigger then our self considering we do not know how our own body exactly functions. This knowledge has to be stored somewhere. But let's make it clear that we are only discussing the structure of things right here. This is not the place to give reality names like God or Creation. The universe is structured as a unity, that's it.

On the second level unity does manifest itself as the structure of the galaxy. The countless stars and planetary systems that make up our galaxy called Milky Way form together one thing, one object. Our galaxy travels through the universe and behaves as one single object. Our galaxy interacts with other galaxies in the form of gravitational pull. Galaxies have gravitational interaction as if they where single objects attracting each other. We could say that galaxies dance around each other like young lovers.

The third level of unity is the structure of the solar system, as we have mentioned before. The whole existence of the earth, its shape, its constitution, its position, is a result of the existence of our sun. Obviously life on earth is completely dependent upon the sun's rays. The strict harmony that forms the solar system's movement clearly indicates that the sun and its companions are in the state of unity. It also helps to remember that both the sun as well as the planets where born from the same gas cloud and thus formed one object even from our perspective, long ago. We can't see that unity of the solar system because our eyes tell us they are independent spheres. That is because our point of view is not objective.

The fourth level of unity is the structure of living nature, as we have discussed before. Nature is one organism that does not store its information in one particular place, but rather stores it within the individuals it consists of. That makes it difficult for us to see we are not independently functioning beings that miraculously descended to earth, but rather units of a whole. Inside your stomach live tiny little organisms that help us digest food, without them we would die. It is likely these microscopic beings consider themselves to be independent individuals, but are they?

The fifth level on which unity manifests itself is the unity of your life span, all your perceptions as one thing. This is a thought that requires insight in the relative structure of time. From the moment you were born, until you will die you are receiving information by your senses. If you would have been a recorder that would make one heap of sensory input. You are not a recorder however, you are a part of that totality of perceptions. Your own body, your own mind, even your personality, are things that you see, they are mere perceptions. It is said, shortly before they die sometimes people imagine to witness a kind of movie of their lives, played within a moment. This is actually an impression of the totality of all perceptions, seen within their context of the eternal now. A whole life within a moment is like experiencing timelessness, eternity, but only for a limited period.

Your life as a whole, with all its impressions, is one thing also. Your life as one thing is like one brick in the collective wall of life. Like one apparently independent drop within the limitless ocean. Your life is one unit of the common reality, one face of collective consciousness. The structure of reality is unity; it is build up from units, like cells, that each reflects the nature of the whole. Your life is one of those units. The unity of things is acting to be you, and does that so well, it completely forgot it was only acting.

The sixth level is the unity of body, mind and consciousness. You are one thing, that is clear even though you consist of several very different components. The body-you and the mind-you are obviously one and the same person. Your body itself forms a unity as well, from all those different organs, functions and aspects you make one smoothly co-operating machine. You have a body and you have a mind, you have emotions and all kinds of activity. Somehow all of these things are you; you are the unity between all those different components.

We said that unity is the structure of reality, and you are part of that reality too. You are like a puppet made out of clay, the structure of the clay is also the structure of the puppet. The structure of the whole is unity, therefore the individual units this whole consists of, also have unity as their structure. The ocean is made out of water therefore an individual drop is also made out of water. So when we say the universe is a unity, we actually mean you, because the rest of the universe is not listening right now. You are a unity of components just like the universe is.

The seventh and most subtle level unity expresses itself to you is the cell structure of your body. Each cell of your body is a seemingly independently functioning unit that still bears the marks of being evolved from single cell organisms. The individual cell is not aware of the totality of the body. The microscopic level where a cell operates is too small to receive information about the condition of the body as a whole. It is most likely that the unity of the body is something that does not exist from the point of view of an individual cell.

The unity of all cells that make up your body does exist however. You can see that because the mind receives information on a much larger scale than the individual cell does. You can see your body is one thing even though you cannot see the individual cells this body consists of. So it turns out that the perception of the unity of things is a matter of scale. With an eye the size of the universe you could actually see it is one object. And with a microscopic eye you can see an individual cell behaves as if it was an independent being. But you know better. To you the unity of your being is something so clear, nothing can convince you to contradict that. You have already reached the level of realization of the unity of your own being. Progress is the same kind of absolute certain realization of unity on other levels. Maximum progress is a growing process, a sequence of realizations until the mind is in complete harmony with reality, and perceives itself to be an expression of the unity of the whole.

You can't change reality as it is, the only thing you can change is your mind. The only tool you have to do so is your attention; your only goal is the truth. Focusing on unity gives maximum result; it shows your real inner self. That is what we call consciousness, or collective consciousness to be exact.

So here we are, you, me and the stupid nephews gazing at the stars, isn't it beautiful? The difference with the first time we were doing this is, you and me now know what it is we are looking at. And we know what it is that is looking, that is pretty much of a progress.
I know you are still wondering how studying some words can speed up your progress. It looks like we never really discussed your particular situation. So now you have read all this, how is that going to help you improve your situation? You do understand however, it is not possible to mention specific situations because progress does not mean the same to different people. What actually would be an improvement depends entirely on where you are right now. But let it be said that more of the same hardly can be labeled as progress. So to most people more money is not the kind of improvement they need, more happiness however is something that is always welcome.

While we are looking at the stars let me tell you what reading this text does for you: Your mind is like a kind of muscle, when trained the right way it starts functioning better. This text is about those parts of the brain that show maximum results when trained. When you understand reality better and think more accurately you will know what to do to improve your situation. So instead of telling you what to do, I tell you how to find out for yourself. That gives maximum result of my effort, even though you rather would be told what to do. Finding your own path yourself however, gives you the confidence and self-esteem that you need to concur future obstacles to progress.

It all starts with practicing goal-pointed, result-orientated thinking: That means sitting down and taking the time to find out what progress actually means to you. What change could be called progress in your situation? This is the first thing that needs to be completely clear before you can even start thinking about how to reach that goal. It also needs the right balance between realism, what is actually within your reach, and the courage to strive for something new and unknown. Don't expect to suddenly become rich and famous, but take the time to develop the talents you have. Remember, progress is the development of the collective potential, which means that nature has given you more options as you are now aware of. You can do more than you think you can. Working to develop those talents is what you need to do to progress. You will see that understanding this text helps you to do so. Anyway, quietly gazing at the stars wondering about your place in life, is a very pleasant and useful activity.

So, I am robust Robby and I ask you what you think about it. Now you understand the ways of the wise men. And do you know why they act and think like this? Because it removes the obstacles for progress. Since the whole world is in that constant state of evolution, progress is something that happens automatically once the obstacles are removed. Do you want to know what progress looks like? Well, look around you, everything you see is the result of a sheer endless chain of innovations, improvements and progress. You yourself are the product of evolution, and progress is the word for the totality of activities you see around you.

Now that is what I call positive thinking.

And do you know what progress looks like for you? Well, when you are clearly more content with yourself and your situation. When you can say your happiness has increased, and there is visibly more harmony in your interactions with others. What that exactly looks like depends on your present situation. But one thing is clear: Once you have reached real progress, you know for sure. Nothing and nobody can convince you otherwise anymore. Because that is the difference between real progress and any other kind of change: Real progress is the only thing that is permanent and will last. Any other change is just a minor temporary rearrangement of what was there before.

So how do you reach this increase in contentment and harmony? Well, this is where the parts about goal-pointed thinking will come in handy. Once you think more clearly, more focused and result oriented, you will realize the potential of yourself and your environment. It will turn out there are a lot of unexpected opportunities that you were not aware of before. Especially when you strive for improvement of the group you are part of, instead of thinking about your own situation only. A whole group progresses easily once one member is able to think more accurately and goal-pointed. And clear thinking is something you learn from doing the exercise I have told you about. Doing this meditation is the most result rewarding activity a person can do. Even though the exact opposite appears to be true. The result is not whether you are able to do the exercise well, no, the result is the clearer head you have afterwards. That will lead you to improvement of your situation.

You are going to have to practice however. The results will certainly not arrive without effort, and that means regular practicing in improving your thinking process. You will have to get used to a kind of mental hygiene, and detect it if your thoughts are not in harmony with reality. It should become a habit to be aware of what you are thinking, and remove the kind of thoughts that form an obstacle to progress. This removing is done by using the attention as a tool. Repeatedly focusing the attention to the opposite of what is false, negative or overly selfish, will improve the quality of the thoughts that go through your mind.

Be aware however this is not the case when fighting thoughts that are merely unwanted. For instance overly sexual thoughts should not be qualified as negative, but simply removed by focusing on something else. Changing the content of thoughts is as such no improvement of the thinking process, changing perspective is. Don't rate thoughts as negative unless they form an obstacle.

The most pleasant way to spend your time is to feel love. Besides continuation of the kind, love doesn't have results. To feel love is its own reward.

Truth is the verbalization of reality. Thinking true thoughts and doing honest things, brings one in harmony with reality. Only in that state of mind is one able to detect one's hidden opportunities and full potential.

When you tell a lie it appears as if that could be the solution for something. But without you being aware of it, you create a new problem for yourself: Your own mind and perception of things change. Thereby deceiving itself. When speaking false statements the mind no longer relies on the reality it is part of. It will only be based on itself instead. That isolates the thinking process from the rest of reality, and makes the perceptions unclear. The hidden effects of lying are long term affairs. The mind remains circling within its own boundaries without being aware there are other possibilities as well. This incapability to see it is functioning very limited makes such a mind dangerous to others. Honest people still have dignity and a more clear vision. They will detect a person without pride and integrity. And will react accordingly. The liar will not understand why people react the way they do. From his point of view he is hiding his false nature very well.

Once you start lying it is very hard to get back to your original state of innocence. The effort of lying is so small, it is hard to imagine the amount of effort it takes to remove the results. Speaking the truth cannot be substituted by anything else. Only the honest can actually tell the exact line were truth ends and lies begin. The mind used to false thoughts cannot even see any longer what the difference is between truth and deception. Such is the power of evading truth; it clouds its actions to anyone. Even to the one that is deceiving Now, if someone asks you to hide the truth from another person, there is one thing you can be sure of: That first person is lying to you! It is certain that first person will deceive you about his or hers motivations to do so. Remember this the next time this happens to you, and say:

NO!

I am not here to make you deceive people; I'm here to help you to improve. Problem is: the devils will say exactly the same thing. So in the end you are going to have t decide for yourself, what is good and what is bad. My advice to you is that good is what is good for all, as long as no one gets hurt, and bad is what opposes your progress. Your mood will stay stable when you treat what is bad like you treat a cow-pat. You should be aware where it is but give it as little as possible attention. That should give you a direction in life.

Now, enough of this moralistic talk and let's get back to the thing we were doing: star gazing. Too much of this overly positive and theoretical stuff gets on your nerves, don't you think. I have been promising you exiting new insides about reality and the universe, and here is another one. Recently I was staring at the stars just as we are doing now and an idea hit me that no one ever thought of before. Something about the nature of the universe and how we came to be.

When I bow towards the universe, the universe is bowing towards itself.