Spirituality

What the Bhagavad Gita Teaches About Creative Expression

Inspiration often comes from unlikely places. That’s not to say I was surprised to be inspired by the Bhagavad Gita. It’s one of the most enduring spiritual texts in human history, its wisdom reverberating into hearts, minds, and spirits some 5,000 years after it was written.

What was a surprise was how the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna stoked the fire of creative expression within me. Before diving into Jack Hawley’s translation (conveniently “borrowed” from my partner’s bookshelf and yet-to-be returned) my creative flow had stagnated.

Ego, Philosophy, Spirituality

🎥 Self-Enquiry Isn’t Selfish

Is self-enquiry selfish? On the surface it may appear this way. In this video, I compare the philosophy of solipsism and the experience of oneness, or nonduality, to explain why exploring deeper elements of our own unconscious mind paradoxically connects us to the interconnected web of existence.

Solipsism is the philosophy that no knowledge outside of the self can be known. Reality is subjective, and I only have knowledge that I exist. Therefore, everything within my reality is all I can, and all I will ever know as truth. How can I know you exist outside of me? Solipsism says I am the centre of the universe.

I view solipsism as ego-centred. From an intellectual perspective, this argument stands to reason. Viewing the universe as mechanical and material and consciousness restricted purely to the body and brain, of course I will follow the path that “I” am the only verifiable element of existence.

It’s all a bit cynical, isn’t it?

Meditation, Spirituality

I Welcomed 2020 On Solo Retreat — It Renewed My Zest For Life

solo retreat
A process of reconnection during a solo retreat in Babelsberg, Germany.

My suitcase is full of food, books, my meditation cushion, a few clothes. I’m full of intent, anticipation, eagerness to return home. As the decade nears its end, for my journey inward, I’m travelling away — in the physical sense.

The wheels of the suitcase recently rolled across Bristol Airport post-Christmas visit. Now they transverse gravel, covered in dirt, a metaphor for the work awaiting my solo retreat in Babelsberg, Germany.

Their rhythmic hum is reminiscent of the sounds of aviation, low and thunderous. As I stop to check directions, the sounds stop too, and I’m confronted with silence. I’m five minutes from the modest hut where I’ll spend New Year’s alone.

I pause, breathe deeply, smile at the sky, purr at the silence. Gone is the percussion of sirens, shouts, smashes, the instruments of noise pollution of the busy city where I live. I’m sure my thoughts, without background noise, just got louder.

The silence is confrontational. Even playful.

Ego, Spirituality

Short Story: The Time I Met MySelf

A story of self-love in a quantum future.

Of all the people I thought I’d meet, I never thought I’d meet myself. Growing up, I wasn’t aware meeting myself was a possibility. I didn’t give it a second thought. I went about my life, making friends with others, as one does. Imagine my surprise when I met myself on my 50th birthday.

Virtual Reality had been around since I was in my mid-20s. It was nothing new. I was well-versed and a little sceptical. What started as fun began to grow and grow. Since the discovery of the grand-unified theory of physics in 2026, increasing numbers of scientific studies discovered our minds react to VR just as we do the Quantum Hologram (“ordinary reality” pre-2026, of course).

Since the Quantum Hologram Revolution of 2027, VR took on a new edge. Knowing all of our reality is an illusion projected by the mind causes a mixture of joy, empowerment, fear, insecurity, and resistance. For the spiritually inclined, QHR was confirmation humans were microcosms of the creative cosmic force of evolution.

Ego, Philosophy, Spirituality

The Ego Erodes When Enchanted By The Stars

Absorption in “rays that come from heavenly worlds” reminds us of our true nature — the stars gave birth to us.

“If a man would be alone, let him look at the stars,” philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his 1836 essay, Nature. “The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches.” Emerson considered the stars, through their “perpetual presence of the sublime,” as portals to complete absorption with something greater than ourselves.

“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years,” he adds, “how would men believe and adore and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.”

Humans have gazed at the night’s sky in fascination for millenia. Its vastness, humbling. Its enigmatic expanse, awesome. Ancient civilisations, from the Mayans to the Babylonians, were starstruck and enchanted by the cosmos. The ancient Egyptians even used the stars to accurately align the Great Pyramids with the Earth’s four cardinal points.

I wonder what Emerson would think of modern culture. Common gaze is downcast, transfixed by admonishing smartphones. The stars’ sparkle is second-best. We don’t notice the great lengths they travel to illuminate the night’s sky. But the ancients prized something we fail to recognise. Stargazing is free therapy. And the cosmos reveals our true nature.

If we care to look.