Knowing: The Power Of Spiritual Reality ~ Natasha Dern

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
— Buddha

An authentic life is one of making distinctions about the nature of reality. Many people think that what they believe about reality and what they know about reality is the same thing, but unfortunately its not. There is a fundamental difference between believing something to be true, having faith that something is true and knowing something to be true. Believing means that you have accepted a truth, faith means that it may be true, but knowing means that you are certain about that truth. These distinctions need to be made if we wish to invite sublime possibilities into our lives.

When you say ‘I believe that angels exist,’ what are you really saying? What you are implying with this belief is that you don’t know about angels because it is not within the realm of your experience. Do you believe in angels because they are appealing or because you have arrived at this truth through personal experience? Do you have faith that angels are among us or do you know for certain that they are? Or you may say ‘I am Divine’ but again what are you implying? You believe that you are divine, you apply faith to this belief but do you know for certain that you are? Is your belief based on knowing or based on an outside source?

On the path of self realization, how we arrive at subjective knowing or at what depth we know it at, will determine the quality of the choices and decisions we make in our lives. Beliefs, ideas and concepts are of the mind which helps us to formulate an opinion and communicate it to others as a means of expressing ourselves in the world. However, beliefs are not absolute truths and faith doesn’t imply that they are.

For a believer or a person of faith, when something sounds good, they will accept it without question, which prevents them from thinking about life or reality on their own. They have in fact given away their power to something that may or may not be the absolute truth. They place greater value on an outside authority rather than acquaint themselves with their inner one. The submission of reason preempts the journey of self realization because it is easier than having to face the paradoxes of life.

To know something deeply and intimately has the power to influence, transform, and enhance our lives. We do not need an outer authority to tell us what something is because now we know it first hand. Even if it is discounted or ridiculed by others we are secure in our knowing. While believing blindly leaves room for doubt, knowing leads to confidence because you trust with awareness.

When we know something to be true, just like you know what your name is, you have no need to prove or fight or coerce others into believing it too. Your knowing simply is. For when we know something to be true we are elevated to the plane of the most profound perception of reality. We all have the capacity to know or experience a truth, to engage with it directly and know it on a visceral level. Truth is not the province of the few but of the many.

But objective reality says ‘if you cannot see it or touch it — it cannot exist.’ Science is only capable of understanding what is within its domain — the domain of the physical. Science is not reality but a tool with which to explore a portion of reality. There are many other aspects to which it does not apply. Methodology is not the mystery. For this, something else is needed.

Unlike faith and belief, knowing does not operate in the mind. Knowing transcends both belief and faith. It is based on our experience of something. In this sense, we can say that experience just is. Can it be proved or disproved? No. It can go to more profound levels of knowing, but generally it is only ourselves who are a witness to it.

There are many people who are afraid to admit or share what they know. Since their experiences cannot be validated by others, they automatically invalidate it themselves. But if one yearns to experience the mystery in a way that is so personal that doubt is banished requires going beyond the mind into knowing.

When tested knowledge becomes knowing and converted into a belief based upon your knowing then the application of your faith elevates your life to a whole new level — the realm of certainty. When knowing is missing from your experience then doubt and fear dictate what you believe and where you should place your faith. The knowing is what anchors your knowledge in the world.

In a world obsessed with the mind, it is often difficult to appreciate that we know something of worth or value. We may have had intuitions or insights that are quite profound. We may have had mystical experiences or divine communication of some sort or other spontaneous breakthroughs. Yet, because the experience may be fleeting, we quickly dismiss them as not being real in the first place. No one wants to be seen as foolish or crazy.

However, within the spiritual experience, we can know something for a MOMENT and that MOMENT is all it takes to transfigure our life forever, to alter our relationship to everything, and change us in the deepest sanctum of our being.

Many have had such experiences and are afraid to affirm it because it lacks physical proof that it actually happened. The imprint of spiritual reality does not exist in time, it exists deep in knowing, and if we claim our knowing, a moment is more than enough for eternity to make a lasting impression. This is how powerful spiritual reality can be.

What Is Enlightenment? ~ Natasha Dern

“There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.” — Thic Nhat Hanh

What is this enigmatic and exalted state called “enlightenment”? Why is everyone so enamored by this word? Why is everyone so eager to attain it? Does anyone really understand the essence of it? Many speak of it as if they do, and while others use it to enhance their status. I have been in the presence of such people, and I am always astounded at the level of ignorance guiding their behavior. Such people are nowhere near awakened, let alone enlightened, and this includes both teacher and student. It is like the blind leading the blind. The irony is that the effort they expend on becoming enlightened only impedes the realization that they already are. Enlightenment is not something you do; it is about being.

This beingness seems to be the hardest lesson to master, for it involves a gradual, developmental and cumulative process of growth through steps and stages. It emerges as a natural consequence of allowing, rather than by any egoic effort to attain it, because it involves surrendering and the ultimate dissolution of the ego in order to realize it. You can read the world’s greatest mystical and spiritual literature, become very knowledgeable on techniques, rites and rituals, and yet remain completely unchanged. Accumulation of knowledge is not enlightenment, and neither is the prowess of mystical vocabulary the proof.

What we need is a new definition of what enlightenment means within the context of modern existence. The popular version is depicted as a sudden state of rapture and ecstasy, accompanied by luminous light and visions, an end of suffering and the dawning of bliss, thus permanently enlightening the aspirant. All this may very well be true, but does this depiction really explain what enlightenment is?

This state of beingness is easy to attain or maintain in an ashram, monastery or somewhere up in the mountains far removed from the challenges of modern life. There’s nothing wrong with pursuing a monastic life or dedicating your life to simplicity and seclusion; this has its time and value on the journey. But how much of that pursuit is authentic, versus escaping the demands of the world? When you live in seclusion, you bet it’s easier to maintain a consciousness of love and compassion.

So what is enlightenment? How about coming down from that mountain and putting your unity consciousness to the test amidst mortgage payments and credit card debt, divorce lawyers and aging parents, nasty bosses and health problems, wars and poverty? Such conditions, as the alchemist knows, burns away the dross to reveal who we are not. Yes, in the midst of the madness we awaken, grow comfortable with our dualistic nature and develop mystical stamina so that we can handle our sobriety. Illusions are like drugs and enlightenment is like rehab.

An enlightened person neither seeks the light, nor remains inactive in the darkness. Their goal is not enlightenment, but of conduct toward self, life and others. When you’re in the presence of such a person, no verbal exchange is necessary to know who you are dealing with. Such people can serve in monasteries or stock markets, run corporations or run for office, walk the desert or walk to work. They have the ability to see things as they really are, to accept what is and remain open to all of life. This is done not out of naiveté or denial, but out of profound understanding of how life really works.

“After enlightenment, the laundry.” — a Zen proverb

Natasha Dern is an entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and host of the Buddha Lounge Radio Show – a lifestyle show which explores spiritual practices, timeless wisdom from the great traditions, and insights from contemporary spiritual thinkers, celebrities, leading experts, gurus and great visionaries of our time – From personal transformation to the environment, from corporate responsibility to building better relationships, from the intuitive arts to alternative healthcare, from current events to celebrity happenings and so much more.

Many of the brightest stars and luminaries from the world of self help/lifestyle have appeared on the show – the likes of Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Byron Katie, Gary Zukav, Donna D’Cruz, Thomas Moore, Debbie Ford, James Van Prague, Sylvia Browne, Malika Chopra, Cheryl Richardson, Judith Orloff, Arielle Ford, Lynne McTaggert, Dr. Brian Weiss, Martha Beck, Annie Lennox, Rodney Yee, Dr. Gary Schwartz, John Assaraf, Ariane de Bonvoisin, Gregg Braden, Caroline Myss, Michael Losier, John Demartini.

1.The Emerging Consciousness of Oneness 2. Awakening the World 3.The Grace of God ~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Ph.D., is a sheikh in the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Order of Sufism. He has specialized in the area of dreamwork, integrating the ancient Sufi approach to dreams with the insights of modern psychology. In recent years the focus of his writing and teaching has been on spiritual responsibility in our present time of transition, and the emerging global consciousness of oneness. Author of several books on the subject, Llewellyn has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He currently lives in California.

Awakening the World

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Ph.D., is a sheikh in the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Order of Sufism. He has specialized in the area of dreamwork, integrating the ancient Sufi approach to dreams with the insights of modern psychology. In recent years the focus of his writing and teaching has been on spiritual responsibility in our present time of transition, and the emerging global consciousness of oneness. Author of several books on the subject, Llewellyn has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He currently lives in California.
The Grace of God

Three Areas of Oneness / Oneness in Everyday life

Duane Elgin is an author, speaker, educator, consultant, and media activist. For more than three decades, Duane has been in the forefront of exploring humanity’s evolutionary journey, sustainable ways of living, media accountability and citizen empowerment, and the convergence of the new science with the world’s wisdom traditions. For more of Duane Elgin’s videos, check out

Oneness in Everyday Life

Lynn Barron travels around the country meditating with people and speaking about her mystical experience. For a complete interview with Lynn Barron

Is Humanity Growing Up? / The Human Journey /Bounce or Crash: Will Humanity Wake up in Time?

Duane Elgin looks at the human species and asks, What is our collective level of maturity?

The Human Journey

A look at human evolution through the lens of The Hero’s Journey.

Bounce or Crash: Will Humanity Wake up in Time?

Duane Elgin explores the choice to either pull apart in conflict or to pull together in cooperation.
Producer: Duane Elgin & Global MindShift. Director: Kenji Williams

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