The Center for Human Awakening BLOG



Center for Human Awakening BLOG
The Center for Human Awakening
The Center for Human Awakening
~ The Psycho-Spiritual Teachings of Richard Harvey ~
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Blogs contained here emanate from questions or responses to themes that arose in psychological and spiritual settings – sessions, groups, training workshops, etc. Please note that blog entries 64-166 are drawn from Richard Harvey’s articles page. This retrospective series of blogs spanned over 25 years; please remember when reading them that some of Richard’s thought and practice have evolved since. We hope you enjoy this blog and that you will carry on submitting your psycho-spiritual questions for Richard’s response, either through the form on our Contact Us page or in the ongoing video blog series. Thank you.

Center for Human Awakening BLOG

Three Great Masters

by Richard Harvey on 05/24/20


Among the great procession of spiritual adepts through history, three clearly stand out as, not only the founders of great world religions, but as the teachers of the principle ways to realization. They are Jesus, Krishna, and Buddha. Each of these three masters taught different paths to Truth and these different paths relate directly to our levels of spiritual autobiography.

The fundamental human dilemma is the antagonism between ego and God, the self-directed life and surrender, the delusion of separation and the spiritual Reality of Unity Consciousness. These are ways to summarize and describe human beings in their basic circumstance; this is what we have to deal with.

The great adepts, avatars, and spiritual masters appear in the world in larger numbers than we may think, but they are nonetheless rare. Their role is usually explicitly to help, through teaching the paths to wisdom. They teach without thought of gain, unmotivated by need or hope, and entirely without self-aggrandizement. In these ways alone, they are extraordinary. It is as if they are pointing to a parallel reality, urging us to see something we cannot, and that something is the state or condition they themselves model or appear in to us, the conditions of equanimity, contentment, and selflessness.

Equanimity, Contentment, and Selflessness

These three essential states represent paths to Truth and they are inherent in the teaching example of each of these three great masters. They offer us guidance and encouragement. They point us in the direction we as spiritual aspirants need to go. Equanimity is the antithesis of the ego-restless mind. Mind as we know is relentless, interminable, and full of turmoil and delusion. To placate the mind, to still the mind, to bring peace to the inner turmoil, a great path of realization is needed. Contentment is the state of desirelessness, not because nothing will be given and you cannot have all you need, but because paradoxically desire is its own saboteur. To be content we must see beyond the delusion that any object of desire can ever satisfy us and it is taught in one of the great spiritual traditions of the world. Selflessness is attained through, not only seeing past the lie of separation and division, but also by embracing and struggling with individuality and personality in the process of shedding self-identification. It is a most human route to realization and it is taught in one of the great world traditions.

Now each of these three corresponds to the first three levels of spiritual autobiography that we have been discussing, namely thought, action, and emotion—that is, mind, desire, and self.

The sacrifice of thought or mind, the enlightening way of Krishna, is the Hindu way to realize the Self. The sacrifice of action or desire, the way to end suffering taught by Buddha, is the Hindu revisionist way to annul the illusion of a separate self and realize the True Self. The sacrifice of emotion and self, the transcendent way of Jesus, is the Christ's way to liberation.

 

Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at [email protected].

Blog entry #190


Many Roads to Truth

by Richard Harvey on 05/12/20


No representation of Truth is Truth itself. I have offended many with this revelation and no doubt I will offend many more. Your masters, your teachers, your practices, your discipline, your ways and means, your scriptures, your holy books, your sanghas—all of it is meaningless, utterly meaningless. In the face of Truth, nothing matters. Even those persons, practices, and paraphernalia you consider to be of the utmost importance and significance is as nothing to Truth itself.

If you are at all serious about spirituality, about the "journey" to Truth, about the importance of deathless love and wisdom, and the self-sourcing Divine Self that is Consciousness, which is not an event, not an experience, and entirely outside of space and time ..then please realize that everything must be sacrificed in your attempt at spiritual realization and true understanding.

There are many roads to this Truth, many ways... but there are many ways that will not lead to this Truth. When your heart has selected a road stay on it; it is the quickest way.

One Story, One Biography, One Autobiography

Today the self-consciousness of the human being has firmly immersed us in cultism. Cultism is everywhere. Cults are built inevitably around cultic figures, leaders, and often charismatic beings who hold some sway with collections of human beings. Please see through this absurdity; you cannot seek and find the Truth. Neither can you transcend the self through a deferred or preferred personality around which a set of beliefs and slogans have appeared. Please remember that the genuine spiritual master is not a personality.

It is really because of this that the idea of a spiritual autobiography is ultimately flawed. Spirituality is the annulment of the separate sense, the transcendence of the identification with the ego-I. The end of the journey is the end of the self or the end of the search and the two are synonymous.

There can only ever be one story, one biography, one autobiography, from the spiritual perspective and that is that the enlightenment of all begins in all worlds at all times, forever. There can only ever be, therefore, a spiritual autobiography.

As we sit silently, let us envision, not imagine, nor hope, but envision, the truth of this: the Divine waits for us in infinite patience, forever loving, waiting tenderly, silently, without judgment or criticism. Waiting for our return, waiting for the return of all and everyone. Meditate on this great patience, this infinite love and compassion. Let it fill your heart to the very brim until it is overflowing and the world is filling with brightness from the overflowing of infinite Love.

Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at [email protected].

Blog entry #189


Perpetual Sadhana: The Spiritual Practice and Discipline of The True Adept

by Richard Harvey on 04/29/20


At this time in our evolution it is this stage of heart-centered living that we find ourselves on the very brink of. However, as with all acts of great transformative change, resistance mounts up in an attempt to thwart us from taking the risk and suffering the instability of the process of deep change. Each and every one of us has beating within us the heart of change, of loving transformation, and it is for each one of us to find themselves worthy through the cultivation of courage and commitment, intention and discernment... to awaken to Truth, Love, and Reality itself.

God no longer is an anthropomorphized being, a loving father who will take responsibility for us. Neither are we any longer his children, neither are there anymore interceders, spiritual masters, priests, shamans, and realizers to mediate between us and the Divine source. It is here, now. There are no ways left. All ways have led us to here. There is only one way left and that is to be. This sixth level of autobiography is just that then.... we are finally ourselves.

A great sacrifice now awaits the true seeker after truth, the spiritual wanderer, the one who through life has never truly been bewitched, beguiled, or fascinated by any of the appearances of the Divine in the field of space and time. For such a one—and not all are called—the very flowering of human life is followed by autumn, by fall. He or she not only allows, but now actively relinquishes attainment for the gift of personal annulment. In truth, the dance, apparitions, drama, and spells of the ego-mind have never been other than this—a mere shadow play on the emptiness of eternity.

In that emptiness now he or she steps with all their heart, mind, will, and totality, beyond transformation or flowering or attainment or fear or desire.

This is less a level in autobiography and more the end. For this is the very earth and it is not an ending or rather it is neither an ending, nor is it a beginning. The true person resides in eternity outside of space and time. This was, is, and always will be the case.

In perpetual sadhana, the spiritual practice and discipline of the true adept now is to feel, do, and become in each moment as the Divine Person, the one who has always ever been the subject and imagined image of delusion for thousands of years—the Great Being of immeasurable love.

This Flower of Compassion

Autobiography stops here, but in order to step into this void, remember something that not only I but others have often related. Read any scripts about truth three times and in doing so they saturate through the levels of thinking, feeling, and willing, and yet, like a beautiful round or madrigal, as you near the perfection of spiritual life in whatever form that appears as you prepare to end it allows your inner eye to skate over the territory again... again.

The realms of thinking will then give way to emptiness and from there to surrender to the Divine. The realms of action will give way to inaction and emptiness and then to being the instrument of the Divine. The realms of feeling emotion will give way to a depth of true homogenous feeling and "feeling with" that transcends empathy and then you will give this feeling into the keeping of the Divine. The sum of the parts, the totality of yourself, will merge into Oneness, and then with the All, and become nothing that can be related to at all. The transformation will modulate in to the ever-arising and subsiding forms of so-called creation as the ground of being submits and gives way to the restlessness of souls in turmoil and great flowering replaces, or rather expands out of your memories of personal flowering, into a huge flower, the world flower, the world consciousness. Universal oneness and Love is its center, its stem, and its petals. All is this flower of compassion, Light, Truth, and blissful Consciousness.

Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at [email protected].

Blog entry #188


Spiritual Autobiography – Part 2 of 2

by Richard Harvey on 04/22/20



Part 1 of this article looked at thought, action, and emotion. In Part 2, we explore wholeness, transformation, and true nature.

The fourth autobiography: wholeness

And it is so. Over the last hundred years we have had the concept of all-inclusiveness or holism. We can aspire less to being a specialist in life, a thinking, acting, or feeling individual and more toward addressing the challenges of being all of these at once. The idea is that we embrace all of our faculties and, including the context in which we find ourselves, interact, identify, and harmonize so the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts, a greater vision, a more expansive aspiration, a more inclusive experience of human existence.

This then is the fourth level of autobiography and it includes the perspective, specialties, and focuses of the first three with the extra component of the whole, the greater whole through the integration of all the parts.

This holistic point of view is incredibly important. We should briefly take a historical perspective on this, because for much of its life humanity has tended toward specialism out of necessity. Interdependence was perhaps more apparent, more obvious in pre-twentieth century societies. Technological, educational, psychological, and philosophical advances have not only changed our attitude toward our understanding of our self, our individuality, and our personal destiny, they have also expanded our potential, our capacity, and our perception of our place in the world.

Now perhaps for the first time we may see that through our refined self-consciousness of individuality that each one of us has a unique destiny, a personal fulfillment, and a distinct path to the satisfaction of our deepest self-nature.

By living our wholeness, working into the truth of ourselves as feeling, being, doing-acting, psycho-spiritual organisms, we can achieve and attain far more than any one specialty would allow. And this combined with our sense of self may prove to be invaluable in our search for fulfillment and Self-realization.

The fifth autobiography: transformation

Our thinking autobiography, our doing autobiography, our emotional autobiography, and our autobiography of holism lead us now one step further and this step is into transformation. The life of transformation may be the only life worth living, the one that sufficiently meets the obligation of being a conscious human being.

Not everyone is inclined toward transformation. At this stage in human evolution it seems that it is a minority only. Apart from the obvious challenges, risks, and obstacles is the fact that in this dark era—and perhaps in any era this is true—there are many superficial, trivial, and phony ways to personal change on offer. People today don't seem to know the difference between the authentic and the fake.

As rare as it may be, transformation represents the natural life for a human being. Most people today are living in a remedial state of early childhood conditioning. By the time they enter middle years, old age, and prepare for death, little has changed. Their expectations, assumptions, and strategies in life are fairly much the same as they were when they were very young. Not much if anything has really changed.

This is no way to live a human life. To accept the gift of human existence is to live life, to live spontaneously, vibrantly, pleasurably, with satisfaction in fulfillment and the realization of one's authentic heart-nature. To live life fully is to open the packaging, take off the wrapper, not to merely sit nursing the wrapped gift and saying thank you. Open the gift, see what is there, take the risk of revelation, come out from behind the veil of concealment. Transformation is all this and more and the fortunate human being who realizes him or herself in this way can be said to truly live life, to truly embrace life, to feel truly grateful for life, and to meet the inherent obligation we all have to life to respond, to celebrate, to take part in the ritual, existential litany of reciprocity, becoming one with Life.

The sixth autobiography: true nature

The life of transformation is curiously the start, the very beginning, of true life and it augurs an exciting event. As the heart fills with love and compassion so the receptacle or vehicle of your earthly being overflows with life-force and life-energy. This overflowing reveals the impersonal nature of love, life, compassion, and relationship itself. It reveals the truly authentic nature of relationship: that authentic relationship is not two. No separation exists in real relationship, no division, no prejudice, no sides, no partisanship, no giving, no taking, no individual stories meeting, colliding, rebuffing, no potential, possible, or actual conflict, and neither confluence or harmony or forgiveness or anything at all. You and the other in authentic relationship are not two, so there is nothing between you, nothing separating you from each other, not even love. In love, real love that is impersonal, there is only this one single consciousness, experienced as a flow, as an ocean, as play, as an inherent being state. However it appears to your senses, it goes beyond. True love is beyond any and all experience, interpretation, and objectification.

This sixth level of autobiography is the flowering of the human life. The true heart-nature of love, compassion, authenticity, and inherent unity in the human experience is lived, not merely thought, acted upon, or even felt, it is lived as a central and consistent reality of life, since it is the actual reality of human form.

Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at [email protected].

Blog entry #187

Spiritual Autobiography – Part 1 of 2

by Richard Harvey on 04/14/20


This is the first of a two-part article on Spiritual Autobiography. In this article we explore thought, action, and emotion.

The first autobiography: thought

 

Biography means charting a life. Charting a life implies a narrative form: some beginning, some end, as we have briefly looked at, and "auto" of course means you do it. It is about you, considered and from your own perspective, you might say. There is another perspective and that is from another, another's view of you and your life. The autobiography of anyone begins curiously, not in their life as such, but in their mind, in their thought patterns. Everything we see, touch, taste, smell, and feel is subject to some interference, or we should say interpretation, by these patterns of thought. We impose those patterns. Thus it is almost impossible for us to look at the cloud or its reflection in the puddle without saying something like, Can you see that dragon in the sky? Or it looks like a face, a flying saucer, or a cat, and so on. We impose pattern by making associations and these associations are amplifications of our life's experience, images which we overlay, or repeated patterns we see over and over in our minds, the products of our thoughts, the extensions of our mind.

 

What if our biographical narrative is no more real than these images we "see" in the sky, in the reflections in the water? What if the sense we have of ourself traveling, evolving, making his or her way through life, are merely impressions, patterns of thought, a kind of stencil that our thought patterns insist everyone and everything in its way conform to?

 

The second autobiography: action

 

If the thought, narrative, pattern, or reflection is the first autobiography then the second is surely the action one. Everyone is the central hero in his or her own drama of life. You, like Odysseus, Parsifal, Randolph Scott, or Clint Eastwood ride into town and... ride out of town and in between, well that's another story. You are your own action hero and like modern movies you have to do to be seen, to make an impression; to be someone you must do.  Always in the narratives of movies today there is doing, lots of doing. Even in Shakespeare you had to have people doing. In myths and fairy tales there is action and drama and dramatic tension from these actions. If no one does anything, there's not much to see and so not much grip or engagement or the required tension that feeds that sense of engagement, interest, and concern.

 

Movies about writers, for example, are just not that good, not that absorbing, usually. Similarly movies about meditating or other inward processes. We tend to join the protagonists, if you can call them that, in a kind of soporific state, when after all there's not enough doing to keep us awake and attentive. And this tends to be the case too in the outer, so-called real world. We need drama, crisis even, to sustain attention. The news media knows this, the novelist and short-story writer knows it too, just as the neighbor, the person you meet at the bus stop, and your friends or relatives who you meet periodically at social gatherings know it. They're all looking for the drama, for the sympathy, the pity, the involvement, the identification, the living by proxy, safely suffering through another, perhaps through you, in a vicarious sleight of hand that sustains and lives them.

 

We too in our lives perhaps covertly crave drama. Without some drama we may fall asleep. It is rather like ending. It is rather like death. It is rather like everything that in life we try to avoid endlessly. So the second level of biography reflects this fundamental need, the one to enact, to create dynamic tension and drama in relationships, in doing, acting, achieving, succeeding and failing, some novelty, some content—heaven forbid there should be none!—no content, that we should be blank is a terrible state and not one you should own up to and certainly not aspire to.

 

The third autobiography: emotion

 

So now we have the thought patterns of mind and the compulsive action level of biography. This then is followed by the third level and it is the emotional one. Everyone has some form of emotional biography, autobiography, going on. It is how we feel, our feeling engagement with life. Some people live this biography more than others of course. Some people are more centered, more governed by emotion than, say thought or action in which case this level of autobiography is the stronger of the three levels. When you are primarily an emotional person, when this is the principal corridor through which you meet experience, you see, experience, and interact with the world and are predominantly affected and motivated by feeling emotions.

 

Indeed some people's lives are exclusively motivated, even animated, by feeling emotions. Their decisions are all emotional ones. The primarily thinking person considers such folk irrational, illogical, impetuous. They do not understand them and their motives and they tend to look down at them. Much the same way as the head apparently presides over the body and the heart, the thinking-oriented person adopts a superior looking-down attitude to the emotional person and their exploits through life. The action person may be mystified by both the thinking and the emotionally-oriented person. Their access to life is through doing and sometimes thinking less and not feeling may mean they make rather superficial or uninformed decisions in their lives.

 

What should start to become apparent from this consideration is that we as human beings are thinking, acting, and feeling organisms. Surely there should be a way to be all these rather than only one? Surely we should be able to harmonize and make confluent these differing modes of experience and engagement to become more than a mere partial human being, a biased, imbalanced being that favors his or her apparently innate preferences?

 

Part 2 of this article will look at wholeness, transformation, and true nature.

Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at [email protected].

Blog entry #186

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