About The Diagram
The purpose of this book is to help you become proficient in each of the Nine Aspects of Being. When all nine Aspects become second nature, then it can be said that you live in Mystical Oneness.
As with anything in life though, there is a cost. Spiritual growth is extremely expensive. To become proficient in any Aspect, you must give up a part of yourself. You must become less. Each Aspect costs you a portion of your identity.
As you progress in your practices of Mystical Oneness—as you grow proficient in the Aspects—you lose more and more of your identity. You become less. As you become less, something mysterious—something amazing—becomes more. But not you. You become less.
Less and less and less. By the time you approach the higher Aspects of Mystical Oneness, you have “spent” so much of your identity that you can’t even define yourself anymore. The cost of your spiritual growth has become so great that you can no longer even pinpoint who or what you are. Any definition feels wrong and limited. You start to think of yourself as, me-whatever-that-is. While you know you exist, you (whatever that is) lose all sense of identity.
Sounds kind of scary doesn’t it? Losing your identity? Less and less and less? There’s a positive side to these frightening things. What they rarely tell you in enlightenment school is that as you become less, the Divine becomes more. That’s the miraculous part. That’s the mystical part of Mystical Oneness. That’s what makes paying with your identity—paying with your me-me-me life—so worthwhile.
The diagram above is your map. It describes the steps you must take—the lands you must venture through—to become less.
Before we get into the details though, let’s look at the key features of your map.
- The Aspects: The Nine Aspects are the major spiritual components of Mystical Oneness. Think of the Aspects as tools, instruments which you (whatever that is) use to express yourself. There are three tiers with three Aspects per tier.
- Three Tiers: We begin by clarifying our core nature—what we need in order to function in the world while still remaining spiritual (the Tier of Clarity). We then move on to understanding and living the transcendental life (the Tier of Insights). Finally we resolve the major paradoxes that often vex the enlightened (the Tier of Peace).
- The Core Feature: The small text under each Aspect describes the main quality of the Aspect. As you become skilled in an Aspect’s use, this feature becomes an integral part of your life. It becomes second nature.
- Heart and Mind Paths: The Aspects on the left side of the diagram represent the Path of the Heart. They focus on our felt and emotional sense of being. The Aspects on the right side represent the Path of the Mind. These focus on our knowledge and inquiry. Each tier also has a vehicle Aspect (Mortal, Soul, Self). These Aspects help stabilize and ground us as we navigate the other Aspects of the tier.
- Advancing: Once all Aspects of a tier become second nature, we are free to begin practicing the Aspects of the tier above.
A couple notes on the terminology:
- I’ll often use the word ego (lower-case ‘e’) when referencing the illusionary Me-Story (your past, your roles, your persona, …). I’ll use the word Ego (upper-case ‘E’) when describing the individual Ego Aspects of the Tier of Clarity.
- In a similar vein, I’ll use the word self (lower-case ‘s’) when talking about the felt, everyday sense of self (you, whatever that is). I’ll use the word Self (upper-case ‘S’) when talking about the Self Aspect of the Tier of Peace.
What is your relationship to the Nine Aspects of Being? How do the Aspects fit into the grand picture of “you” (whatever that is)?
There’s a reason that spiritual teachings are replete with metaphors and parables. The reason is: This stuff is really hard to explain.
Simply put, mental concepts—words and definitions—can’t explain what lies beyond mental concepts. And practically all things spiritual lie beyond mental concepts.
This is an age old problem. To explain the inexplicable, spiritual teachers will often just make something up. Not a lie per se, but a parable…
Once upon a previous lifetime you were an Artist. An Artist with a special power. You could paint an entire painting in less than a second. Beautiful paintings, powerful paintings, and yes, more often than not, somewhat mundane paintings. But you were fast. You could create thousands of paintings in a day.
When you first started out, you only had access to three colors. But you were fast and you were good and for years you made thousands—millions—of paintings with just these three colors.
Then one day you met another Artist, and she was fast and she was good, but she had six colors. Your three colors and three entirely new ones!
Before you were happy with your three colors, but suddenly they were lacking, kind of dull and boring, and you wanted the new colors—you coveted them—and though you were tempted to kill the other Artist for them, you realized that this wasn’t a bible parable so you simply asked her for them instead.
And she said, “No. These are my paints. These are my colors.”
And you thought, this sickly sweet and PC parable be damned, I’m going to kill her and take them anyway, but before you could finish the thought she said, “But, I’ll show you how to make these colors.”
And it was good. And you were fast. And you painted a hundred paintings that day with, not three, but six wonderful colors. The world was your oyster… until the very next morning.
The very next morning you met another Artist. An old man, wise and sagely, and he had nine colors—the six colors you had and three entirely new ones!
Having learned your lesson, you asked in a sweet and humble voice, “Oh great and wise Artist, could you teach me how to make your three special colors?”
And the great and wise Artist said, “No. I could… but I won’t.” And he said nothing more.
So you thought about killing him and taking them anyway and the Old Artist said, “Don’t even think about killing me and taking them anyway, because you’ll never learn how to make them again once they are gone.”
And you were vexed and you were frustrated and you thought about killing him anyway when the Old Artist said, “But before you kill me anyway, know this: I will teach you the secret of the final three colors when you are ready. You’ve only had the six colors for a day. Come back when you are an expert with them and I’ll teach you the last three. Otherwise you’ll just make a mess of your art… and a mess of your life.”
So you practiced and you practiced and you painted a thousand—ten thousand—new paintings with not three but six colors and when you were ready, when you had the six colors down, you came back to the Old Man and he taught you how to make the last three colors.
So what is the relationship between you and the Nine Aspects of Being?
You are the Artist. The Aspects are your colors. The Aspects are your instruments for expressing yourself. You create a new painting in every moment of your life. Sometimes you go through phases, favoring one Aspect over the others, but you are not any one Aspect. Nor even a combination of them.
Mystical Oneness is when you live this way. When you use all nine Aspects to express yourself. To be. To play. To paint.
You—whatever that is—are the Artist. An Artist who creates a new painting every moment of your life.
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