«It’s time for us to seriously consider how to change our lifestyle, not through prayer and religious teaching, but through education.»
~ Dalai Lama, World Leader of Tibetan Buddhism
These words spoken by the Dalai Lama, this revered world leader of Tibetan Buddhism fell like a bomb in the tranquil world of the spiritual community. Dozens of other leaders on the self-improvement and spiritual front immediately started to object to this quote and to deny its value, since we all know that prayer, meditation and religious teachings are key elements in shifting consciousness. Countless articles, debates in the media and tons of comments on the social media boards have been written and said. Personally, I agree with the Dalai Lama and I will explain why.
Let’s start from the beginning. What is consciousness? Consciousness is the ability to perceive the interchange of energies that I give and receive. The higher my consciousness (my spiritual development), the more heightened my perception and awareness of the mechanisms of giving and taking of the energy fields around me.
But what does this mean in practice? A two-year-old child has a very strong developed ego. We would say that it’s very selfish, because it only understands how other people’s energy affects its psychology and of course everything around it is, what it feels. If we look at this child in a crooked way, the whole world changes for that child. Also it never crosses its mind that the whole world does not revolve around them and cannot possibly imaging that the parent can be important as well or the family even. But we’ll forgive this child, after all it’s only two-years-old and simply acts its age. Isn’t that so?
The child’s perception of this interchange of energy is similar to the perceptual capabilities of people who are very selfish. Oh yes. If I cannot perceive how I affect others and the entire energy field around me, then my spiritual growth (and thus consciousness) is low. I am a spiritual two-year-old child. As my understanding of how the interchange of my thoughts, feelings and actions create in others and around me, only just in the most obvious but also in the most subtle ways, my consciousness shifts for the better, it gets higher.
Now, it is known through studies that have been recorded scientifically and very detailed and that «logos» (the spoken word) has strength just like prayer and meditation. Science has proven beyond any doubt that prayer or meditation affects crime levels in a city. When a meditation group chooses to focus on the subject of lowering crime rates for a specified timeframe, these rates do go down. Also, that these crime levels return to their previous figures when they stopped meditating. Surely then, the Dalai Lama does not want to cancel this achievement that we all struggled to prove.
So to see, why the Dalai Lama chose to say this phrase and why this phrase is key. Let us first look at how consciousness growth works. And because I like to give concrete examples through my daily experiences, I will give you a very positive experience and I’ll let you judge for yourself.
When I became involved in metaphysics, like all neophytes I had many gaps in my new knowledge. I grew up as a Greek Orthodox and of course, now I was learning about the Hindu chakras (energy centers) and many other things that were very unlikely (in my opinion at the time) to what I already knew at the time and that made me uneasy. I was torn between the things I knew and what I was learning. Did these things have a real base and how could I incorporate them with the things I knew? And then as it always happens, I fell upon the appropriate teacher (who shows up when the student is ready to learn). I read the book «Anatomy of the Spirit» by Dr. Caroline Meys which makes an excellent comparative analysis of three religions: Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism.
In this book, I discovered that the seven main chakras in fact represent the seven Christian sacraments and the ten Serifot of Judaism when they are merged correctly into seven concepts. I will focus on the analysis between Christianity and Hinduism for convenience’s sake.
- The first chakra, which is compared with the sacrament of Baptism, has to do with the material world and the human need to belong. When the child is baptized it is introduced into and becomes part of the Christian community. It also represents the feeling of gratitude for our life in the material world.
- The second chakra which is equal to the Holy Communion has to do with the desire of material life and union with God and the society around us through the receptivity of God’s grace.
- The third chakra, that of Anointing has to do with the ego, personality and self-esteem because once anointed we are ready to offer the grace we have received as representatives (chosen).
- The fourth chakra of Marriage has to do with love, forgiveness and compassion that is the idea of marriage anyway.
- The fifth chakra of Confession has to do with the will, self-expression and the elimination of all negative and no longer harmonic energies within us and the desire to express our authentic existence.
- The sixth chakra of Ordination has to do with the insight, intuition, wisdom and spiritual guidance so everyone ordained have accepted this sacred service and offer trail.
- The seventh chakra of Unction has to do with spirituality and the completion of our unfinished business after death, as we go towards the light.
Upon reading this book, I realized some very basic things about religion and spirituality:
- First that Christianity had nothing to envy from other religions and I needed to do was to approach it in a more adult way and that this principle holds true for many other things in life.
- All religions that survive over time, do so because they have established teachings and processes where the word of God is applied to the needs of people.
- And of course that religion offers to teach you some things about your spiritual status, but this is only half way. How and in what ways you understand, assimilate this knowledge and overcoming your fears in order to function through this new knowledge, it is your own question.
- We are all evolving spiritual beings and the level of our spiritual development is irrelevant to our real age on a physical level and this development determines how selfish or more considerate and thoughtful we are (aware). Everything thern is in our hands.
The light of knowledge offered to me through this book liberated me from my unnecessary fears and allowed me to talk about my newly founded spiritual searches and path in an unhindered and clearly braver way. It also paved the way for further knowledge and awareness, awareness that fear who breeds prejudice and intolerance does not allow.
Whenever we dispose of our ignorance and fears for something (our darkness or shadow you might say), we allow ourselves to work through knowledge and love (the light or of our wisdom). This automatically means that we now have a higher perception or awareness and thus vibration and consciousness. Of course we know that everything is vibration and energy. Fear is a low vibration emotion and produces all the negative feelings and love is a high vibration emotion and produces all the positives.
Whenever man increases his perception and awareness consciously through knowledge, not only he manages to shift his consciousness, but also to maintain this level from now on. And here lies the truth behind the Dalai Lama’s quote on the prayer-meditation vs. education. Education allows each of us to reach and maintain a higher level of consciousness. To pray or meditate for someone does shift their energy field, and yes they receive the message and the benefit of this higher consciousness stat for a certain period, but he who receives the benefits of our meditation or prayer does not know enough to sustain this result on their own, when we stop meditating or praying for them.
People often ask me «Isn’t it true that all roads lead to the same destination, in our case enlightenment?» Yes, all roads lead there, but not all roads are the same. What do I mean by that? If I wanted to go from Athens to Tokyo, I could get on a plane and after several hours, I will have reached my destination. There are, of course, more travel choices I could make. I could go by boat. Again I would arrive at the same destination, but I would need a longer time. Also, I could use trains, cars, speed boats, sailboats, horses, carriages, hot air balloons, bicycles, even walking and swimming. Which combination of all of these choices is the most effective in terms of time and effort??? Exactly. Prayer and meditation is an excellent practice if we want to reach our destination painlessly and in due time, which could take decades. However, if we want a faster and more effective journey, education and awareness of our choices is the best combination to effectively reach and sustain the desired outcome.
I end with this quote that was written over the door of Plato’s Academy «Let no one unversed in geometry enter here» meaning of course that anyone who is «ignorant of geometry or is unshaped» and thus ignorant of logic and unable to understand philosophy should not enter his academy.
Teacher & Consultant of Alternative Therapies
Founder of GrecoDow® Educational Systems