The Paradox Of The Common Soul
A Word About The Common Soul
We live in a dual world. Everywhere you look outside there are opposites and polarity. Up and down, hot and cold, in and out, love and hate and the list goes on. In fact of the many things out there, it’s hard not to find an opposite in something else. It’s simply how our world works out there. As long as you’re working in that world out there you’re in the garden of good an evil. But even in this world of opposites there are clues to the one-ness that is our soul’s connection to the common, universal soul.
Paradoxes are everywhere in life. Paradoxes are these subtle clues in the world to wake us out of the dream or illusion that everything is black and white duality. A paradox is when you’ve got two things that seem to conflict, but could possibly both be true at the same time. You see what this does? It breaks down the dual nature of something. One of the most famous paradoxes is that old riddle: “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” I remember my aunts and uncles teasing me with this as a child and it was a big laugh, but it’s designed to cause you to question your own origins and what you’re doing here.
Paradox is everywhere. Another great way to look at it is that a paradox is like a “Catch-22.” This amazing phrase that made it’s way into our language because of Joseph Heller’s 1961 war novel of the same name. In it, he referred to an Air Force rule whereby a pilot continuing to fly combat missions without asking for relief is regarded as insane, but he’s considered sane enough to keep flying if he is actually able to make such a request. A catch-22 is a seemingly impossible or illogical situation. Likewise the idea that we all share one universal, common soul is a catch-22 or paradox. How can we as individual beings, apparently separate from everything else out there, share the same soul? How can we be one with everything else when clearly my physical body is separate from yours, when my thoughts and actions, my very being is unique?
Science—quantum mechanics, particularly string theory as of late, have essentially proven that all matter including you and me is made up of vibrating particles of energy. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand it, either. Scientists have discovered that when you break energy down into its smallest components, even smaller than protons, neutrons and electrons; there are these tiny sub-atomic particles, which are the basic units of energy. They have funny names like quarks, bosons leptons and fermions, but the point is, that these particles of energy make up all matter—your house, that rock outside, everything you see is made up of these basic units of energy. They’ve further discovered that this energy tends to come together as vibrating strings of energy which lead to the make-up of our different dimensions. With string theory and now M theory it is believed that these microcosmic strings vibrating indicate that we may live in as many as eleven different dimensions!
The only thing that differentiates a rock from a piece of iron is that the two are vibrating at different frequencies. Even we, our physical bodies, are made up of the same stuff. We are all these basic units of energy and the only thing that makes us individual and different is that we’re all vibrating at different frequencies also. Just as each and every snowflake is unique, so is each and every being on this earth. This can be a real mind-bender and it is supposed to be thus. You have to take this all on faith. You can read about quantum physics and string theory and all that stuff and you’ll find out what I just told you… we’re all the same stuff. But at some point you have to jump off and take a philosophical leap and start seeing things as all coming from the same place and that’s when a paradox or catch-22 opens your mind and gives you a taste of the power of your soul.
Once you understand this, then you can go out and have the experience of being one with everything out there and sharing the same common soul– ultimately, this is love. Good luck to you on that… : ) That reminds me of the old Buddhist joke: A Buddhist walks up to a taco stand. The guy at the counter says, “What’ll ya have?” and the monk says, “Make me one with everything, please.”
The greatest paradox of them all is that we’re all made up of the same basic energy yet we’re as unique as snowflakes. The ego hates this because the ego is limited. For simplicity purposes let’s just say the ego is what keeps your reality in place—the life you see before you with your eyes. The ego keeps everything separate and ordered. It classifies and judges. The ego is limited because the outer life you live is, finite, and limited. You’re born, you have some experiences and you die. The very nature of life is limited by virtue of this fact. But the mind is un-limited because it’s connected to the common soul, which is infinite. The reality you experience in every day life is a projection of the mind. Your thoughts are electromagnetic waves. Your brain sends electrical impulses to the nerves and the muscles in the body and it makes the whole thing go. So your energy follows your thought. You think something, you do it and the sum of the things you do becomes the life you experience.
The problem is between the mind and ego. The mind is unlimited because it’s connected with the common soul and the whole ball of wax. Yogi Bhajan, the great Master of Kundalini Yoga has told us that each time you blink your eyes, the mind releases a thousand thoughts and sub-chains of thoughts. So the mind has these unlimited thoughts while the ego is limited to what it can see, classify and process. That’s what the ego does, it classifies everything to keep things manageable– it keeps everything separate and dual and opposite. The mind is like an ambassador between the ego and the soul and because the mind is connected with the Common Soul, it knows that we’re all one. What happens then, is that the mind becomes torn between the ultimate truth of the soul and the limited outside world of the ego. That’s where thinking becomes limited and you have to have the experience itself. If you try and think about it too much, your mind becomes like a bird’s nest and you just have to stop thinking about it. That’s why most people don’t think about their souls and simply focus on the outside world before them. It’s easier to keep track of. But when you’re focused solely on the objects of your life outside you end up identifying mostly with the ego– because the ego tells you what’s separate out there, what’s good and bad. That’s where meditation comes in. It’s like push-ups for the mind. When you strengthen the mind using your inner will power– yoga, sitting, breathing consciously; you can make the mind neutral, stem the tide of thoughts and that’s where the soul comes pouring in– through a neutral, one-pointed mind. This tames the ego and gives you the grace of the soul. The more meditative you become from going within, the more subtle are your actions and thus the more soulful you become.
Now in most of us, especially in the western hemisphere, the ego is in charge and runs the whole show. Because of this, it wants to go back to classifying everything as black and white duality. Every time you’re hit with a paradox in your life, it puts you at a crossroads where you have to make a choice– Duality of the ego or Universality of the soul. Every time you take that leap of faith and choose Universality and work on the assumption that we’re one common soul, you open the mind to infinity and access that unlimited power that is the energy that is in all things. The ego resists this with everything it’s got because Universality is like death to the ego and it becomes threatened with annihilation. The ego wants to manage, maintain, and run things– keep things nice and neat and separate. However, we are all given will power or free will. If your will is strong enough, then you are able to leverage the mind more and more. With practice, the mind automatically opens to the soul in every day activity and then the ego ends up working for the mind instead of the other way around. When this happens, after some practice, the entire life becomes a living meditation. The result is balance and flow. It’s like this: When you’re driving and you see a red light you don’t have to think about slowing down and stopping. You automatically put your foot on the brake without even thinking. When you have a field of activity that puts you in the flow and gives you a neutral mind, that is the practice that strengthens the mind so that your life can be come automatically meditative.
Whenever you come across a paradox or catch-22 in your life, it’s the Common Soul knocking on the door of your mind, inviting you to open it more. Connecting the common soul allows you to develop a relationship to your own soul and allows you to live out your destiny.