November 23, 2011



I hope you are experiencing vitality today as many of you are preparing for Thanksgiving with family and friends tomorrow!

I had a couple lovely tai-chi sessions with the sun yesterday, which always brings me an abundance of chi, emotional calm, and mental clarity.

When I feel how profound the healing benefits of such simple practices are, it makes me want to start running tai-chi and related “work-In” classes around the world (which I do ☺) so that everyone has a chance to heal without dangerous drug and surgical interventions.

I was in the gym early so I could maximize my filming time.

I coupled walking lunges with 60-pound dumbbells in my hands with a bilateral cable push coupled with trunk flexion. Four circuits was just what the (inner) doctor ordered and left me feeling toned and vital for the day.

It worked and I had a productive day filming, which is easier to do now that we’ve solved a number of technical issues!


In his book, Spiritual Liberty – The Sufi Message (Vol. 5), (p.242) Hazrat Inayat Khan gives a beautiful description of the experience of the soul through the mind.



He explains that the mind has five faculties:

1. Feeling (heart)

2. Thinking (mind)

3. Reasoning (consciousness)

4. Remembering (memory), and

5. Identity (ego).

The soul itself can be likened to a light.


A light alone in the emptiness of darkness, can illuminate darkness, but because light itself is empty, in empty darkness, the soul can see anything; there is nothing there to illuminate.

Just as an eye can’t see itself, the soul creates things to see and experience in, and out of it’s own consciousness, just as you do when dreaming.

While that may seem strange to you from a logical perspective, we must remember that the Truth of the soul and all creation is, and always has been a Grand Mystery.

My own experience of the soul is that it is Consciousness itself.

If we move backward through time to the beginning of anything we’ve created, we can find a moment before our creative inspiration emerged where there was nothing there, no impulse. Yet, when you go back to that point, you will find that you were indeed conscious.

Looking at the image of the lamp shade above, you can see that it is because of the lamp shade (mind) that the soul’s light can be reflected and interpreted as something tangibly different than what would be in absence of the lamp shade (mind).

Because light and dark are both expressions of base energy states, their meeting creates a myriad of potential vibrational states.

The dark captures the light, which you can see as a fading of the light being shined in the night. The light illuminates the dark, which also creates a range of states of illumination.

When the two meet, a myriad of potential expressions of light and dark emerge as the basis from which other vibrational states can be created.

If you take a black sheet of rubber and stretch it with a light source behind it, you will see a wide variety of colors emerging; as you release it, those colors and the light illuminating them reduce until all is black again.

You can think of this stretching and releasing as a metaphor for “mind”.

Mind is a word that describes any and all perceptible vibrational states.

As stated above, if we break those vibrational states into qualities and functions the way we break a rainbow into seven colors even thought they are expressions of white light, we get:

1. Feeling (heart)

2. Thinking (mind)

3. Reasoning (consciousness)

4. Remembering (memory), and

5. Identity (ego).

We all have to interact with ourselves, and others in life. Sometimes, we are challenged by our own thoughts and actions.

There are times when we do or say things we wish we hadn’t. There are times when we say or do things that had an intention completely different than what the other(s) interpreted.


If we remember that Consciousness is the equal of Unconditional Love, which is the same everywhere in the Universe, then we can appreciate that at the level of the soul, we are all expressions of the One Universal SOUL.

When I see someone’s body, I see what they’ve invented and enlivened through the faculties of mind (listed above). We all know that what we create is largely the result of our (ego) choices in life.

When you look at the two pictures of the light shades above, you see a very realistic depiction of the differences between ego-souls and the feelings that are invoked.

The image of the woman and her lampshade is dark and secretive. Her gesture shows that her expression has to do with her feelings.

The other image shows a man laughing and the colors are much brighter.

When I look at the second image, the feeling of joy and/or happiness rises in me.

Both are but images that don’t have any words attached to them. I can only interpret my feelings through my (ego) mind.

The thinking (Mind) is the vehicle with which we interpret ourselves and others, or even how we interpret colors and shapes is directly related to a process of association.

Because our emotions are the feelings of ideas and the interpretations about what they mean to us individually, it is easy to share an expression that feels good, or “right” to you, yet the reactions of others is often very different than what we perceive we are projecting or intending.

I find it very helpful in my own life to remind myself that each person has the right to their own feelings and interpretations of their experience of me, or any other event.

We can all go to the same movie and have very different reactions and interpretations to that movie, but, if someone elses experience is different than yours, “does that make them wrong?”

I’ve had numerous experiences where people were negative toward me for something “I said”, be it on video, audio, a call, or in person.

Inevitably, when I allow them to express themselves, what I often find is that their interpretation of “what (they say) I said” is very different than what I intended with my words or actions. I’m sure you’ve also experienced this.

For example, someone may say, “I’m disappointed because you said that ab rollers are a bunch of BS and are dangerous, when I’ve gained so much benefit with my ab roller!”

Then, I ask, did you listen to the part of that video where I expressed why I feel the way I do and speak about the ab rollers in that light?

Often, what I find is that they did not hear that part because they were so attached to their own view or experience that they wouldn’t allow the rest of my expression into their perception.

Their fear of being wrong or losing their favorite toy is a greater motive force than actually learning how they could accomplish the same objectives that brought them to the ab roller more safely and effectively.

Our capacity to reason is largely based on our ability to be open-minded, and have a clear objective.

If our feeling state is too polarized, it tends to commandeer the mind and bring it to a well circumscribed focus. To the degree that any thought or desire is polarized, our capacity to reason with others becomes limited to the confines of our own focus.

If I’m overly focused on the fact that ab rollers are bad, I can become less capable of being empathetic to those that have gained something of benefit from their use.

If I’m too objective and unable to feel the other, it can seem as though I’m not interested in their joy and only interested in being right, even though I may well be right.

In such instances, people can react out of emotion, not reason; they don’t “reason” that I’m actually trying to help them and only experience the perception I’m criticizing them or trying to take their toy away.

The reasoning faculty is also very related to our capacity to be logical.

As I’m sure most of you are aware, to the degree that emotion guides our thinking processes, logic is often diminished – look at all the people who have killed their lovers over some unfounded fear that they were cheating on them or something of the like!

Remembering as a soul-quality is expressed in the word “reflection”.

Because our reflections of any event happen outside the event (if you are “remembering”, the event is already in the past), we are actually a different person at the time we attempt to remember.

If we’ve had some recent challenges in our life that have left us feeling afraid, overly emotional, or even feeling unusually joyful, we naturally re-member events of the past from a different perspective than the perspective we had when we recorded the experience in our (mind) memory.

Because the soul has not attachment to any of the events (they are merely experiences), each such experience that occurs when we try to remember (for better or for worse) becomes yet another experience that entertains the soul.

If we want to remember authentically, we need a balance of feeling, thinking and reasoning.

We have to be brave enough to detach from wanting to force any given outcome, which is the tendency of an ego!

Each person’s identity (ego) is the gift of the soul; mind is the gift of Consciousness.

Because consciousness essentially has nothing to be conscious of but itself, consciousness becomes akin to an eye looking in the mirror at “another eye”, not realizing that it is looking at it’s own eye.

If you’ve ever seen a dog face a mirror for the first time, they often start barking, howling, and often scratch at the mirror and get aggressive with their own image.

Consciousness (God) is exactly that way! When ego is created, part of the effect of that creation is an unconscious agreement to forget who’s looking at who.

This way, events are created in which there is a gap between the concept (idea) and the percept (perception of any idea).

This gap is exactly how time and experience are created. This is how and why God dreams.

Wherever there is “a mind”, there is a limitation because no idea can be perceived without the principle of exclusion; you can’t look at “a tree” without agreeing to not look at all the trees in the forest.

The ego is the gift of experience that allows SOUL to act out it’s dreams as ego-soul in virtual reality or real time.

This is the only way God (consciousness) can come to truly know God as experience. The name for that process is!LIFE!


The soul is consciousness itself. Consciousness is not a “thing”; it can’t be born, it can’t die, and it can’t be hurt, maimed, or changed from what it authentically is.

Any change or perception of hurt, emotion or otherwise is the territory of “mind”.

Emotion is the feeling pole of mind, and serves to add richness, depth and meaning to the experience.

The soul enjoys the process of creating, looking at, observing and judging it’s own lampshade and those of others.

It is these experiences that create life, which is how God (Consciousness) creates the illusion that there is something to be conscious of.

If we all remember that what stands before us in relationships is the same thing that created us, and that all of it is an opportunity for Consciousness to experience itself, yet none of it is ultimately negative in the end, it is easier to be empathetic and compassionate.

How you create that empathy or compassion for yourself and others is uniquely your choice.

The spiritual path is one in which your focus is on not just talking about such concepts, but actually practicing and embodying them.

Each step of the way, we learn to be more honest with ourselves and others. Eventually, we come to the point where we can enjoy it all more naturally, for better or for worse because we have a deep inner knowing that we are all acting out the roles painted onto our lamp (soul) shades (mind).

It helps me to remember that I can change what I’ve painted on my lamp shade, and that I can even change what I’ve painted on yours too.

If someone is challenging in your life, just know that God is learning through that experience just as much as you are learning from your own experience in, and as an expression of The Divine.

Maybe this is why I find art such a healing practice.

I know for sure that I have learned to take something the not so beautiful, put it down, and return back to it when I’m in a more open, loving state.

This allows me to turn it into something more beautiful.

As I practice this in my relationships and enlist the help of the other, I find that I’m more at ease with the process of life as I age and I become wiser.

I hope that you too find the process and practice useful.

Enjoy your day!

Love and chi,
Paul Chek