By Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
Each society and age develops specific ideas, beliefs and goals around which to base their culture. These beliefs and goals in time become assumptions about life and operating principles. Rarely are these beliefs and goals questioned and the community is organized formally and informally around them.
In order for the culture to be successful, a majority of people must agree these things are true or important. Specific beliefs and goals then become both internally and externally accepted. Anyone questioning these operating principles will be subject to sanctions or pressure from family, friends or themselves. Sometimes these sanctions will be in the form of punishments from the larger society or feelings of personal guilt.
Typically these beliefs and values occur in major areas of life. In our culture, examples of these include: individual economic potential and freedom or the ‘American Dream.’ “If you work hard, you can have a good job, home and family.”
Another area is the belief that health and youth are related, and drugs and sexuality are free expressions and therefore good. These come together for young people in a prevailing social myth: go to college, when young experiment with sex and drugs, work hard and do what is expected of you, and you will become successful.
From the perspective of ‘higher consciousness’ and living an original life, the traveler must learn to examine assumptions and beliefs. Because of the automatic fashion in which these ideals are incorporated into individual personality, their engineering and false sense of permanence may provide internal stress that prevent other things from happening.
The spiritual traveler is trying to arrive at a place of balance, where every day thoughts, assumptions and desires are suspended for a time, so something else might happen. This something else is higher knowledge and typically this capacity comes forward only under certain conditions. One of these conditions is when the traveler is internally quiet, free of desire or interfering forms of consciousness.
Keep in mind, there is a difference between suspending an idea or belief and trying to obliterate it. We are discussing stilling consciousness, or pushing an idea aside for a limited time. Not pounding or destroying an idea.
About the author:
Dr. Stewart Bitkoff grew up in New York City and spent most of his professional career living and working in the New York City area. An expert in therapeutic recreation and psychiatric rehabilitation and treatment, Dr. Bitkoff has been on the faculty or served as field instructor for multiple colleges and universities. He has written work centering on the topic of the completed person and the original human development system. For years Dr. Bitkoff studied in two modern mystical schools. Professionally he worked to help the mentally ill integrate their altered states of consciousness into the physical world; recently he worked with children and their families as a behavioral consultant. His new book is The World of Pond Stories. To purchase your copy go to Amazon: www.bit.ly/bitkoffpond (Paperback $13.99 | Kindle $5.95). Stewart Bitkoff’s Online Store: www.StewartBitkoff.com/books