Friday, October 04, 2013

Discernment isn't judgment!

Remember this: discernment isn't judgment.

Discernment, according to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, means "to distinguish with difficulty by sight or with the other senses", whereas judgment, in the negative sense of this word, usually means to criticise another from a sense of feeling morally superior.
According to the dictionary, discernment implies that there may be some difficulty seeing, or acknowledging something using our five senses. In a very real sense, our physical nervous system is limited to specific ranges of perception. It is only by going upwards in consciousness that we tap into our subtle nervous system and begin to sense things beyond the norm.

Awareness determines our experience of life - and awareness changes dramatically as we go upwards in consciousness. This ascension process is not easy by any means, especially when there are so many entrenched personal and collective beliefs in place.

What is awareness exactly? For me, it is a heightened perspective on something...

As an example, you have a big toe but you are not usually aware of your big toe throughout the day. However, if you stub your toe, all your attention will be directed to that area of the body, and you suddenly become aware of it. You always had a big toe, of course, but your awareness of it was quite limited, or even non-existent!

In competitive sporting events, athletes regularly hurt or injure themselves without an awareness of the injury occurring in the moment. They only notice afterwards, when the adrenaline has gone.

If we ascend in consciousness, and start to gain a greater awareness and appreciation of life, we will increase our spiritual faculty of discernment.
At this stage, we may run into a bumpy road... things that we used to do may not "fit" anymore. We may not "fit" in with society. Yet, this should not stop us!
If we can't shine the light of our own consciousness for others, then nothing is going to fundamentally change. Humanity will just stay the same, at best, or we will go backwards because of our unwillingness to evolve.

As an example, I regularly tell my beginning students to the field of "energy work" that drinking even a small amount of alcohol lowers one's physical and auric vibration. If you've ever drunk alcohol, you will know that the "happy" feeling soon turns into a very sleepy state.

Actually, alcohol deadens the nervous system, and it's toxic and dehydrating to the brain cells. Hangover anyone?

If you begin to meditate to "raise your consciousness", then drinking is not a "cool" thing to do because it will throw your mind right out of your body. For those who meditate already, you will know it is not that easy to "tame the monkey mind".

In SRT circles, many practitioners will abstain from doing "energy clearing" on themselves or their clients if they've had even one drink. This is because their energy field tends to become unstable and open to lower astral forms which "interfere" with their ability to link to  their higher mind, or superconscious. Can this be proven scientifically, in the narrow sense of that word? No.

It there a discernible change in the energy field? Yes.

As mentioned before, drinking alcohol numbs the brain cells and dehydrates them - and makes the nervous system very sluggish. That's why most people immediately reach for a strong cup of coffee after they've had a "big" night out! Often a throbbing head, nausea, and a marked sensitivity to bright lights accompanies dehydration caused by drinking too much alcohol. Yet, somehow, making ourselves sick has become a favourite pastime. It's "fun", apparently.

However, discernment would indicate that "feeling sick" is not "fun" - if you woke up with a splitting headache, felt like vomiting, couldn't eat anything, couldn't stand bright lights, and you hadn't been out drinking heavily the night before, you would rush to the doctor, wouldn't you?

Of course, who wants to hear this? Not many people I can tell you. If you're reading this far, and you're not angry, good for you!

Who reacts badly to this sort of information? Practically everyone!

Who thinks it's judgmental and "preachy"? Practically everyone!

Yet, remember: discernment isn't judgment.  Discernment is simply a greater level of awareness and understanding.

I don't care whether you drink, or don't... it's up to you! It's your body, it's your life... you have the final say in what works for you, and what doesn't. As the late Osho said, I am not here to please you, or appease you, but to make you more conscious.

I used to drink when I was younger (in my 20s and early 30s), and I loved having a glass of wine with my meals. All very sophisticated, so I thought. 

However, when I started immersing myself in the world of energy healing, my body started to change in very subtle, yet profound ways... very quickly, my body started communicating with me again. Better said, it was always communicating but I wasn't listening before! Somehow I had tuned out that vital, internal communication... I was, like many people, living in my head, and analysing everything through my intellect -- a very small, limited portion of our total intelligence.
After doing energy work for some time, I noticed that whenever I tried to drink even a small amount of alcohol, the energy at the top of my head (the "crown chakra") become fuzzy and chaotic, and a sense of dullness entered me. This was a subjective experience but I could not deny my internal shift in perception. It was self-evident.

Did I stop drinking alcohol immediately? No, but I started to cut back.

It wasn't easy... I missed the social aspect of drinking.. of "fitting in" to society... I didn't want to be "left out", or "judged" by others. Yet, I felt different.

At that point, I realised I had a choice..  for me, going back to old habits wasn't an option after realising that those habits didn't serve me any longer.

I was meditating a lot, and I remember asking the Universe for clear guidance on alcohol as something inside me was battling with my alienation from alcohol...

Shortly thereafter, a passage from the Conversations with God series synchronously landed in my lap... if you've read it, you may remember it... it's the passage where Neale Donald Walsch (the author) asks God directly about alcohol.

Neale believed that "everything in moderation" was key, including alcohol but God unequivocally said, "the body was not meant to intake alcohol".

When Neale countered, "Jesus turned water into wine!", God replied, "nobody's perfect". I had to laugh!

Whether or not you drink alcohol is up to you -- but why do you think they spend millions of dollars on alcohol advertising to make it look cool? 

Most people, as they feel more connected with their bodies through eating well, and doing yoga, t'ai chi, reiki or some other meditative practice, tend to cut back on drugs like alcohol, and also coffee.

I've had lots of students object, sometimes strongly, to my comments about alcohol when they come to my beginning Reiki or SRT courses... a few weeks later, however, after practising Reiki self-treatment or clearing their energy system with SRT, they tell me they "don't like" alcohol anymore :)

They "blame me" with a smile on their faces - sure, they feel a little uncomfortable when they are out in groups and people ask them what they would like to drink, but they notice the difference because their awareness has shifted. They realised the effect that drinking has on their energy system... so they either heavily cut back, or they choose to eliminate it altogether.

Be warned... if you are thinking of "not drinking"... those you call your friends may not like it, and will almost certainly react to your change of heart. They may not be supportive of your desire to be healthier.

Most of your friends will be okay with you giving up alcohol if you've been an alcoholic... they can sympathise with you. Or they'll be okay with it if it goes against your religious beliefs (are you going to change your religion?). Or, they're okay if you say you're driving home, so you can't have a drink on a night out... again, sympathy is in order... poor you!

Yet, if you willingly choose not to drink alcohol at a dinner party or social do, then you are looked at as if you are quite mad... and even anti-social!

"What? Come on, one drink won't kill you..."

"What's the matter? Don't be such a girl!" (typcially said to a man, but I've also heard it said to women!)

"Don't be so BORING..."

"You're no FUN anymore..."

The list could go on...

The need to drink alcohol to relax and/or have fun seems to be an almost religious belief, and thus defended with an absolute fervour at times!

It's honestly up to you whether you drink, or not. Yet, now that you have a greater awareness of its negative effects on consciousness, and your body's energy system, you have choice.

When you drink, just observe yourself.  Notice your state before, during and afterwards. See it as an "experiment" in watching the self. What is your truth?

As Soren Kierkegaard rightly said, "I know the truth only when it becomes life in me."

If you're happy drinking alcohol, and you disagree with what I've said here, that's absolutely fine!

Do I personally have a problem hanging out with friends who drink in moderation? Not at all, it is their life after all, and I certainly don't want to sermonise them. Yet, have I mentioned my understanding in passing? Absolutely! I want to share my knowledge and understanding with others, if it can help them find a greater sense of balance and self in their lives.

Blessings on the path of discernment.
Jaime Tanna
Founder and Director of Energy Therapy

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