AUGUST 2010

 

 

Melvin Bakandika – Toronto / Canada

 

Is our innate personality modifiable?


We have the habit of viewing a person’s personality as something permanent. Admittedly, human beings are believed to have recognizable behaviors and personalities which seldom change, but this can’t be totally correct since  if this was true, than spiritual evolution would be impossible. On the contrary, the possibilities of transforming our personalities are endless! Our personality, like all other things, is dependent on the circumstances it’s exposed to, and we know that all things change when the conditions they’re dependent upon is altered.  The very essence of our Being is a perpetual ever-changing and ever-evolving essentiality. Each time we act in a conscientious way, a very precise intention is reinforced, and each time we resist the temptation of an act, the tendency for this temptation is weakened; and this is how our character is molded at every moment.



 

Gaby Valenzuela – Chicago / Illinois

 

What do you think about the ever-increasing books on “personal development”?


Let’s just say I’m very reserved about them. First, because I’ve read very few, and second, even if these books can be useful for some people, it seems to me they focus more on “well-being” rather than the truth. They provide a kind of illusionary happiness rather than real wisdom. Opinions vary on this subject, but as for myself, I’d rather have a truth that might hurt rather than an illusion that gives temporary joy. Real happiness, in my opinion, is achieved through wisdom, and this can only be done through discovering reality.  I’m not much concerned with theories and concepts, and so my writings are my direct personal observations of life and all that it entails. What I write about may have already been broached by many others, but I ascertain these truths for myself, and I recommend that everyone do the same.

 


 

Emin Cubuk – Istanbul / Turkey


How can we rid ourselves of “conditioning” if it is indeed in our memories?


Our thoughts react to what’s stored in our memories, starting with the conditioned part of our conscience. This means that each thought is formed as a result of the past therefore no thought can ever be new. A thought can be the result of a combination of different thoughts, which no one conceived before, but it is still based on the past, and therefore, on conditioning. Something brand new can only emerge if we manage to clear contents of the past, which doesn’t imply their disappearance from our consciousness, but simply not allowing their dominance in our thoughts. The potential for insight or foresight is called intuition; most of us underestimate the value of this potential because we’re so attached to the old ways of thinking that we remain closed off to other methods of observation and perception, thus preserving the past, and conditioning. In essence, to rid yourselves of conditioning, listen to your intuition or inner self, since that comes from a place of truth, and is the only way to generate brand new thoughts.



 

Sylvie Frasca – Aosta / Italy


Is spirituality experienced or is it an intellectual exercise?


Although intellectual understanding cannot replace awareness, awareness without an adequate intellectual framework can often be misleading. It is important to know that our spiritual journey is equally a path of knowledge; a path which leads to the realization that the world is a big puzzle composed of perfectly fitting pieces, which, for practical reasons, are split through language and thoughts. However, in absolute terms, there are no split pieces; the world is a great flow of energy from which we are all part of. This perception aids us in ridding superficial wants, and investing our energy in higher goals- both intellectually and spiritually.



 

Jan Verbeek – Maastricht / The Netherlands


How do you see the relationship between negative emotions and ego?


Negative emotions are related to greed, attachment, hatred, pride, envy, and other factors that make up our ego. Our ego is what we use to identify ourselves, and so we seek to protect it at all costs. The ego itself does not exist and is in no way an entity, but our attachment to ego prevents us from recognizing the reality of things. This ignorance is the source of our negative emotions, as it creates a barrier between "ourselves" and "others". It is this alternation between attraction and repulsion that sets off a stream of thoughts and emotions, which are in turn reflected through words and actions, and which are the cause of our suffering. For this reason, when we discover that the ego is nothing more than a figment of our imagination we begin to feel tremendously liberated.



 

Ewa Chambovey – Geneva / Switzerland

 

Is there any Faith or path for spiritual evolvement that you would advise over others?


There is no single right Faith or path- this understanding could have saved humanity much suffering and many tragedies. We all undertake a spiritual path from where we are currently at in our awareness, influenced by our character, aptitudes, intellectual potential and beliefs. We all have access to a channel which puts into question our way of thinking, releases our ego, and gives us a better view of the true essence of our awareness. This is true for all who wish to evolve spiritually since this is the motivating force behind wanting to be better people in order to help all others. Having this altruistic attitude makes us face our failures in regards to other’s suffering, and a desire to change this is developed; we then embark on our own individually designed and unique spiritual path.



 

Srisuda Suksomklang – Khorat / Thailand

 

What type of person or personality do you consider a role model?


I generally accord little importance to a person’s reputation or the extent of their reputation. Instead, I focus on their spiritual power. I’ve had the opportunity to meet many wise people in my lifetime, and I’ve noticed that they all generate a natural power which is very apparent to those around them. Something I find exceptional about these wise people is that none of them seem to have a semblance of an ego; ego being that which leads to self-centeredness and egocentricity. The spiritual power that these people radiate comes from a deep inner knowledge that gives them serenity, freedom, and unshakable certitude.