I Know Nothing

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

I used to love complicated ideas. I used to believe all kinds of things and entertain myself with grandiose concepts. If it was in the fringe category, especially in regard to spirituality, I loved it. The more detached it was from what we think is reality, the more it became my reality.

This isn’t a bad thing, because life is too short not to spend pursuing your interests. If you love tea or coffee, then enjoy them while you can. Run a mile every day if you love exercise. If you love the paranormal, new age spirituality, or anything society would make you feel crazy for, then dive headfirst into it.

I’ve long been unafraid to put my weirdness out there for everyone to see. Despite this, lately I’m not as interested in complicated ideas. I want simplicity. Everyone else can have their big ideas about angels, extraterrestrials, ascension, cities of light, 12th dimensional rainbow merkabas, etc. I’m not criticizing it – it’s just not for me anymore.

I’ve become aware that I know absolutely nothing. I cannot say with 100% certainty that I know how the universe functions, what happens when we die, or what the state of consciousness we access in meditation really is. Humanity as a whole knows very little about all this. Who am I to say I have the answers?

It’s humbling to realize you know nothing. To see that like everyone else, you’re feeling around in the dark grabbing at ideas that appeal to you. It’s easy to think these ideas are the truth. But if you’re paying attention, you’ll notice the dark backdrop behind them. This is the inescapable void of nothingness and uncertainty.

No matter what we believe, the reality of death and the possibility of nonexistence plague us. One day, we’ll either leave this world for something new or blink out of existence entirely. Just as there’s a probability that consciousness continues after death, there’s a probability that it doesn’t. To me, that’s the scariest thought of all.

When you start thinking in this direction, you realize how starved for truth you really are. It makes you see everything in a new light – including the beliefs you once subscribed to. This leads some people to become atheists and others to become more spiritual or connected with themselves. I’m somewhere in the middle.

I am by no means skeptical of spiritual ideas, but I approach them differently now. I’m more discerning and willing to question an idea before letting it in. Generally, I approach spirituality more objectively than before.

I have no interest in proving any of the spiritual or paranormal stuff I write about. If I write about ghosts, it’s purely for entertainment. Not truth. The purpose of the spiritual writings is to search for truth via metaphysical outlets. But I know that I can’t prove karma, kundalini, or other concepts are real.

We can measure the effect meditation has on the brain, but nobody has proven that it gives you access to other dimensions. Most spiritual concepts have not been proven, as by nature, they run against the materialist mindset that dominates mainstream science.

Although I’m not a skeptic, I no longer take any idea at face value. Along with this, I’m no longer on a quest to prove spirituality is legitimate. I’ve torn down my beliefs and peered into the void behind them, realizing death is inevitable and looking for something real beyond this world.

From scratch, I built a new, simple philosophy.

This is where karma yoga, and by extension, the new Karma Yoga Daily blog come in. Obviously, I did not invent karma yoga. But I take inspiration from the idea of service (in my case, writing) as a way of life and a way to progress spiritually. Even if “progress spiritually” just means to become a better person, I’m onboard.

I love the simplicity of karma yoga. Be kind, work hard, help others, and include yourself in your service. Take care of yourself by doing good, healthy things that help you feel better. Appreciate your opportunity to spend your days helping others, and beyond that, enjoy your life while it lasts. Treat every breath you’re fortunate enough to take as a blessing. If you believe there’s a creator and other worlds we will one day inhabit, thank them for the gift of life.

My path has not been easy, but neither has anyone else’s. I’m grateful that I had to tear it all down and start anew not as an atheist or skeptic, but as a person with a simple philosophy that works for me. You can believe whatever you want, as I have no interest in making you think you’re wrong. It feels great to admit that this is all I need.

About the author: 

31287220_1930589003619961_7591073383912046592_nI’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, the environment, activism, music, and other awesome stuff. I run Karma Yoga Daily, a news blog dedicated to sharing daily wisdom.

This personal blog I run is pretty great, too.

Follow me on Facebook (Wes Annac, Karma Yoga Daily) and Twitter (Wes Annac, https://twitter.com/love_rebellion)

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Video: 5 Ways Meditation Helps the Mind and Body

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

This is the video version of my article 5 Ways Meditation Helps the Mind and Body.

In this video, we’ll look at some of the lesser known benefits of meditation. If you like it, subscribe and hit the notification bell to see future videos on the Wes Annac/Openhearted Rebel YouTube channel.

Continue reading

My Problem with God

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 285th issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

I’m one of those people who will tell you they’re spiritual but not religious. This is because I have a problem with the way religious leaders portray and profit from God.

My problem is not with the idea of a creator or other states of consciousness we possibly depart into after death. My problem is that religious leaders use God to control people. They tell people our creator is a man in the sky who judges sinners, but despite his disdain for those who sin, he’s allowed countless corrupt leaders to speak for him. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

My problem with God is a problem with man, because man has muddied what God and spirituality used to represent. Don’t get me wrong; there have always been well-meaning people who try to show the way and don’t stray from their path the moment they’re tempted. But there are also a lot of scammers, snake-oil salesmen, and just plain selfish people. They manipulate the masses into supporting them by appearing enlightened or close to God. Continue reading

Spirituality, Addiction, and the Power of Choice

Spirituality, Addiction, and the Power of Choice

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 250th issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given below (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

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$11.11 monthly subscription via credit, debit, or PayPal.

We find freedom through our choices in each moment. No matter how spiritual we try to be, we’ll fail if our choices are misaligned with the path we’ve chosen.

I’m not saying we should aim for perfection, because we’re human and we all make mistakes. If we have a goal for life, however, we should take steps to achieve it and make sure we don’t sabotage ourselves along the way.

Continue reading

I Stand for Love

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

People who create things for a living often have something to represent; whether it’s a belief system, a new way of thinking, or something else they believe can change the world.

I listen to a lot of reggae music, for example, much of which is made by Rastafarians with a message to share. Sometimes the message is about Rastafarian philosophy, and sometimes it’s about freedom or rebellion against corruption. These musicians have something to say and a great outlet to get their message out.

This is one of many examples of creative minds on a mission to share their truth.

For many, a life of creative work and a message to share go together. Without a message, their work is missing something. These creative minds inspire me the most, because my work also relies on having something meaningful to share with you. Continue reading

Franklin Merrell-Wolff Describes Enlightenment – Part 2/2

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Franklin Merrell-Wolff

By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness

(Continued from part 1. Read full post here.)

If you wonder what it was like to feel the ambrosia (spiritual bliss) and experience the Current, here is Franklin’s description:

“I felt the Ambrosia-like quality in the breath with the purifying benediction that it casts over the whole personality, even including the physical body.

“I found myself above the universe, not in the sense of being above space, time, and causality, My karma seemed to drop away from me as an individual responsibility. I felt intangibly, yet wonderfully, free.

“I sustained this universe and was not bound by it. Desires and ambitions grew perceptibly more and more shadowy. All worldly honors were without power to exalt me.” (1)

Continue reading

Franklin Merrell-Wolff Describes Enlightenment – Part 1/2

The Teachers Speak (KEEP)

By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness

Wouldn’t it be great to have a description of one of the stages of enlightenment from someone who experienced it? I’m not referring to a guru, but to an active student on the path who discovered what he called the ‘Current’ and shared his experiences with the world.

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Franklin Merrell-Wolff

This person is Franklin Merrell-Wolff. I might devote the next few articles in this series to dissecting and discussing his writings, because in them are embedded interesting experiences and mind-opening wisdom.

First, we’ll learn about a powerful experience that resulted in a deeper understanding of the fact that even though the mind creates reality, you experience enlightenment and oneness with the Source in a place beyond the stream of thought.

Despite this, Franklin was at peace with the mind during the experience we’ll learn about; he was aware of it but he didn’t engage it. This shows that despite the advice from many to get out of the mind and transcend the ego, they both accompany us into initial stages of enlightenment in a way that we are only loosely aware.

In the first passage, Franklin describes some of the circumstances preceding his experience. Continue reading