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The Valley

A reconstructed autobiographical account * of what took place some 13,000 years ago in what is now Baluchistan and Sindh ** .

Part One

I had just made my way into the desert and up the dry and arid hills to the east of the river delta where I and my woman life-partner have settled ourselves.
Behind me, I can still see the wide valley below, an expanse with wide but shallow rivers and streams, a fertile delta, warm and humid, the sky over it always hazy, a liquid sun just visible.

We live and work in that valley. We tend our gardens and orchards and keep animals.
We are homesteaders, a new kind of thing these days, something we are pioneering.

I am climbing up the hillside, but as I ascend into some thin misty clouds, the sun quite suddenly breaks through and the mist quickly evaporates.

It is getting hot, blazingly hot.

Originally, some years ago, before we and a small group of friends settled down in the valley, we lived on the mountainous hills on the western side of the delta. The wooded hills there used to be shady and cool, they were densely populated by various tribes - all hunters, foragers and gatherers -  who lately had turned into warriors always seeming to fight each other.

Many years ago those western hillsides had been a tropical jungle full of cedars and fruit laden trees, figs, nuts, berries.
It used to be good hunting, we could easily catch plenty of fowl, and fishing the streams was always very good. The food supply had always been abundant, everything ready for the taking.
But… things had changed.

As I am climbing my way up this hot, parched hillside, I'm burning my feet on the hot hard-packed orange soil, and I'm approaching a part of the hill that is studded with leafless prickly bushes about two or three feet apart from each other.
As I'm making my way through the bushes, a strange sensation overcomes me, a worry coming up in me - fear is trying to raise its head, but although I don't want to give-in to it, I do want to find out why I so suddenly feel this fear.
I walk carefully through the bushes and then, suddenly, about ten feet in  front of me, I see a small snake, a viper, about twelve inches long. It is crawling out from underneath one of the bushes, and is now slithering towards me.  It makes me stop in my tracks, and as I stand there I'm starting to shake, increasing fear almost overtaking me, I am trembling, pretty near stunned…

Back in the forested hills, in the tribe where I grew up, we had learned to fear snakes. We had also been made to be afraid of the wide, often flooding river valley at the foot of our hills, the same valley in which I and my partner now live. We had also been made very fearful of the desert beyond the valley, the deserted, lifeless hills on other side of the delta - hills we could see only during the rare bright days when the air was dry and clear.
Actually, we had been made to be  fearful of pretty well anything that was not in our own tribe's hillside territory.

There were two very important people in our tribe, two men to whom we were made to look up. One was our tribal leader, our horned chief, he demanded respect. The other one was our 'man of knowledge' - the 'wise man', him we respected naturally and easily - we called him Snake Man.

Of these two men I liked Snake Man the best. He explained life to us, and the nature of things, he helped us understand ourselves. He wanted us to figure out the natural order of things - not for him, but for  ourselves.
The other man, the tribal chief, he wielded his power in a rather threatening way, he did things we couldn't really figure out or understand. He controlled us by instilling fear, using punishment and  rewards to get us doing his bidding.
He was often angry and it was hard to anticipate his moods. He used to say:
"Don't ever leave the tribe, I'm warning you! If you ever will, you will surely meet with death. Here you can count on my protection. At least you know what you can expect from me."
And as he pointed to the valley below and the hills beyond, he added:
"Out there, the unknown is very frightening, and I tell you, if you ever meet with the unknown, it is going to make you wish you were dead.
Out there also. there is no food, the water is bad, and there's nowhere to hide, there's nothing out there but poisonous vipers, only death  awaits you."
That was his way of holding us in his grip, keeping us tightly bound to the tribe.
That's how the chief worked his powers, how he attempted to exercise control over us.
The way he dealt with anybody always included some form of threat or punishment, sometimes mild, sometimes severe… and he often threatened people with death.

Of course his way of dealing with us got copied by many of us, and his maneuvers were in turn exercised in a similar manner amongst all of  us…
Fear and lack of freedom pretty well fully permeated our way of life and our dealings with each other.
But, come to think of it, we were hardly ever dealt with real death or immediate punishment, and his  threats were luckily only sporadically executed - although, when they were, they seemed well timed and dramatically performed.
That surely kept us living in a state of constant fear and uncertainty.

It took me a while to understand why the wise man - Snake Man - said  that we lived in a state of suffering and illusion. He wanted us to understand that our "way of life", the way we normally lived under fear, was actually illusive.
It took me quite a while to realize that we had only been made to believe that the illusion of what could befall us, just seemed to be more real than the freedom that we had been made to believe not to have anymore.
The illusive power of fear seemed more real than our freedom which was actually only seemingly taken away by the threatening  manipulations of our tribal chief.
Of course in reality the illuded and alluded threats that came from the chief could never all happen. Just imagine, if he executed every threat (or if others, who copied his strategies, did), he would never have any underlings, he would not have anybody to rule over.
The chief must have been well aware of how he used his illusive threats of pain, death and punishment cleverly to confuse us and make us believe that we would never have any freedom apart from that conditional semblance of freedom that he promised if we subjected ourselves to his rules. You see, one single example of killing or punishment, timely performed by him and shown as a dramatic example, would make all of us forever live in fear, as if it could or would  befall each of us every moment.

That must have been what the wise man meant when he said:
"You live under illusion, your life - your way of living - is really controlled by the chief's power of illusion - that  constant illusion of fear has made you lose sight of reality and  your unconditional freedom."
I could now identify that fear, it was the same fear I felt coming up in me as I was walking up this hill… I felt it even before I saw the viper.

As I'm seeing this viper winding its way towards me, I'm thinking - thinking quickly:
"Sure there is something to be careful with, but... fearful off...?
I have no reason to be fearful. Really, why should I be? This creature has never seen me. It might never even have seen another living being like me. How can it possibly imagine that I might endanger it?  Maybe it doesn't even see me.
What do I know about this viper? I  certainly have no reason to harm or kill it. The only reason I would  have to hurt it is because someone made me fearful of it.
It seems that I'm scared only because I was taught that I should be."
At that moment, a warm feeling welled up in my chest, love actually for that small creature, a care not to scare it. What I feel for this creature is so very different from the fear that I had been taught to have for it.
I suddenly became very happy discovering this - ecstatic  even - I love that little snake.

The wise man, our man of knowledge, was very different from most of  us.
He loved people. Instead of working with threats, he worked with imparting love, knowledge, understanding and insight. To us younger ones he was our friend, we trusted him.

The chief though, we were afraid of  him because of the  advantage he took of the fear that he had purposely created in us. The wise man on the other hand wanted us to know more about who we were, what we actually are - what it is to be human - that there is more to our being than what we were told by our parents. He taught us about  mind and spirit, he even taught us about our body, something he called "your anatomy".
He would say:
"You can learn to know and understand yourself, but you can also learn to know your body and the energies that keep your body alive and living... You've all seen people die and you have seen, that after they die, how their bodies fall apart. You have seen that we eventually end up as just a bundle of  bones... Now, of all those bony parts that we consist of, some of the most important ones are your backbones, those interestingly shaped bones of your spine."
He did not use the word spine often though. When he pointed to the vertebrae, the bones that our spine is composed of, he called them "serpent bones".

We knew of course that we were different from snakes, but we could learn something from them, especially the fact that snakes shed their skin. The wise man used that shedding as an example to help us understand how life renewed itself… again and again. What happens to snakes is like a symbol to us:
"Although we humans don't change our skin like snakes, what snakes do though can help us understand that we humans have many lives… that we live on from body to body."
It was not symbolic though, what the wise man taught us about our own serpent bones. He wanted us to understand how a mysterious energy flows through the back bones of our spine, and that that energy circulates between the top of our head and our tailbone. and that it flows - via those back bones - to all the other parts of our body.

As kids we used to collect the small back bones from bird and fowl skeletons, threading fiber strings through the small holes in them, and we wore them like necklaces.
I loved to suck the soft stuff from the inside of those bones. I remember how I figured out that that gooey stuff had the shape of a worm inside the bones, it kept them connected, and that mysterious energy that the wise man spoke about, it somehow flowed through that soft stuff. I concluded that our spine and backbones must be the same as snake bones or even fish bones.

The wise man would ask:
"Don't those serpent bones look the same as the bones of your own spine? Doesn't your body contain the same kind of bones? Well, energy runs through them - life energy - and it goes from the  bottom of those serpent bones upwards to where your head is, and it is  there - inside your head - that it finds out what you need to do, and it is from there that it tells your body how to do it, and it is there where it helps you doing it. In fact, the most important part of your body are those serpent  bones, they not only keep you upright but they also keep all your body parts connected. Through your spine runs a beautiful power, from the bottom up - from the earth up - and from the top down - from the sun on down - and you take that energy into yourself, and it is that energy that is the origin of life, and it keeps you alive, it keeps everything  alive."
He taught us about the fibers through which that powerful energy runs  to all parts of our body. He explained how our intestinal system operates, what lungs are and why we have them and he demonstrated how to breathe properly. He showed us how to handle our body effectively and  efficiently.
All that was pretty new to us, I don't think that anybody in our tribe or any of the other tribes had ever really looked at ourselves that way.
Ah, our wise man! He was the one who had figured it all out. He taught us that understanding creates freedom, and that freedom enables you to find solutions that are appropriate to any problem that  may come up.

We very much needed solutions, especially now that we, hill-people, who until recently were so used to having nature provide plentifully in the wild, had run into challenges that were caused by overpopulation: there were too many tribes in the first place, moreover, the tribes were getting too large to sustain themselves without encroaching on each other's territory.
There was now a shortage of food and game, there was a lack of clean drinking water, and especially - because of all those shortages - there were the recent feuds between us and the neighboring tribes.
What had happened was that when the shortages had become too much, our chief and Snake Man had come together to discuss what could be done to overcome the shortages of food and water.
It was an important meeting. and us kids (as we still were then) tried to overhear what they were talking about...
I should say that at the time I did not understand anything of it. The chief talked about:
"A quick solution! The hunting gear that we use for catching animals in the wild, we can use it on the people of the neighbouring tribes, we can scare them away, so that we can take their food or even their territory..." 
Snake Man thought that that was a terrible misguided idea:
"Quick and dirty... A disastrous shortcut! Instead, why don't we use my new discovery of collecting the seeds and nuts that now just fall on the forest floor, and use them to plant them on purpose on especially selected spots down below in the river delta where there is plenty of water, while up here we have none. We could perhaps also collect swines and mountain goats and gather them in groups - herding them - making sure that instead of hunting them, that we can control or even increase their numbers by taking care of their offspring. We can protect them from other dangerous animals that also hunt them. This way we can have a secure and steady supply of food."
It took some time for Snake Man to make us, the younger ones, understand what he meant, what he was talking about:
"A long-range plan with benefits that would pay-off in the long run." 
That word "plan" was something we had never heard about:
"We can control the future, plan for it, and look after future generations... growing food!" 
Who would ever have thought, us "controlling the future, planning, future generations, growing food!"

Honestly, much of what he said, sounded like gobbledygook to most of us, but then... we young ones loved him, we trusted him and he made us use our "imagination".

I was able to gather some of the kids around him, and he taught us how to go about "implementing the plan, planning for the future", and he helped us discovering how we could use some of the tools that we used for stripping, hacking and chopping, to instead use them to "till the land", to "prepare the soil for the seeds that we would plant."
We would not have to worry about water, as the valley's soil was wet enough at certain times to keep the roots moist during the - what he called - "growing season"...
Unfortunately, the chief's "short-cut plan to raid food from others and to scare the neighbouring tribes away" was easier to understand. Instead of rounding-up wild animals and catch them, we could just scare the other tribes' people away.
"Chase them away with your weapons, you don't even have to catch them...!" 
Most agreed:
"What a marvelous, quick solution!"
It was so much quicker, and easier to understand by our older tribal members and many of their kids.

Well, it was the "short-cut" that was first implemented, while we, the more studious kids, were learning new skills and anticipating the next "planting and growing season".
Pretty well all of the tribal members went for the short-cut... "Waging war!" it was called, and initially it did paid off, but, although at first we would would come out "winners", all too quickly the other tribes copied our "strategies" and winning often became "losing."

Yes, many new words were invented and used. The older people and most of their kids caught on quickly, but some of us younger ones - the"clever" ones - used our imagination for other purposes, we invented new tools, we learned to "look into the future", and we had to learn to "trust"... Would the seeds and nuts that we collected really grow new trees and plants, and would the tubers grow in other places after we dug them up and planted them in the valley's soil down below?
Yes, we trusted and waited, but in the meantime many disasters took place with the warring: we killed many members of the other tribes, and even some of our own fiercest "warriors" got killed as well.
The tribal chiefs tried to solve the problems by setting up "peace" meetings, but it was impossible as one new word stood out: "revenge", and, as we found out, revenge worked two ways... for us and against us.
In fact, whatever was done in terms of raids, hunts and "peaceful solutions", any attempts to deal with the warring and the shortages, only caused the problems to become larger, and... people even died from causes we did not even know the cause of.

While the little snake was still slithering towards me, I suddenly discovered - surprising myself:
"Wow, I don't have to be afraid. This animal is like our own serpent bones that keep us together and upright. That little snake and myself actually have something very important in common!"
As I'm thinking this, I am getting quite ecstatic, the hair in my neck is standing on end and it's like I am starting to float in the air, it feels like I am rising up from the red soil upon which I am standing.
At that point, I'm becoming aware of something that I had never felt before... there seems to be something like a large bubble around me, and I know what it is! It must have to do with that energy that the wise man always talks about, it is inside me, but now I feel it is also around me. It is something that I up to now had never really fully understood.

I feel myself floating even more.

And that viper…? It just slithered away easily between my feet, and nothing of what I was at first worried about that could happen, did actually happen.

I was totally amazed at what I had just discovered. I now know for sure that our chief instilled fear in us rather than giving us freedom - he  enslaved us so that we became useful for his purposes... to his benefit and our detriment. This man, our tribal chief talked about badness in the world, that there is good and evil, that the fights we are having with the other hill tribes are actually about a fight between good and evil. He even assured us that those on our side were good, and those who were not with us, were evil.

That can not be so, I just know it. It is clear to me now. That is the story we are being told to make us fearful so that we do the chief's bidding, so that we would fight his wars. It just can not be so!
There is no evil except for something very illusive that is cleverly and craftily put in our heads, something which we are tricked into believing to be real, but which actually is not.
Our minds have been filled with fear so that we cannot see anymore what's really real...
I just met this snake that didn't do anything to me at all, although it was supposed to be harmful, and I was supposed to be fearful that it would hurt me... that it would even kill me.
We were just made to believe that there are evil powers in the world outside our tribal confines, and that only our chief was able to protect us from those who were so to speak evil.

I now realize there is no evil as opposed to good. You see, that  distinction you won't find anywhere in nature, only in human nature… in the denatured human really!
Those assumed opposites don't exist as such. They only exist as ideas in our confused minds.
First that false idea took a hold in the mind of the chief who intended to use it to create fear, and subsequently it overtook the minds of those in the grip of his spells, their unsuspecting minds now filled with fear and false ideas of opposing and conflicting forces... the flawed notion of good versus evil as though those opposites exist in reality and are, so to speak, needed to balance each other out... as though they depended on each other in some strange devious way!

As I was realizing this with great clarity and insight, it was as though my body started to rise even higher, and I felt an enormously powerful energy coming up from deep below me… from earth itself.

The earth actually felt like an enormous globe beneath me! I  never realized that the earth was like that, and I suddenly knew that we live on a beautiful, large living entity, Earth itself is a living being.

Then it felt as though my spine became like the trunk of  an enormous tree, erect and massive, its roots growing from me deeply into the earth, spreading ever so widely throughout the whole earth, the very soil from which we have grown, from which we originally came  forth.

I then became aware that my arms grew into branches that were  expanding wider and wider into the heavens, and as I was spreading out,  the glorious sun was glowing ardently down into my whole being.

All-this-right-here became energized by the widest expanse of the earth and the universe, and I felt how each one of us is actually a channel through which earth and heaven communicate.

It was as though the sun, which first stood straight above me, was now coming down into me, surging its energies throughout my whole being, my branches and leaves invitingly embracing the sun's rays that were  suddenly forming an energetic crystalline star hovering about a foot above my head.

As I looked up into it, I immediately knew that it was somehow part of my whole being. No, even more, it felt like it was the core of my being.

A 3d model of a dodecahedron containing the Five Pythagorean Solids  ~ Dan Winter.
Animate the picture by clicking here

As the crystal merged into me, my chest inside  opened up so widely that it was as though my inside received this divine energy as the greatest gift in the highest state of glorious bliss.

Then I suddenly felt as though I was exploding into the whole  universe, being at once the whole universe, as well as all its  constituting parts and I realized the divinity of it all.

All and everything divine and each individual part uniquely so!

After a while I came down from this intense state, and as I squatted, my hands holding my face, elbows resting on my knees, I caught myself gazing far down into the distant valley below, ruminating my thoughts,  thoughtfully focusing on the work my partner and myself were doing down in the valley.

A little later in the day, after my return to the valley, I met up with her, and I told her about what had just happened to me. She - this  being of life - was not at all surprised, as my story so much backed up and supported her own awareness and experience.

The wise man always said to us:
"Know yourself!"
 but also,
"Find out for yourself!"
Now I realize that he meant not just to believe someone based on their authority, but to find out and experience for yourself:
"You can at some point know directly and personally, what I now can only point out to you."
Maybe my partner - because she is a woman - always already experienced this energy more directly. Hmm... did she not carry life already, bringing forth life?!
Maybe women have an innate trust in the way nature works,  the way life goes.
I'm sure that over time men have been compromised too much by fear - and  anger too - perhaps in order to get motivated for their hunting  escapades… or now, more recently, in their wars with neighboring  tribes.

This belief in good and evil, that whole notion is flawed!

I get it!

Evil is a 'thinking thing', one does not actually see evil, one may be seeing accidents or inadvertent things that do happen (by all appearances catastrophes are an inescapable part of nature), but in  addition, under undue pressure, one has been forced to develop a certain kind of imaginative thinking, caused and enhanced by fear which at the same time increases it and creates subsequent suspicion, skepticism and habitual questioning - all in all a total lack of unconditional trust. This in  turn creates a certain kind of imagery - illusion - something that so characterizes our human suffering. This way an added layer of suffering gets created mentally, something that envelops the natural occurrences of  pain and natural discomforts.
This man-made suffering causes one to see, experience and interpret things that actually and naturally happen differently, different from the way they were seen and witnessed before the illusive fearful imagery comes into play.
It is quite arbitrary really, anything that looks good to one person, can look like evil in the eyes of someone else. Flawed thinking makes you see things differently, it makes you interpret  everything differently from when you just simply observe. Thinking can be good, of course it can be, when it is pure and unadulterated, but it can also make what you normally know as right and straightforward,  look strange, crooked, bad or even evil, and… it might get you to make other people think and experience poorly, and falsely as well, and thus they subsequently also might get into situations of abusive strategizing, maneuvering and manipulating.

Many years ago, before my partner and myself - then still a couple of youngsters - descended into the valley, the wise man had been talking a great deal about cause and effect, "causality" he called it:
"In nature everything is causally related to everything else in a mutual and reciprocal way. Causality, when we don't interfere with the natural flow of things, affects other things in a complex and dependable manner. The problem is, we humans somehow learned to interfere with the natural course of things, and we have been able to cause changes that without us would not have taken place."
The wise man pointed out how it was sometimes hard to figure out if the changes were actually what we wanted or not. He told us:
"Years ago I discovered that it is possible to glean something  very simple and useful from this the complexity of cause and effect. It  can be used to our advantage when the results are clearly foreseen and  planned to be advantageous to the furthering of life.
I discovered that it was possible to intervene in the natural processes of cause and  effect, and that - providing it is used for the good of life in general - that no adverse side effects would accompany the results."
The wise man's main discovery was how in the natural order of things "cause and effect" was also two-directional and not necessarily linear as far as time goes.
His discovery was not at all that 'action-reaction' or the 'eye-for-an-eye' strategy that it eventually became for the tribes who remained on the hillsides, and who from there ventured into other lands taking their own misguided ways with them.
Unfortunately, they had learned to resist causes by replacing their natural effects with counter actions.

"Human nature had become pseudo-nature,
different from our authentic original pure nature."

Part Two
Whoever reads this now - some thirteen thousand years after my story here - should realize that the sages and smart people of your current age are not any wiser or more intelligent than the sages of my time. The insight and engineering skills needed to conceive of making fire, cutting flint, chipping arrow heads and adzes and later forging them from iron, the invention of pottery and the wheel were as  involved as you now are figuring things out with the tiniest entities conceivable that are being experimented on in the largest machines possible. In fact, in our days - for you so long ago - it was not like Isaac Newton who "could stand on the shoulders of giants before him" who helped him "to see farther."

The original sages and inventors had to pretty well start from scratch!
Let me describe how life was before we young ones, moved down into the river valley from the hillsides.

The population of the tribes on the forested hills had been expanding rapidly over the last generations, and the supply of food from the hunts and from what was available from foraging, had been dwindling fast also because of long periods of drought. We now had to compete with our neighbors for larger hunting grounds as we had pretty well run out of game in our own territory. All  of the tribes experienced the same problem and we couldn't figure out how to get more food in a peaceful manner other than by raiding the neighbouring tribes. As explained before, on the advice of our chief, we resorted to ugly tribal warfare, and that is what all the tribal chiefs eventually had their own people doing as well. The wise  man though, our man of knowledge, who had become a mentor to some of us, especially to our tribe's younger members, started to teach us that there was a way out of this.

As mentioned already, he had discovered some predictable regularity in the way things follow up on each other - cause and effect. He had drawn  his initial conclusions mostly from the way seeds fall from plants and trees, and then - after - turn into new plants or trees. He also saw that most seeds did not turn into new plants, and he wondered how and why that did not happen. He eventually saw that when you set the conditions right with moisture and sunlit spacing, that they would turn into new  plants.

He was always looking, observing and drawing conclusions.

The wise man predicted things,
not because he could look into the future
but because he understood the past.

He had figured out how things happen, that there are natural laws or rules that nature follows, and by knowing those rules he could foresee what would happen. But also, and that was his greatest discovery, by following those rules and applying them to seeds and  animals, he could change the future and… he could foresee and foretell how things would change.

Nobody had ever thought that way. There was security in his ways, not the fear of never knowing what could happen:
"Things that happen are not a matter of blind chance, nor luck, neither do they depend on boons, prayers and mysterious ceremonies."
That was the kind of thinking behind everything he did. But recently that thinking was also behind his experiments with the seeds he collected and planted, and with the tame animals he had us breed from the wild mountain goats and mountain sheep.

He got those of us who were interested, to start collecting seeds, gathering up certain animals, and he suggested that we eventually move down into the river valley, to plant the seeds in an ordered and planned manner. He suggested how we could take care of the animals that we had set aside, to stay with us for herding. Maybe we could do that even better with some especially prepared animals that would take more easily to the humid environment of the valley down below. The wild boar could  probably be transferred too, but surely the newer breed of sheep and young goats. He predicted that if we did this according to his prescribed ways, we would always have an abundance of food.

He did other curious things with seeds: he "calculated" with dried beans and nuts that he laid out in front of himself in neat patterns.
He could tell from the patterns in which the beans were laid out how large the next "crop" - that's what he called it - would be, or how the herd of cattle would grow in number.
We could now make use of land that we had thought to be taboo to us or just waste land. Before our experiments, the muddy valley did not grow much that was of any use to us, but now, he said, that land was waiting for us to be "cultivated".

He invented new words for things he had understood and helped us to acquire the same understanding and learn those new words.

Where he usually sat, he always had a clean flat spot of hard dirt in front of him, and with a stick he would scratch shapes in it, and he would apply sounds to those scrapes. He even made a string on which he first strung little bones or small shells with a hole through them. He organized them in certain sequences that he gave special sounds to, "numbers" he called them and he would have us repeat the words after him as he uttered them.
Later, with a similar string but now with knots, he would make shapes that we had never seen before: straight lines, triangles, rectangles, squares. He could also make the most perfect circles and other round shapes with his strings.

We kids loved him… we would lay out shapes like he did, using small pebbles, twigs and strings, and he would get it right for us if it did  not work out at first.

Years later in the valley, we would use his methods to lay out plots of land and build buildings from sun baked bricks of clay. The shapes of those bricks were made with strings that were divided into twelve parts; when you folded the strings just right, the bricks were always straight and they all had the same size. The strings he had us use were always divided into twelve small sections, and the wise man always had us count them in two ways, either in sequence or he had us divide them up in groupings of three, four and five. That was especially handy as we kids also wanted to make his 'magic' shapes, triangles, squares, circles and spirals… snake forms.

In the past, before the overpopulation in the hills, when there was still enough roaming area available, the tribes lived an ambulant life moving through the forests between the hills from dale to dale. If we would move down into the river valley, we would also have to live a more or less ambulant life in order to deal with the unpredictable flooding each year. That's why many of us thought that taking up life in the wet river valley with its many floods was unwise. The wise man though, had been studying the floods and discovered a certain regularity to them. The larger floods always came from the  mountain rivers once every "twelve moons" as he called it. The smaller and more frequent floods always came from the sea, and had to somehow also to do with the moon, but those smaller floods tended to happen twice a day, and he predicted them very accurately.
He suggested that we could organize our movements in the river valley around the predicted floodings. What if we would go down into the wider flatter and slightly higher areas whenever it was possible and safe, we could always return to "higher ground" closer to the hills when it was not as safe and accessible. In addition, there would always be drinking water in the river valley while on the hills during the dry periods we would always run out. Also, in the valley, sunshine was always filtered by the low thin clouds of humid air, it would be warm but not as blazingly hot as certain times of the year in the hills, and hopefully there would not be as many thunderstorms and wild-fires down in the valley.

The wise man foresaw that if we created the right environment in the valley, we could grow shrubs and trees that would produce the fleshy fruits like figs that we liked so much, or the stone apples that we learned to chop up and press for their juice, or the trees that would provide us with the nuts that we so fondly collected in the hills. He foresaw that we would even grow large areas of those grassy weeds of which the kernels were so tasty.

To most of us eager youngsters it made so much sense, and although it had never been done before, we felt that anything would be better than the wars, bloodshed, strife, revenge and hatred.

My girl-companion and I decided to take it on. We decided to move down into  the valley. We actually started planting saplings from some fruit trees that we thought would grow fast and tall enough to deal with the shallow flooding on the edges of the valley. We also started to grow grasses of which we were able to get the grains grow larger than in their wild form. We planted a kind of tree of which the fruit was more edible than the quince fruits that we had learned to chop up and cook and press for their juice and jelly.
The young mountain sheep and young goats took very well to the valley's expanse. We started collecting more animals and settled down for longer stretches of time - we called it "husbandry" - although we had to keep moving quite often according to the vagaries of the rivers.

It was good that we had left for the wider delta, as the feuds and wars kept increasing and many tribal members were killed. But our chief, instead of following the advice of the wise man, was fearful that he would lose his power.

The wise man foresaw that, instead of the older women still foraging, many of the youngsters - young women as well as young men - would start to grow their own food, fruit, nuts, roots. And instead of older men hunting, these same youngsters would have their own animals for meat and milk! They would be independent!

What would happen to the traditional role of men and women, women not collecting and preparing food, men not hunting, not being ready for tribal defense and raiding others tribes?
That was not to happen, the chief decided:
"The youngsters would be  free?!
No, that will never be!"
That way, the old way of life would have no use anymore, he wouldn't be able to pressure anybody to follow his orders.

The chief eventually sent his fighters into the delta.

In the meantime, we had increased in number, and the hill people who came down into the valley to fight us, could not prevail over us as they were lacking food, and as they tired out quickly on the treks they had to make to reach us. Also, as the terrain was flat, there was no way for them to gain an advantage... there was nowhere to hide. Moreover, we knew about the timing of floods, and found many ways to escape them or, instead, have them land-locked.

They eventually withdrew and we were able to attend to our farming practices uninterrupted and in peace.

After one especially good growing season, we decided to send a group of us back to the hills, and visit not only our own tribe but various other tribes as well. As we had inflicted no harm while we defended our independence, we intended to convince our tribal brothers and sisters who still lived in the hills, that the way of going about living our new way - being free and self-sufficient, being able in the ways of animal husbandry and agriculture to produce food in a steady dependable way -  that it was a better way of life in these new times. We showed them that one could live peacefully again, that one could trust again without fear of exploitation, manipulation and wars.
Gradually we gathered more followers. The chief however became immensely upset, and got the visiting groups rounded up, and he banned them from ever returning to the hills. Also he placed guards so that no one from the hills could move down into the valley below.

We now knew that we would take up living in the valley permanently and in increasingly large numbers. Of course the old chief blamed Snake Man, our man of knowledge for our "misguided and evil way of  life."

There was an interesting encounter once, when the old chief came down from the hills into the valley for a secret visit to one of our gardens in the valley. Initially he spied on us... or was it perhaps voyeurism?  When he was found out, losing his cool, he cursed us forever...

But that story is already known in a biblical way, although I'm sure that, while that story got passed on and was told and retold again and again, that it became a story that was the opposite of what had actually taken place.


* First published in 2006,
  • In 1996 I accessed a series of Akashic Records memories.
    This autobiographical short story is a compilation of those recollections.
  • The bolded text throughout this account is a word-by-word retelling of one major episode from those Akashic memories. 
  • The non-bolded text is a compilation of other Akashic memory segments and subsequent musings related to those memories.

About 12980 (+/- 5) years ago (possibly shortly after the occurrences that are described in this account took place) a meteor impacted on earth that according to the above news reports caused extensive wildfires as well as global temperature drops. (But no mass extinction, etc.!) I suggest that the cherubim (plural) and the fiery sword(s) was the biblical equivalent of reporting this event which caused the valley not to be accessible from the hills anymore. I also suggest that this accelerated the successful development of agriculture and husbandry.
According to the IMO distorted biblical accounts, "God" cast "Adam and Eve" out of "paradise" and positioned cherubim (angels) with flaming sword(s):

"And the LORD God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.' So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life." (Genesis 3:22-24).



Free Will and the Law of Cause and Effect.

Notes on "Free Will"

. Nobody can know the future for sure because, in spite of fact that there is no "free CHOICE" (which has to do with the intricate laws of cause and effect,) there is "free WILL" and with that...: the "innate potential to be free". 

. We are all born with the "innate will to be free", no one is born with an "innate will to be enslaved".

. In fact, we are also born with an active free will, but in our present-day culture (and this is global!) this free will is for most of us at birth almost immediately challenged, denied and de-activated. (More on how-this-comes-about later.) 

. It is this "free will" - when (re-)activated and/or still truly functioning freely - which makes the future of a truly free person, unknowable and thus non-predictable.

. Of course this also means that the future of a person with a non-active free will can be foreseen, pre-known and thus predicted.
. In general, most predictions about the future tend to predict "bad tidings", usually with the idea in mind of that what the bad tidings refer to, is deserved punishment and deemed to be self-inflicted.
. The "bad tidings" characteristic does not take into account (even in spite of possible ignorance) that basically the great majority of people are of "good will" (benevolent) and the have a "will to be free" ... meaning that they wish to be unaffected by any "bad will" of others!!!

. The will to be free is not the same though as an active authentic free will.
. "People of bad will" (malevolent) think that they can change the outcome of the law of cause and effect, but they are IN THE MINORITY. 

. People of "good will" on the other hand, set the stage for all others to make better choices because "people of good will" are IN THE MAJORITY, and it is that majority that STATISTICALLY affects the outcome of the law of cause and effect, with the result being: "tidings of comfort and joy". 
It is exactly THAT what most "ill-fate predictors" are not aware of!
. I define "free will" also with the inclusion of "going willingly and freely with whatever is happening". (More on that elsewhere.)

. Perpetrators of bad or ill intended actions should be held responsible, but they should be given the chance to "correct" and "be corrected"... which  is after all the motivation behind "correctional institutes".
. Free will - which comprises the innate will to be genuinely free - enables one to find creative solutions, not in the least because of a free and thus unlimited and well-functioning mind.

A Special Note

. Once creative solutions (stemming from authentic free will) have been enacted, one discovers that it was the law of cause and effect that led to any solutions that were functionally put in place.

"What...?" you might wonder...
YES, this does sound contradictory, but causation also works in reverse - which is actually well known and evident in the sub-atomic micro-world. 
I contend that on the macro scale - in our day-to-day world - that is also the case, EVEN if it seems only psychologically so...: the effect (the wished-for end-result) being the inviting and attractive force that sets up causative circumstances that enable the wished-for solutions to be realized. It is not for nothing that we have the expression "wishful thinking".
Of course this might also work the other way around, but the fact that the majority of people are basically of "good will" (in spite of possible ignorance) the world is better than what a minority of people fears, wishes for, or attempts to put in place.
"Huh", you might say, "You cannot have it both ways!"
Well, if you think that, then that limiting thought prevents you from finding possible solutions because all options should be considered... even the seemingly impossible...

Memory and Imaginative Creativity

Henny: I wonder whether we have memories in the eternal now and, if so, how: linear or as one clump (not linear)? 

Wim: There is this wonderful Indian notion of 'Akashic Records' - universal memory as though held in 'akash' - 'space'!

One could say that the Sanskrit  'kash' is 'earth' and that 'a-kash' is 'ALL', within which 'earth' is a particular manifestation. *, **

Imagine that a wave front (wind included) reaches a particular shore and that that shore is affected by what the waves and the wind do to its sand, pebbles, estuaries, boats, houses, sea life and so on... while also bringing in all kinds of  'jetsam and flotsam'.
Those waves of wind and water though have a history. They have a holographic story to tell about where they came from and what they experienced on the way.
Let's say they were coming from the West.
We know though that what comes from the West, may have been caused by influences or pressures (e.g high and low pressure systems) from the East. 
In fact, the very location of that shore that I just talked about, may originally (after its influences traveled around the globe in 'waves of interference') also be the cause or, if not that, then at least a contributing factor to the way the waves are now pounding that very same shoreline and the wind that is now blowing through the very same grasses, flowers, shrubs and trees from which it might well still carry the fragrances it picked up before it went overland.

Imagine 'all this' now in a complex, dynamically layered, spherical and spiraling configuration - not just surface winds and waves rippling the earth's outer skin.
Imagine a grand configuration as large as the universe bending and curving over and into itself...: there where alpha and omega meet...

Aahh, isn't
  • the notion 'akash' really too simple for that?
  • And the word 'memory' too one-directional? (One could say that 'creative imagination' and 'memory' are each other's reciprocal and mutual complements.***)
  • And what about 4 D space/time, is that not just a too limited or abstracting referencing frame while we are really experiencing 'ALL THAT IS'?


* Compare with prakriti and purusha:
  • Pusrusha being that (TAT) of which... 
  • Prakriti IS a specific manifestation (SAT or ASI) **
    Please refer to
** The specific manifestations are held in 4 D space/time, and that which holds it is 11 dimensional  Grand Space/Time. (Or 12D... Why not?!)

*** The abstracted notions of 'memory and imaginative creativity' need to always be dealt with together... they are two sides (aspects really!) of the same SPHERE! - cause and effect are 'mutually-inclusive-of-each-other-and-interchangeable'! Notice that I'm not saying 'two sides of the same coin'… That would be too flat-landish! Even the word 'sphere' does not encompass what I mean to illustrate.

What do I mean when I use words like 'physical' or 'nature'?

A Slightly Modified Facebook Exchange


Wim, it seems to me that you see traumas - even the mental, emotional or spiritual ones - as fundamentally physical. (Perhaps even just chemical?)
As I see it, the body itself is extremely complex and interacts not only with its supraphysical bodies (beliefs, thoughts) but with the environment (relationships and nature) as well.
To say (if I understand you well) that chemical changes occur only as a result of physical trauma, leaves out a whole range of possible causes...

Alright, appreciated, but perhaps you are jumping into this topic (the nature of traumas) not fully aware of how I define things, how I identify and define certain notions.
Yes, it would definitely be worthwhile to explain what I mean when I use the word "physical".
I would of course be good if you read my deliberations on this issue [they are on this website] but let me get to it from the beginning... going to the root... 

What is important to know about what, how and why I write, is to see where I'm coming from...
In principle I can only live, work and describe from a strict non-dual insight.
In the enlightened view there is no 'physics AND metaphysics', no 'body AND spirit', no 'mind AND body', no 'factual reality AND illusive reality', etc..

Those are only interpretive distinctions that help make sense of the SEEMING complexity that all this APPEARS to be in a 'pseudo-world' that is confused by unenlightened views and ways of behavior.

Even if the above distinctions have a mental interpretive value and do serve a function, they still do not represent reality (TAT SAT).
We can use those interpretive distinctions to heal or help heal - 'healing' meaning to stop the unquestioned firm belief in the so called 'reality of dualities'.
The tool to distinguish - the tool of analysis - can be compared to the use of a scalpel in surgery, it is NOT the cutting though (to get to an unwholesome organ) that is quintessential (although very useful - but still and most of the time in lieu of holistic approaches), it is the healing that is...: the restoration and 'sewing back' - the tool of synthesis.

The scalpel (or analysis) is a temporary tool to help us find out what went seemingly awry with our original whole state. The tool to return to that whole state is - again - temporary: the tool of synthesis.

So analysis and synthesis are temporary dualistic 'services' to rediscover, recover, reclaim and realize our integral wholeness.

I always go back to original even ancient meanings of words, and as much as possible I use words that way...

So what does 'physic' mean actually?
It came to the modern Western languages via the Greek:
. from 'physike episteme' - 'knowledge of nature',
. which came from 'physis' - 'nature',
. which came from 'phyein'- 'to bring forth, to grow'" (cf 'phyton' - 'growth, plant')
. which came from from the PIE root *bheu- "to be exist, grow" (Old English: 'beon' - 'to be, be').
The (unconfused) experience of self is 'dynamic being'...:
TAT SAT - What is, is.
TAT TUAM ASI - Thou art that 

Thus when I use the word "physical" it includes everything that has 'interpretively-and-artificially-and-unduly-and illusively' been excluded from our innate original integral being.

The word 'nature' (the translation of 'physis ') is the native state, it came to us via:
. the Latin 'natura'- 'course of things, natural character, the universe'
. which came from 'natus' - 'born'
. which came from 'nasci' - 'to be born'
. which came from PIE *gene- 'to give birth, beget'
Altogether our innate sacred reality that is naturally experienced...
(when not illusively and deludedly -  pseudo 'maya' - messed up :-(.


I 'understand' what you are saying, Wim, but is it helpful to the majority of people.?

Not in that form for sure :)
The gist of what I wrote above of course always needs to be put into a format that is relevant to the individual... And that 'in-formation' meant for that individual will necessarily require a number of iterations - in a spiral kind of manner - eventually zeroing in on reintegration and Unity.
You are saying,
"majority of people"...hmm...Is it not so that the "majority of people" believe in duality in such a way that reality is fully overshadowed by pseudo-reality: the 'world' of conditional sub-sistence (not existence)?
So, yes what I wrote would not make immediate sense.

When individuals eventually "run into a wall" - a wall that does not give in to conditional behavior anymore, e.g manipulating OR not wanting to be manipulated anymore) - when they reach the end of the rope, that obfuscating "belief" may at some point dissolve under the light of clear insight and then lead to right action...  as in the Buddha's eightfold path:
. Right or All-encompassing Insight.
. Right or Truthful Vocal Expression.
. Right or Constructive Action.
. Right or Wholesome Lifestyle.
. Right or Well-Measured Effort.
. Right or Pure Mindfulness, Clear Mindedness.
. Right or Steadfast Unwavering Concentration.

Digging for 'The Root of Questioning'

The mind is in principle a tool to help and expand on humankind's natural curiosity.

The mind assists humans in finding out what this wondrous human experience in this physical /essential existence is all about...

The mind naturally "wonders". It is set-up to see the miraculous in things!

When for some reason, the result of this "wondering" is not accepted 'as is', it acquires a different dynamic, it becomes a follow-up faculty:
. asking questions,
. questing (e.g. searching for other 'land')
. querying and
. questioning.

As secondary follow-up tools, these are initially welcome aids to find out ways to overcome physical difficulties.
However when these secondary tools get used in an emotional and psychological environment, they can quickly cause opposite results, e.g. like a hammer, primarily made for constructive purposes, can surely destroy a lot.

The possibility of non-acceptance is a side-effect of the mind's faculties *.

In physical circumstances that is very OK. In 'the days of yore', it helped us to discover (invent) physical manipulations to produce solutions... say, purposely making fire, using pelts, or spinning wool and weaving to produce fabric when we were cold, or digging wells for water, etc.

But in non-physical circumstances - after emotional and psychological manipulation was "invented" - questioning and posing questions also became accusative, judgemental, and did not necessarily allow for any defense or response.
Hmm... If an answer or defense would come up, all too often a quasi response follows - rhetorically, "Who do you think you are?", or "Why did you do that, eh?", etc.

* Even if "non-acceptance" is fundamentally ineffective... After all, whatever is not accepted, it does not go away!

Understanding Life

"To understand life, I decided to study life's engineers... proteins!!
I broke them down to peptides, into individual amino acids, into individual atoms and even into electrons, and found them to be mere lifeless probabilities!!!

While I was busy closing my fist, the elusive phenomenon called life had slipped through my fingers!!!"

Pradipta Banerjee

Symbolism of the Oriental Triple Spiral

The "triple spiral" represents a variety of symbolic notions:
  1. The Buddhist "Triple Gem" - Buddha, Dharma, Sangha:
    • Buddha - Sacred* Wisdom (Bodhi)
    • Dharma - Sacred Responsibility (Human Duty/Divine Law),
    • Sangha  - Sacred Community

  2. The Hindu "Trinity" - Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva.**
    These three Hindu gods are the divine representations of the processes of:
    • Creation - Brahma (Creator)
    • Synthesis - Vishnu (Preserver)
    • Analysis - Shiva (Destroyer of obstacles)
      Creation is driven by both the processes of synthesis and analysis! ***

  3. The "Human Triple Unity" - Spirit, Mind, Body. 
    This unity is discernible in the harmoniously developed  human. It is expressed by the three functional modalities of play (sacred lila), learning, and work:
    • Spirit - Play (sacred lila) (pertaining to spirited enjoyment, bliss),
    • Mind - Learning (pertaining to mental reality),
    • Body - Work (pertaining to physical reality).
  4. The first "Three Elements of Antiquity" - Stone, Wood, Water.
    These earliest known elements are represented in by a stone edifice, a tree and a well or spring:
    • Stone - house, temple,
    • Wood - Pipal tree, Bael tree (bodhi tree, tree of knowledge),
    • Water - well, spring, (fountain of life).

    * Sacred or Human/Divine 
    ** Unfortunately, the functionality of the divine powers of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva is rather misunderstood. E.g.  according to traditional Hindu cosmology Brahma is considered to be the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer. However ingrained this interpretation is in Hindu thought, it is a rather incomplete understanding, especially the role of Shiva as simply the destroyer!

    *** "There are two major low-level cognitive mechanisms of creativity: divergent thinking that is the ability to generate original, distinct, and elaborate ideas, and convergent thinking that is the ability to logically evaluate and find the best solution among a variety of feasible alternatives. A parallel between these two mechanisms and the processes of synthesis and analysis of conceptual spaces can naturally be drawn: creativity per se is a balance of synthesis, which usually leads to expanding the conceptual space, and analysis, which is associated with exploring the space. The dynamics of the interaction of divergent and convergent thinking establishes the canonical dynamics of the creative process – the dynamics of creative exploitation and exploration." Source: (page ten)

The Buddha's Four Noble Truths

Traditional translation (1):

Note: When reading the following words by the Buddha, imagine that he, while speaking, was actually pointing to various parts of his body:
  1. to his brow when he talked about the mind,
  2. to his chest when he talked about his heart and sensuality,
  3. to his navel when he talked about the fermentation of becoming,
  4. to the top of his head (higher awareness) when he talked about ignorance.
'When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady & attained imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of the ending of the mental fermentations. I discerned, as it was actually present, that 'This is stress... (2) This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress... These are fermentations...(3) This is the origination of fermentations... This is the cessation of fermentations... This is the way leading to the cessation of fermentations.' My heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, was released from the fermentation of sensuality, released from the fermentation of becoming, released from the fermentation of ignorance. With release, there was the knowledge, 'Released.' I discerned that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'

~ The Buddha in a conversation with the Jain Sage Saccaka (4)


(1) There are many commentators who wonder why the usual list...
  1. Dukkha or Stress, Mental Suffering - its existence (2),
  2. Samudaya - its origination,
  3. Nirodha - its cessation,
  4. Magga - the way leading to the cessation of dukkha (5), so grandly named 'The Four Noble Truths'.
When I went deeply into the original text (as much Pali and Sanskrit as I could figure out) and the many variations of translations and interpretations, I eventually saw an additional series of four points emerge. It then dawned on me why this part of the Buddha's teachings was called 'The Four Noble Truths'. What I noticed was, when I while reading, pointed to the various parts of my body as suggested above, that the Buddha in his conversation with Saccaka, clearly put emphasis on his:
  1. mind, '…ending of the mental fermentations…'
  2. heart, '…release from the fermentation of sensuality…'
  3. will, '…release from the fermentation of becoming…'
  4. awareness, '…release from the fermentation of ignorance.'
(2) Dukkha - In this version translated as 'stress'
Etymologically 'dukkha' can be understood as being 'led astray or cut away from oneself'. Dukkha consists of two parts duk- and -kha, from the Aryan / Sanskrit roots DUK and GHA.
DUK means 'to go' or 'to lead', as in the English duct, seduction, conduct, production, duke.
GHA, KA or KAD mean 'cut away' or 'fall away', as in the English 'cathode', 'catastrophe', 'cut'.

(3) Fermentation: effluent or mental diarrhea - confusion

(4) An excerpt from 'The Longer Discourse to Saccaka' MN 36 PTS: M i 237
© 2008–2011 translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Another translation using the word 'effluent' instead of 'fermentation':
(the last two paragraphs)

(5) The 'Eightfold Path' and the 'Triple Gem' were designed by the Buddha to accomplish the cessation of suffering and confusion.


A free translation treatment of the Buddha's Four Noble Truths:
  1. 'When my mind became focused, pure and clear, unstained by any defilement, when it became flexible and steady and when it could no longer be disturbed, I aimed it at finding out how to end all mental stress and confusion and I found that (1):
    • when the mind is filled with the ferment of confusion that that is mental suffering,
    • that from this ferment more stress and suffering arises.
    • I  concluded though that all this mental suffering and confusion can be overcome, so
    • I looked for and found the way that leads to the release of suffering and mental confusion.
  2. When I focused on my heart, I found how this knowledge also released me from the ferment of emotional confusion.
  3. And when I focused on my will (2), this knowledge relieved me from the confusion that leads to willful strife.
  4. As to my higher awareness, this knowledge released me from the confusion of not knowing who I am.
With this release, I now know what freedom (3) is.
I now know how birth comes to its fruition, how divine life fulfills itself.
Nothing further is needed in this world. That's it.'

~ After the Buddha

(1) The Four Noble Truths:
  • The existence of dukkha,
  • The origination of dukkha,
  • The cessation of dukkha,
  • The method for the cessation of dukkha (4).
(2) The will - seated in the 'hara' according to Zen - when deviated a dysfunctional will drives one to 'become that, what one presumes one ought to be'

(3) Hence, the possibility of 'moksha', freeing oneself from dukkha, a return to one's authentic self.

(4) The 'Eightfold Path' and the 'Triple Gem' were designed by the Buddha to accomplish the cessation of suffering and confusion.

The usual road to freedom leads to quite a few pitfalls...

Introducing "The Happiness Trap" *

Words inside our head, we call "thoughts"

Do any of the following thoughts sound familiar? "I'm not doing it right." "It's useless; I may as well give up now. This a waste of time!" "I'm an idiot!" "Why aren't I practicing what I read in that book?

~ Russ Harris MD - The Happiness Trap

In order not to lead the reader astray on the "usual road to freedom" - a road which actually leads to quite a number of pitfalls** - I have carefully stayed away in the articles on this site from offering any hints, directions, suggestions or methods on how to undo or overcome suffering, how to deal with, say, depression, how to reclaim our innate freedom, etc. Because whatever we tend to do to alleviate our suffering, it actually increases it. Regarding freedom, in one of the articles here I mention:

So, rather than offering dubious ways out, and rather than having the reader step into just another trap (just read Harris' book) the intent of the articles on this site has always been to offer understanding and insight into the dynamics of the unfortunate acquisition of belief in our apparent loss or lack of freedom. 

I feel that it helps when we trace and describe how and why the belief in that lack or loss of freedom has been acquired (instilled in those who were led to believe that they actually do lack that freedom or have indeed lost it), that its sting will slowly diminish.
However, I have been quite aware that this approach does not help the recipient of those beliefs and thoughts, to let go of them. To discover that thoughts and beliefs are a not a "true" representation of reality, is not the same thing as being able to let go of those thoughts and beliefs... if that is needed of course.

To those who would like to effectively let go of unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, I highly and strongly recommend reading, practicing and applying the directions and suggestions by Russ Harris MD in his book The Happiness Trap.

click this line for a preview
Russ Harris gently and consistently helps his readers to adopt and apply effective ways to defuse the power of the very thoughts that causes the thinker of those thoughts to wrongly assume that they represent reality... which thoughts - any thoughts really - actually never do...
How so? Well, don't hesitate to get and peruse the book.

Whereas in my article How we were made to think who we are, I show

how and why
people are made to believe the illusion of who they appear to be, that that is who they are,
and how and why
people are made to believe that what they ought to be is what they should become...

Russ Harris shows his readers how to deal with those beliefs and thoughts and how to "defuse" them, so that one eventually ends up not only being aware of one's real being but also that

one recovers and lives the reality that one is who one actually already always was and will be...
- minus the deviating power of illusive thinking of course -

Whereas in my articles The Ownership of Your (?) Thoughts and Your (?) thoughts and emotions - whose are they really? I trace and show how and why thoughts came to be assumed to be one's own, the many exercise in "The Happiness Trap" guide the reader on how to successfully dis-empower and eventually disown those thoughts.

It is not that Russ Harris tells his readers that unhelpful thoughts will disappear - on the contrary! In a careful and persistent manner he steers his readers away from putting the expectation of the result of the exercises before the actual doing of those exercises... and he is quite right in doing that... lest the "Happiness Trap" closes on the reader.
But I myself can be a little less careful as I don't believe there is any danger in telling people that all-too-often thoughts are no more than commodities - products on a store shelf - and that when one buys (into) them, that the shelves displaying those thoughts will remain well stocked.

"Thoughts as merchandize" may well be a supply-and-demand thing. When the demand diminishes (by disbelieving and defusing unhelpful thoughts) that just like with goods*** for which there are no takers, those goods will eventually disappear off the shelves. 

Chapter 23 in "The Happiness Trap" is an excellent and  penultimate treatment of what awareness is and how to "become aware" of it.

Whereas in my article Awareness: True Being and Being True, I describe what awareness is (also awareness' etymological roots), Harris effectively guides his readers in how to kindle their awareness, how to "notice noticing" by simply "observing", without any danger for the observer to fall into the trap of becoming "self-conscious".
Whoever has been inspired - but possibly also 'in the end' stumped - by Ramana Maharshi's self-inquiry "Who am I?" will find Dr. Harris' book a great help in eventually realizing - actually, factually and functionally - that...

One can and will be who one is without any thoughts about how to be.

* The bold colored lines are clickable links. 
** Except for the physical exercises that I offer in The Integrated Yawning and Stretching Technique on "The Kundalini Process" blog.
*** or bads :)