The 11 Guiding Principles of Aetherialism.
The following principles helped me regain hope, transform my life & become a more conscious, virtuous person. They have organically developed over a lifetime of learning, testing & integrating the heritage of humanity’s wisdom & developing my own working models based on my lived experience. Your entire life you are constantly being judged, conditioned & taught to trust authority especially in regards to health, morality & lifestyle. There is more information than ever, more opinions than ever & ever greater ways of personalising & targeting your attention.
Aetherlism is a summary of some of my guiding principles. I share these with you to help you realise your highest self; physically, mentally & spiritually. I share these to empower, not imprison you. I want to see a world that is more harmonious, where we all understand our interconnection & where each person is living to their highest expression. They are not dogmatic commandments or rules, they are my greatest truths to date, developed over a lifetime, which become working principles & philosophies that I'm continually refining. I encourage you to test these if they resonate & turn them in to your life experience. Don't take anything at face value but be inquisitive, experimental & committed to developing your own principles, for first hand experience is greater than third hand knowledge.
By realising who you really are you are more self empowered, resilient & more likely to realise your highest expression.
Who are you?
Most people would answer that with a combination of external, material labels. Yet you are more than your skin, religion, looks, clothes, political beliefs, labels, job, education, nationality or class. They reflect your role in society, how others might perceive you & shape your lifestyle but do not define you. The whole you. Or the true you.
How can they if they are constantly changing?
What is it that is stable throughout your life?
Who is doing the observation?
Who is it that is having a conscious experience?
It’s that inner awareness, that inner consciousness, the soul.
That is the true you.
Many of the problems in the world come from people over-identifying with the wrong self & losing their connection with others & the whole. Identifying by these labels typically occurs as a result of conditioning, propaganda & social pressure. It makes for a better consumer, a better follower & greater social divider. Overidentifying with your outer self & losing your connection & empathy for other species, nations & people can lead to a lack of meaning, disunity & social problems. It's not to say the ego & our embodied form doesn't play a critical role, they act as interfaces that allow us to interact & experience reality, a bit like a computer desktop. Yet it is much more powerful & meaningful to understand your true self.
Regularly take time to be with yourself, understand yourself, your connection with other people and life itself. Understand what gives your meaning and purpose. We often go outwards for knowledge, always seeking the external. Don’t be afraid to go inwards to just be with yourself and to tap your innate wisdom. Meditation is a powerful tool for realising yourself. You cut off from technology, ego and sensory overload and are there with just your consciousness. In a mindfulness based practice, you gain an awareness of your thoughts and let them go as you acknowledge them. It’s powerful as it gives you an awareness of what is on your mind. It connects you with something greater than yourself. It centres and rebalances you. Plant medicines & psychedelics can also help to dissolve many of the illusions, programming & perception of reality we don't question.
First hand experience is greater than third hand knowledge.
No one else in reality knows what it is like to be you & have your sensations, feelings & life experience. Only that which you originate from can know, for you are an expression of it. For this reason, most peoples world views, values, judgements & opinions are quite insulated, unoriginal & the average of what they have systematically absorbed through media, family, religions, news, friends & popular culture. Particularly in this more material world which generally isn't as philosophical, open minded or critical thinking as it could be due to most people tying their identity to their ideas or beliefs. An attack on ideas therefore becomes an attack on the person. This overly materialistic, individualistic, consumption based culture tends to cause many to have an unhealthy relationship with power, money & control & a disconnection from understanding of their true selves & their interconnection with others, other people/species & life itself. Others become a means for their own advancement, other conscious beings become objects of exploitation & nature becomes a commodity.
We live in an information & content rich environment, which is incredible but also noisy. Everything is pulling at your attention & we are taught to trust external authority figures. As one individual, we can't be an expert in everything, therefore we need to be able to assess, grade & assimilate information. Developing critical thinking, looking at multiple sides to any particular idea, looking at conflicts of interest, asking fundamental questions, laying out the different possibilities & being willing to face the uncomfortable helps. We must be able to make sense of & grade the likelihood of truth of any external third hand information. Yet unless we see it & experience with our own eyes & senses we do not know for sure. Direct personal experience is much richer for it is not just words or opinions but a complete multisensory, conscious & subconscious experience that forms a network of wisdom within you. Third hand knowledge must always be tested. The highest form of awareness is direct first hand experience. Trust in your self. Trust in your experience. Trust in the truth of your experience.
Reclaim your power.
You have a power within you that can not be taken away. You can't control what happens to you or what people think about you. However, you decide how to perceive & react to any given situation. You decide your reality & choose your meaning. When you stop needing incessant approval & validation from others you reclaim your power. You can only be treated how you allow yourself to be. Understand the power of your mind. Your thoughts become words and your words become actions. Over time your actions shape who you are and the life you lead.
People often cause immense suffering for themselves & others by constantly comparing themselves to others or caring too much about what other people think of them. People often spend a lifetime constantly judging others in order to justify their own choices & feel better about themselves. Everyone is unique as a subset of consciousness, everyone is on their own journey & has different histories, dreams & goals. By respecting your own journey & that of others, not attaching to how you think others should be or how your own life should be based on other peoples view, you can live a more harmonic, peaceful life.
Your health is your own ultimate responsibility.
Health literacy & sovereignty is an essential human skill which can not be completely outsourced especially in the context of the modern health system where there are serious conflicts of interest. We have a situation where a doctors education is often funded by industry interests, their education of nutrition & holistic health is scarce, there is a revolving door between pharmaceutical companies & regulatory agencies, companies fund political campaigns, politicians can own shares in companies they might be forming regulations around, the government food guidelines are guided by industry & mandates can exist without any industry liability.
From a young age, we are taught to trust the authority of doctors, scientists & the government among others. Due to the above, there is a clear conflict of interest between that of the individual & the 'authority'.
Developing critical thinking, understanding what true health is & taking responsibility for your own health is fundamental & necessary. Your health effects every aspect of your being & is the most important basis for life. Due to it's fundamental importance & personalised nature, you must take ultimate responsibility for your own health. You are the only one who will repeatedly make health decisions based on your best interests.
We can not become expert in every area of our life, so we often need to consult external advice. However, if you rely solely on external advice, your health can become the average of a variety of competing interests.
Consider a variety of opinions, health modalities, question the credibility of sources, look at potential conflicts of interest, look at data in context & look at the mechanism of action of any treatments. Pay attention to your physical, mental, emotional & energetic state & monitor the actual results.
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
Life is a miracle. Full of mystery, awe, beauty, love & joy. Yet it is also full of difficulty, change & pain. Yet, would pleasure exist without pain? Would good exist without evil? They are but points on a spectrum. Being able to choose good, when there is the possibility for evil is what makes us great. It is a part of free will & gives us the opportunity to grow. You choose how to perceive your challenges. You can’t always choose your circumstances or certain life events but you can choose how to perceive it and rise above it. Your greatest pain can become your greatest purpose. A source of learning, uncovering a deep passion, personal growth and inspiration for others. What is more beautiful than growing from your pain?
Everything is connected.
Everything from your health, to people, ecosystems & reality itself is connected. We know that our health is effected by our diet, lifestyle, environment, gut & choices. We know that our thoughts effect our words, our views & our actions. We are made of the same building blocks of reality & all matter is energy. There is also a common field of energy, the Higgs field which pervades all space which itself is part of a primordial field of consciousness. View all food as energy. Pay attention to what energies & drains you. When your life becomes more than just about yourself it feels so much more meaningful. Ultimately we will all die so it gives you great satisfaction to have experienced life, realised your potential and contributed towards humanity and life itself.
As a wise friend of mine once said:
‘If everything is connected, then death doesn’t matter.
Life is a gift. Pay it forward…in service of humanity, in service of earth, in service of life itself!’.
Find your why.
Having a 'why' gives you meaning, direction & resilience. It has been said that 'he who has a why can bear almost any how'. Having a longer term why & understanding what is important to you gives you the energy to sustain hardship, make difficult choices & stay focused.
We live in a world of near limitless opportunity, choices & things vying for our attention. Having a clear why acts as a guiding force for life. You can achieve the impossible if you have a strong why, one that is bigger than yourself. Be clear on the why but flexible on the how. This gives you trajectory & guidance but allows for the flexibility that is needed in an everchanging world. In discovering your why, listen to your instinct & be guided by growth.
Find your unique gift and express it in a beautiful way with the intention to help humanity in whatever way feels right for you.
Be for not against.
There is great hope, growth & beauty in this world. People are innately good. Just look at any child. This is our natural state. Curious, joyful, adventurous, imaginative, inquisitive & non judgemental. What happens? The pressures of life, the love of money, power & status, often cause people to act selfishly, become cynical or lose their joy for life. The content we consume & tendency to remember the negative effects our view of the world.
In many ways, we have made incredible advances as a society in a short amount of time. Life expectancy, access to education, infant mortality, poverty, human rights & innovation have flourished. However, we face many pressing existential issues. It is easy to become overwhelmed by anger, fear & frustration. What we pay attention to grows as we are feeding it with our energy & attention. It also effects our state of mind & being.
Choose to stand for something rather than against everything. Invest in the areas you can make a positive change & help shape the world to be a better place. Focus on what you want to see more of & direct your time & energy to these areas.
Seek truth over ego.
Be driven by growth and truth rather than ego. Life is not about proving you are right, comparing yourself to others & feeling superior. It is about experience & growth. How one gains their feeling of importance says a lot about them as a person.
By not identifying by & judging others by rigid labels we open ourselves to greater growth. We open our world to be more compassionate, empathetic & harmonious. Be willing to be wrong. Seek out different opinions. Compete only with yourself instead of everyone else's highlights. Everyone has a unique journey in life so it doesn't make sense to judge your success by superficial factors. In having the courage to define your own truths you will need to develop incredible self belief. Many will not understand you.
Don't define yourself on a set ideology, philosophy or system of thinking. If you & reality itself is changing in every moment how can you be defined by something so limited. It doesn't mean you can't have beliefs & convictions made to the best of your knowledge.
Know what you don't know & can't know. There are things beyond our comprehension. Matter makes up less than 5% of the universe & we perceive less than 1% of the light & sound spectrum. Science is just our best knowledge to date, not an indisputable fact. To think we can know absolute truth in the grander scheme of reality is nonsensical considering our limited awareness.
Live in flow.
Flow is the state of complete presence. You are completely engaged in the present moment, physically, mentally & emotionally. You are not thinking back on a past event or thinking forward to a possible future event. All your focus, energy & consciousness is on the experience at hand. You lose awareness of time. Everything else fades away. It is fulfilling, ecstatic & powerful.
Flow experiences improve concentration, performance, meaning & life quality. Most often, people are in states of flow when they are meaningfully engaged in an activity such as sport, nature, music, reading or writing.
You can set the conditions & habits that encourage a flow state. For example, when you are with your friends, consciously putting away your phone, making eye contact & paying undivided attention helps. Your full focus is on them. It is not being divided between posting on social media, peer approval & filter choices.
Living more of life in flow is more in tune with the experience of life itself.
It is a more distilled experience of life. Take time to enjoy the journey, the moments, allow yourself to be joyful. Don't always just be reaching & thinking you will be happy only once you achieve a certain goal. For you will always be reaching. Enjoy the ride!
What is presence? Live in the now. Bring full mental, emotional, physical presence. Don’t attach to the past or future. Applies to people and relationships.
There are also natural flows in life based on the seasons, natural & personal energy cycles. Being in flow allows you to better adapt to your natural energy patterns. For example creative types typically go through more intermittent bursts of productivity followed by extended periods of recuperation or exploration, rather than continued steady pace work. By understanding the way in which you work best you can lead a more fulfilling life. Spring/Summer tend to lend themselves to more socialisation, outdoor activities & expression while Winter/Spring are more introspective so fitting & not forcing your flow is beneficial.
You are more than your labels.
Your worth is not defined by your skin or labels. These are constantly changing so they can not be you. We face a spiritual & mental crisis in modern society due to this deliberate commodification of the human for reasons of power, division, money & control. Identify by your job & you're a better worker, by your clothes & belonging a better consumer, by your religion/political views, a better follower. Don’t define yourself based on arbitrary labels, you are much more.
You are inherently worthy & are a miracle of nature. Your skin has kept you alive & can heal with the right conditions. Don't allow the judgement, stares, bitter words & rejection define your worth. You are more than your skin, looks, clothes, labels, job, education or status.
There are 3 expressions of you: Self, Soul & Source.
The Self level includes your ego, conscious & subconscious mind. Your role in society, personality & lifestyles are roles you play but do not define you. They are constantly changing so they can not be you.
The Soul you is that inner awareness, that inner consciousness that is there from life. Often in the depths of meditation or your dreams you have a more direct experience of your soul. As a subunit of universal quantum consciousness, you have a unique innate nature. This in turn shapes your Self level expression.
The Source of you is the primordial universal quantum consciousness, God if you will. I believe consciousness is fundamental, it doesn't simply emerge from an arrangement of matter at a level of complexity. There's a level of you that is the visual representation of the wave, another that is the water that makes up the wave & another is the ocean & ultimately everything & nothing.