Soul Sessions by CreativeMind

How The Mind Shapes Reality

May 14, 2024 Debra Berndt Maldonado and Robert Maldonado PhD Life Coach Training and Personal Transformation Experts Season 8 Episode 210
How The Mind Shapes Reality
Soul Sessions by CreativeMind
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Soul Sessions by CreativeMind
How The Mind Shapes Reality
May 14, 2024 Season 8 Episode 210
Debra Berndt Maldonado and Robert Maldonado PhD Life Coach Training and Personal Transformation Experts

Are you ready to challenge the very foundations of what you believe reality to be? 

Reality is not what you think is (or perceive it to be). In this episode, we break down the illusory nature of the world around us and the concept of non-duality to get a clear picture of what true reality is.

Drawing from Eastern philosophy and the latest in science, we unravel the layers of reality as we know it. We discuss:

- The concept of Maya and the illusion of the world as perceived by our senses

- How our brain constructs our experience of colors, sounds and the entire world around us

- The role of perception in shaping our decisions and behaviors

- The philosophical and practical implications of non-dualism in daily life


Interested in Jungian Life Coach Training? Download your free program brochure:

Stay Connected with Debra and Dr. Rob:
Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube | Facebook | |

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you ready to challenge the very foundations of what you believe reality to be? 

Reality is not what you think is (or perceive it to be). In this episode, we break down the illusory nature of the world around us and the concept of non-duality to get a clear picture of what true reality is.

Drawing from Eastern philosophy and the latest in science, we unravel the layers of reality as we know it. We discuss:

- The concept of Maya and the illusion of the world as perceived by our senses

- How our brain constructs our experience of colors, sounds and the entire world around us

- The role of perception in shaping our decisions and behaviors

- The philosophical and practical implications of non-dualism in daily life


Interested in Jungian Life Coach Training? Download your free program brochure:

Stay Connected with Debra and Dr. Rob:
Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube | Facebook | |

INTRO  00:00

Welcome to CreativeMind Soul Sessions with Debra Berndt Maldonado and Dr. Rob Maldonado, founders of CreativeMind. Explore personal growth with us through Jungian psychology, Eastern spirituality, and social neuroscience in a deep, practical way. Let's begin. 

Debra Maldonado  00:22 

Hello, welcome back to another episode of Soul Sessions with CreativeMind. I am Debra Maldonado, here with Dr. Rob Maldonado. We have an exciting new series on non-dual philosophy. But before we begin, I do want to mention, if you’re watching us on YouTube, or if you're listening to us on Spotify or iTunes, we'd love to have you continue to come back to see every episode. Let's talk about today's episode. We're talking about perception today.

Robert Maldonado  00:52

Perception, Maya, and its practical implications. What does it mean if we’re not perceiving reality? All the movies, like The Matrix and Inception, are really closer to the truth than people think, they're not just science fiction. There's some actual evidence we can talk about that points to what the true nature of perception is. What is the true nature of reality?

Debra Maldonado  01:23

When you do deeper work, depth psychology, it's not really about healing your childhood. It's more about understanding how your mind works, how consciousness works, how you're a part of this huge universal power, you can create a reality you'd like to be in. With some limitations, but definitely be in control of your life. That's the most important thing. Why would we want to know this? To philosophize with each other and understand how the matrix works? We want to apply it. We'll get to that as well.

Robert Maldonado  02:03

We teach these topics in a deeper way but we wanted to have a conversation to give people a sense of who we are, what our work is about. Let's start with perception. There's some really good research coming out, this goes back to the 90s, early to mid 90s, people started to understand perception from the neuroscience that was being done at that time. Everyone was surprised that the world we see, the colors, the sound, the sensation, everything is essentially created in the mind, in the brain. Let's take color as an example. The world we see is full of color. We see blue, red, yellow, green, all these beautiful colors. Most people see the world in color. This is the actual reality, the colors aren’t in the optics that we see. It’s in the light. White light has all the spectrum, the colors. The white light is the light that comes from the sun, it has all the colors. Then the particular objects that we see, for example, we see a green tree, or the leaves are green. The green isn’t on the leaf or in the leaf. The leaf is refracting into our eyes that particular wavelength that we read as green.

Debra Maldonado 03:48

The human brain and its utensils, facets look at that tree in green. But an animal or a bug would see maybe a different color or a different experience. Is that you're saying?

Robert Maldonado  04:04

That's part of it, but essentially, the greenness, the experience of green doesn’t exist in the world at all. It exists in our brain, we generate it, we experience it as green, from our interaction with that white light. That's where the green experience comes from. Same thing with blue, the sky isn’t blue. It's our perception of it that gives us the experience of blueness. If we ask: Where does blue exist? Where is it in the world? It's not in the white light necessarily. It's not in the sky or the object we're looking at or any objects that we see as blue. It's in our brain. It's essentially a mental experience.

Debra Maldonado  05:02

Those virtual reality headsets that people put on, it's like that. Our brain is a virtual reality headset that sees what is out there based on what our brain expects to see or where it has been over millions of years of evolution, has learned to see the world.

Robert Maldonado  05:23

That's a good way to put it. Our brain has evolved this ability to create the color because it was adaptive, it helped us somehow get along in the world and survive.

Debra Maldonado  05:37

For example, having the fruit be a different color than green showed us what to eat. What is real? That's the question. If it's not out there, it's in our brains, what are we experiencing in the world? A lot of people think it's an illusion. In a way, it's illusory, but there's something out there.

Robert Maldonado  06:03

The problem with the concept of illusion, that the world is an illusion is that it's presupposing that there’s then a true reality we can perceive. What we’re seeing as illusion is like a mirage, an appearance, a magic show. But the reality is deeper than that, that’s what we call reality. Our illusion, the illusion of the world is what we call our reality. Period, that’s the end of it. There’s no deeper reality that we can perceive, at least at the perceptual level. There's some great work being done at UCLA by Donald Hoffman. He talks about the interface theory of perception. He puts it this way: if you look at your desktop, most of us have computers, those little icons, the little blue files we see on the desktop, he says that's representative of reality, or a deeper reality. You open it up, there's documents in there, or photos, or pictures. That interface allows us to use the computer in a practical way. He says that's what our brain does with the world. It gives us these folders, the sky is blue, the nature is green.

Debra Maldonado  07:37

This person is good, this person's bad.

Robert Maldonado  07:40

That too. But the basic appearance of things. We can think about it in a more profound way. We write poetry about the blueness of the sky. We take it for granted that the blueness is out there. It's beautiful that nature has all these beautiful colors. But it's essentially an interface we're using, a perceptual code. It allows us to survive in the world and to experience it. But it's not the actual reality that's out there.

Debra Maldonado  08:21

Again, back to the headset, if we put that virtual reality on, you see people falling all over, they're seeing a reality that's not the true reality. When you use that, you're actually in another illusory reality. What is that called? In Eastern philosophy, they call it Maya. I love that concept because it makes a lot of sense when you understand it that way versus there's nothing there, it's all an illusion of your mind. But Maya is a beautiful term. It means a “dance”, doesn't it?

Robert Maldonado  08:58

The word is translated as “magic”, as “movement”, as “appearance” or “illusion”. That's why a lot of people talk about the illusion of the world. But again, it's a misnomer, because it's not saying that the world isn’t there. It's there. It's that the way it's there is illusory, we’re creating it, in our interaction with the world we’re creating the world as it appears to us.

Debra Maldonado  09:35

I heard something, you can verify this, you had taught this before. In our training programs we go deep into this. The idea that we only see a thumbprint clearly when we look at the world, the size of a thumb is all our brain focuses on. Everything else, the brain fills in the memory of that room or place before.

Robert Maldonado  09:58

That goes back to perception, visual perception. If you extend your arm and look at your thumbnail, think of it as a little TV, it looks like a little television. That area is what we see clearly when we look at the world. Everything is blurry around that. But our brain creates the illusion of clarity as if we are seeing everything clearly at once. But in reality, it's only that little thumbnail size of clarity that we see. We focus on it, we shine a flashlight on it. We focus on the small details, then the brain fills in the rest.

Debra Maldonado  11:00

Let's talk a bit about Maya. What is it containing? We talk about non-dual, so is Maya the dual? I'll let you explain it, but when we look at the world, we can perceive the world, we're perceiving Maya. We see the good things, the bad things, we see war, we see kind people, we see mean people, we see poverty, we see wealth, we see all these dualities, health and sickness, aging and youth. In a non-dual way, how does this duality fit with the non-dual?

Robert Maldonado  11:37

Let's back up to psychology. We know perception is a mental construction. Not only visual perception, as we were talking about the colors, but also sound. Sound doesn’t exist out there in the world. It's a perceptual mental experience we're having. These sound waves travel through the air, the molecules are actually pushing on the air, then reaching our eardrums. Then the pattern of the tapping on the eardrums is translated in our brain as sound, music, traffic, birds, all this beautiful stuff.

Debra Maldonado  12:26

Showing my age, that boombox we used to play and sit in our room when we were teenagers. There's no sound in that speaker, the speaker is actually just sending sound waves to our ears. Then we're hearing the music in our ears. But it appears as if the music is coming from there, because that's the tool we're turning on and off. I love that idea because if we think about it, the simple thing is that we make all these assumptions. We made the assumption from that, we make the assumption that the sky is blue. When we're in the Maya, we're actually making so many assumptions about the world that drive our decisions, behaviors, and our experience of life.

Robert Maldonado  13:14

I love the boombox thing, let's go back to that. Let's say, if you turn on your boombox, turn it up, crank it up loud, your favorite song is playing really loud. But you leave the room, you walk out, there's nobody to hear that beautiful song. This is hypothetical. No one is hearing that sound, that song. Essentially, there is nothing going on in that room except the vibration of the speaker. There’s no music if there’s no one to hear it. There is no music in that room except the movement of air molecules.

Debra Maldonado  14:10

Someone who's deaf, their eardrums don't receive the signal. Their brain can't process it.

Robert Maldonado  14:17

There are no processes to translate that movement of the eardrum into electrical signals that then are perceived as music.

Debra Maldonado  14:33

I'm deaf in my right ear, they said I have a nerve damage. I'm sure my eardrums are reacting with the electric current but it's not hitting the brain. On my right side, I can't hear.

Robert Maldonado  14:48

Most people have heard about that philosophical question: If a tree falls in the woods, and there's no one to hear it, does it still make a sound? The answer is no. There’d be no one to perceive this sound as we understand it. If no one is there to perceive the color, there is no color.

Debra Maldonado  15:11

Let me argue with that. What about the animals? Or wouldn't sound maybe the same?

Robert Maldonado  15:18

They have their own perceptual systems. They’d hear it or see it or experience it the way their brain, their nervous system is designed for survival.

Debra Maldonado  15:29

I'm going to be the devil's advocate. What if we have a recording in the forest, and a tree falls, and the recording picks up the sound? Does it pick up the vibration? Then it still translates just like the speaker? We’d hear it. It wouldn't be the sound in the forest. But that recording device, when we're recording something like we're recording this podcast, it's recording the vibrational system.

Robert Maldonado  15:59

You're not hearing the tree in the forest, you're hearing the vibration from the recording.

Debra Maldonado  16:06

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Robert Maldonado  17:06

This is all to say that we're not perceiving an external reality. What we're experiencing is a mental construction that’s constructed through our perceptual mechanisms. That's the proper understanding from neuroscience, but besides that, we know that cognitively, meaning, our thinking is full of mental distortions. There's a whole science of cognitive distortions and cognitive biases, meaning that the way we grew up or the things we learn, the way we learn them conditions our mind to read, perceive, interpret, and pay attention to particular things that match that experience with that conditioning. We only see, focus, perceive, and remember the things that we are conditioned to perceive.

Debra Maldonado  18:16

An example is a story about the ships coming in from Europe a couple hundred years ago. The natives weren't able to perceive the ship because they never saw one before. Have you heard that story?

Robert Maldonado  18:34

They would perceive it.

Debra Maldonado  18:35

But it was out of context and seemed weird.

Robert Maldonado  18:40

Those are crude examples, but something like that. There was another one where people that grew up in dense forests and had never experienced an open space, because everything, all the objects in a dense forest are really close to them, when they were taken out into open spaces, they’d perceive the animals in the distance, like the cows out in the fields, as small little animals.

Debra Maldonado  19:13

Because their perception was used to seeing things close. Also babies. I saw this in one of the reels on Instagram. You’d know this from being a child psychologist. Babies, when starting to walk, are afraid of grass, because they don't have the experience of it feeling soft, so they think it's like razor blades or something sharp that's going to hurt their feet, so they lift their feet up. That’d be another example, their perception is “This is a dangerous thing”, because that's what they expect, so they pull away and react.

Robert Maldonado  19:50

Besides perceptual distortions, we have cognitive distortions, which means that we're not even thinking about the world in a clear way. We're seeing, perceiving, thinking about meaning, understanding the world through a filter of our own making, from our own experiences and our own evolution, which means we're not really seeing reality as it is. This takes us into Maya. The ancient seers from the Upanishads— Vedanta is the term used for the wisdom that comes from the Upanishads. The Vedic seers essentially understood this principle thousands of years ago. How they did it? Nobody knows. These people were geniuses at understanding how the mind works.

Debra Maldonado  20:43

The Rishis were the first scientists, they were probably looking at things from a scientific lens of theory and testing theories. As human beings, we're conscious. Human beings are curious about life, we're not going to just exist. There's people like all of you listening to this show, you’re more curious about what life is about.

Robert Maldonado  21:07

They came up with this concept of Maya to denote the idea that we're not seeing an absolute reality, but more of a perceptual reality that’s more in alignment with our own sensory systems. That's what they call Maya, the appearance of the world, the multiplicity of the world.

Debra Maldonado  21:36

They call it the apparent reality. I love that word, it's an apparent reality, but what’s the true reality?

Robert Maldonado  21:43

This is where non-dualism comes in. Instead of saying there's the awareness, which is consciousness, and then there is this apparent reality, or a multiplicity of things in the universe, they said there's actually only one thing, which is consciousness. If you ask “If I'm perceiving blue, for example, but the blue is not really out there, it's a mental experience, that means blueness and my consciousness are one.” If blue never exists outside of consciousness, outside of awareness, that means I can't separate them. You are the blue. That's where non-dual, meaning not two, philosophy comes in.

Debra Maldonado  22:42

This isn't me and this and that. That and this are both me.

Robert Maldonado  22:50

They’re identical. If you can’t separate two things, if blue always appears when there's consciousness, and consciousness can’t be separated from the blue, it means they’re identical. One thing that's non-dual, not two element. This is extended then to the whole universe. If the whole universe is only perceived through our consciousness, through our awareness, it means it's not really out there. It's an aspect of consciousness. It's not two, it's not me and the universe.

Debra Maldonado  23:29

You’re the universe. People say “I asked the universe”, I'm like “You’re the universe, you're just asking a part of yourself.” Make it not a separate thing, this power we have, this external power. We have the internal power.

Robert Maldonado  23:43

Let's go back to Maya because it’s the topic of our discussion. Maya, this appearance of multiplicity, if we just look at our senses and look at the world, it appears to be billions of objects. All these cars, birds, everything is like fragmented little pieces of the universe, extending out into the universe’s Solar System and the galaxies in all these different objects. Maya, that appearance of duality and multiplicity is the apparent reality, like we were saying.

Debra Maldonado  24:28

I want to interrupt for a second because for me the easiest way to understand this, for those of you who remember your dreams, or have had a dream in your life, it's like what we experience in a dream. We go to sleep, we close down all the senses, but we're in this other world, this virtual reality of buildings and people and events. Then when we come back, it's gone. Where did that thing exist? Where did that dream exist? Was there a place you went to? It was in your mind. If you think of the dream as similar to the waking life, and they're very similar, it just feels more real in the waking life. But if you see them as the same, you start to understand the concept of Maya. You have to really understand the concept of Maya before you can transcend it and see through it. The first step is to understand, to be willing, to be open to understand that what I'm seeing is not a true reality.

Robert Maldonado  25:31

That's essentially what we're doing, we're just breaking it down so that we can understand it, then hopefully clarify our mind, so we can perceive the actual reality, which we'll get to.

Debra Maldonado  25:44

It's not something you get, “I listened to this podcast, now I can see this is an apparent reality.” It's a process. We have to work with our minds who's so used to seeing everything as separate and distant.

Robert Maldonado  25:58

Vedanta says there's two elements to Maya, two powers it has that make it appear as if the universe is multiplicity of things. One of them is concealment, it covers over the oneness of things. We can't see the oneness, we can only see the multiplicity of things, the fragmented appearance of things. The other power it has is projection, it projects our assumptions, our limited perceptions onto that world. Then we see all these separate things in the world, the separation of things that appear to have an independent existence from our mind. We think “If I close my eyes, those things will still be there, independent of my participation.”

Debra Maldonado  27:03

Like when you go to sleep, is your bedroom still there? What happens to your body? What happens to everything? It disappears. It's a weird concept to think about.

Robert Maldonado  27:15

It is a very strange reality that we live in. But that's the whole point of philosophy, it helps us understand the true nature of things instead of just going by how they appear.

Debra Maldonado  27:29

When I first heard all this from you, you started to study Eastern philosophy, it was really disturbing in a way and unnerving to think that this isn't as real as I think it is. A lot of people, when they hear it, it feels very uncomfortable. If you're feeling uncomfortable right now, it's actually normal. It's because you want to feel things that are solid. The ego wants to see things as predictable, and solid, and rational. Then to have your mind blown with something like this, even the simple idea that the blue isn't in the sky, you start to question what reality is. I have to tell you a story. When I was a little girl, we had grass in the backyard, we used to lay on our backs. In the evening, back when the skies were more clear, we'd look up at the stars. I was always so fascinated by the stars. I started to think where all the stars, what place they’re contained in. Then I started saying “What's beyond that? And what's beyond that?” I started to imagine what's beyond the edge of the universe. Are we in a container? What is that container holding? I got really scared because I was raised Catholic, I was thinking God and the material world, God’s out there, I'm gonna go to heaven. But I had that thought of how scary it is to think where we’re living in. I don't know if any of you listening have had that experience but when I learned this, it was like the same feeling, the same memory when I was a little girl, looking up, going “What is reality? Where's this universe sitting? Is there a place?” It’s really mind blowing because we want to think that it just goes on forever. But if you think about it, is there an end to it and what is infinity? That's really where you get uncomfortable because it's like our little world gets blown away. We don't want to know, we just want to stay in this little globe that we have. There's a little planet that we're living on.

Robert Maldonado  29:46

The other day we were discussing psychedelics and why people like to do psychedelics. It’s because it gives them a glimpse of this deeper reality that's there beyond the perceptual reality. This is an interesting point about Maya and the concealment and the projection that it gives rise to what's called samsara. It is the cause of our human suffering. Why do we suffer? Because we're misperceiving the world, thinking that things are independent of our mind, that we don't have any control over them, that they're happening to us. We're caught up in a type of dream.

Debra Maldonado  30:39

Grasping, looking for the mirage in the desert, thirsty and looking for that beautiful place, an oasis where we can relax. That's like life. We're always looking for that oasis.

Robert Maldonado  30:54

We're always thinking that certain things, certain objects will give us happiness.

Debra Maldonado  30:58

That happiness is inside that object. It's in the money. It's in that person.

Robert Maldonado  31:04

Of course, we're always disappointed. Therefore, it gives rise to unhappiness, dissatisfaction, suffering. The cause of suffering is in our misperception of the world.

Debra Maldonado  31:20

You had a beautiful quote today you posted in one of our training groups about the mind causing the suffering.

Robert Maldonado  31:27

Our overidentification with the mind is the cause of our happiness and our unhappiness. We identify with our perceptual experience that if something makes us happy, we think these things are making me happy, or something makes us sad, we think these things are making me sad. But it's simply that we're caught up in our mind, identifying as our mind, whereas the Vedanta philosophy is teaching us that we are the consciousness, the perceiver of our mind experiencing these things.

Debra Maldonado  32:07

It's like watching an actor in a play or the character when watching a movie, but we tend to step in the movie and think we’re the character. But we’re so much greater than the character. Knowing this takes a while. If you're not getting this right away, you feel a lot of resistance to this, it takes a while to get in. Maybe you need to listen to this twenty times before you can really open up to see it, because your ego doesn't want you to know this. Ego wants to stay in its little safety zone. But think of the implications. When I was single, I was looking for a person, then that person would give me happiness, it’s inside that person. Or that person is the one that's causing me pain, or this job is making me happy, or this program is making me happy, this workshop is making me happy, or sad. We tend to project — we were talking about projection — happiness and sadness into these objects. When you do that, you're powerless. You're the one who hurt me, you're the one who can rescue me, that's what keeps people in misery because it's easy to just project and not have self responsibility of “I’m in charge of my own reality.” What we're getting to here with Vedanta, the idea of non-dual, it’s not separate from me, is a very profound way of living your life. Any problem that arises, it's not that you created it. We get a lot of questions, “I created this terrible thing.” It's more like you’re part of Maya. If you can look at it with a perception of not what your old conditioning would think, maybe you could see a possibility in it, rather than always seeing everything in that dualistic way.

Robert Maldonado  33:57

We don't want to leave you with the misunderstanding of reality, this false idea of illusion. That's not really what the philosophy is getting at. It’s emphasizing the illusion, the Maya of things, so that we can understand the true reality. There is an absolute reality. We're not going to leave you with a sense that there's nothing I can hold on to or nothing I can stand on. There is an absolute reality, but it's not the apparent reality. It's not the world as we see it. That's the apparent reality. The absolute reality is your consciousness, your awareness.

Debra Maldonado  34:45

The part of you that's aware of this reality.

Robert Maldonado  34:48

Because that one is always there. If you notice, it's the same awareness that was there when you were five years old, looking up at the stars and wondering where the universe ends. It’s right here right now with you, observing us doing this podcast. It's the same awareness, identical, crystal clear, always present, unchanging. Which means that it's an absolute.

Debra Maldonado  35:23

And full of potential. It's not fixed, it's not locked in. When you see Maya, things are always changing. There’s the unchanging and the changing. If you think about it practically, how can you find security in things that change? When you look at it, you buy your beautiful dream home, in ten or twenty years from now, it's going to be raggedy and old, it's not the same dream home. The partner you meet isn't going to be 25year-old you met, or whenever, you're going to get wrinkles. You can't hang on to experiences, you can't hang on to anything. The need to cling to objects and hold them without change, wanting them to be a certain way is what causes us suffering. Life moves so fast. Most of us spend so much time regretting the past and thinking about what's going to happen in the future, not really being in that moment. There's a concept called the infinite moment, where if you're in the moment, that's where you can experience pure consciousness, where you empty out all the noise of the mind, you're in that moment. That's why we go for a walk in nature, watch the sunset, or have a moment of bliss when we first wake up before the mind comes in, this peace. That's always there with us, the Maya just covers it up. It's not something we have to achieve, to get to, “I have to raise my consciousness”, it's more like you have to let go of the things that are in the way of you seeing what's there.

Robert Maldonado  37:00

That's the practicality of this philosophy. It appears to be very mystical, very transcendent, but in actuality, it has very practical application in that it clarifies our misperception of the world, our relationships, our work, our everyday life. It teaches us exactly what’s going on in these things. When we fall asleep in dream, it accounts for what those dreams mean and how I should understand them. Where do I go when I dream?

Debra Maldonado  37:39

Who am I? When I first started dreaming, I was always the one in the dream, but then you're these other characters in the dream. You live out these other lives in your dream life. When you said that we hang on to these things, we also hang on to our own identity. Our self-identity, persona, is Maya. It's not real, this character we're playing in the world isn't real. You're trying to bolster it up, make it successful, reach accolades, create a family. But the you isn’t as real as you think it is.

Robert Maldonado  38:18

Instead of saying it's not real, it's more like it's an apparent reality. It’s temporary. It's real while it's happening, but we know that it's part of the apparent reality, meaning, it's going to be changing and morphing into something different. Therefore, we can’t expect it to give us consistent happiness. When we expect it to do that, that’s when we suffer because it can’t give us those things.

Debra Maldonado  38:50

Most of our conditioning in life was created because we're worried about what people think of us. If we understand that we're not just this character, we have to use this body we're in and this persona to navigate the world, but don’t think that's all who we are. When we do that, that's where we have misery because we're always trying to protect it, to preserve it, impress others with it. It's very exhausting. We're never satisfied, it’s never enough. Those of you who are like “I want to change the thought of ‘I'm never enough’”, good luck, that’s the ego. The ego never feels like anything is enough.

Robert Maldonado  39:34

The summary of this is the idea called the atman. The atman in you is the absolute awareness that doesn’t change, as opposed to the apparent reality which is always changing, our body is part of that. But the atman is identical to brahman. It's the absolute awareness of the universe. It's indestructible. That's why in our work, we emphasize that the true self can’t be hurt, it can’t be wounded, it can’t be destroyed in any way, it can’t be burnt or cut. That's who you really are. If that's who you really are, what this philosophy is inviting us to do is to live in identity with that true reality in you. Instead of over identifying with our bodies, with our personas, with our external world, which is going to lead to frustration, disappointment, suffering, we identify with the higher self in us.

Debra Maldonado  40:46

It doesn't mean we can't enjoy the world. We can enjoy the fruits of the world, there's some beautiful parts about being alive. But understanding that to not lose that experience because you're always worried about the negative. The mind has a negative bias, it tends to focus on that. We have to really consciously see the good and the beauty in the world, but also not take it so seriously that it makes us stressed out. Life goes by so fast, most of the time we're chasing that one day, we never just stay and be happy right now. If you're listening, take a moment after this podcast is over, just be in silence for five minutes. Just be in the moment, let the world fall away, peel itself away, just be in the center of that atman of who you really are, just watching yourself, watching your breath, just being present. I promise you, it'll give you such an immediate peace that you'll say “I think I'm getting what they're saying.” The things of the world in our mind making those things of the world negative or positive make us suffer.

Robert Maldonado  41:58

A lot of people are ready, because a lot of people are studying yoga philosophy. It's part of the wisdom that comes from the Upanishads. The yoga schools were one of the schools that evolved out of there. What we teach in our coaching models is that this information needs to be part of understanding of why we're coaching people and where we’re leading them to. We're leading them to a deeper understanding of their true selves. The Jungian model is a reflection of what that wisdom of the East teaches us: the true self is always there. It's simply covered over in the Maya, it's covered over and then projected outward, or the assumptions are projected outward to where the individual isn’t seeing their true self. They're seeing their shadows, like Jung says. They're their own persona, their own limited perceptions.

Debra Maldonado  43:09

The coaching techniques, having the right questions to ask your clients, or being coached in this model, you're getting that deeper question. Instead of just “What's the plan for you to get the next goal that you want?”, it’s more about deeper “Why do you want that goal? Why is this person bothering you?” Instead of just mechanically changing behavior, ask those deeper questions. What is this presenting to me? What I can learn from it? How can I open my mind to see what's truly there and then make a better conscious decision in my life? That's really a beautiful thing.

Robert Maldonado  43:47

Self inquiry is the beginning because you start to shift the focus from that external, apparent reality and into what the true nature of my soul is. What is the atman within me, that awareness?

Debra Maldonado  44:03

Like Blake said, when the doors of perception are cleansed, we see things as they truly are infinite. That's really the job. It's not about adding anything, or building something up, building up your ego. It's about letting go of all the misperceptions we have that are taking away our peace in this moment. Great start to our new series, we'll be continuing this topic of non-duality. We have some special guests, we have Swami Tyagananda that we're going to be interviewing in a couple of weeks. We'll be hearing an interview from the source itself. It's going to be exciting. We look forward to bringing more of Eastern philosophy to you to awaken your mind and help you create without suffering. Before you go, don't forget to subscribe to our podcast on Spotify, iTunes, any of the podcast services. If you enjoy the podcast, leave us a review, an honest to review, and share this with other people. We'd love to have more people get this information. Rob and I enjoy the apparent reality but remember, the true nature of reality and yourself is infinite. Take care.

Robert Maldonado  45:12

See you next time.

OUTRO  45:14

Thank you for joining us. Don't forget to subscribe to CreativeMind Soul Sessions. Join us next week as we explore another deep topic where you can consciously create your life with CreativeMind Soul Sessions. See you next time.

The Concept of Maya and Illusion
Perception and The Mind's Role
Real Vs. Perceptual Reality
Disruption in Perception and Fear of the Unknown
Samsara and Seeking Happiness in Objects
Identifying With the True Self
Practical Applications of Non-Duality