When you look at yourself from the perspective of your physical body and that is the only reality that you know, it is as if you were looking at the world around you through the window of a ground floor apartment in the building you live in. The reality that you picture is always what your ego perceives it to be, it is completely related to your personal perceptions and beliefs. Your understanding of life is limited by how your ego perceives and interprets the world.
A consciousness looking out a window from the lowest floor has a different view to that available on higher floors. It believes only what it sees and it doesn't arise in its consciousness the thought that something more, beyond the reality which it looks at every day could exist. It disbelieves people living on the higher floors could see more than it does. You are in a better situation. The fact that you are reading this book proves that.
There are many people who completely "board up" their windows thinking that they don't need any knowledge or they place a television set where the window should be, mistakenly thinking that with the help of television set they would gain knowledge. But knowledge, as I wrote previously, is not everything. Knowledge needs to turn into wisdom, and this can only be gained by experiencing – our own experiencing, not other people's. Furthermore, theoretical knowledge, no matter how advanced, is never sufficient. For each gained aspect of knowledge you need to use it in practice and learn from the mistakes you make, sometimes during numerous experiences. You can certainly gain knowledge otherwise, but you would still lack wisdom. And wisdom you gain slowly. Sometimes easily gained mental knowledge has to be transferred to the emotional sphere, so that it could reach the subconscious mind. Only then would it be consolidated forever. At that point you would have achieved wisdom with a big W. In spite of appearances, on the physical plane there is currently a great lack of wisdom, even though humanity as a whole has a lot of knowledge.
Some people may say that they have free will and thus the right not see and hear. They are so sure about the reality of their world that they won't consider the possibility of the existence of something greater than their own "I" in terms of their physical body. That is why you often don't understand other people, sometimes you don't even understand yourself, because you only look from the perspective which you see, which you are aware of. You feel you are the best among people who live on the same floors as you, (who are on the same level of consciousness as you) and you only hang out with people like that.
Don't condemn yourself, because you could always climb higher and see whatever people living on higher floors see. You only have to want that. Who knows, maybe you would find it breathtaking? You would wonder why you didn't want to see all of that before. And on each higher floor you would see more and more. However, even while living on a higher floor you could have a distorted view. It all depends on how clean your windows are. If your windows are clean then your view would be unrestricted. However, glass is often tainted by mistaken beliefs. While moving on to a higher level you often carry over your beliefs from the previous floor and replicate the mistakes you make in perceptions. You have to be ready to revise any beliefs, to sanitize them. On each higher floor your range of perceptions would broaden. You would be more conscious of broader and broader perspectives – in addition to what you had seen before there would be a new range added. The main goal is lucidity of perception – clean windows, not covered by cultural, family or other beliefs.
In the past, people commonly believed that the Earth was flat. This belief was adopted by people who had knowledge, in other words the "omniscient" priests. They did this to keep the uneducated society in submission. I write more about that in the chapter "Fall of Civilization". People were afraid to walk too far from their homes because they believed that they could fall into an abyss, to hell. It was the same with boats. People claimed that if boats drifted too far, they would fall off the edge of the world or be eaten by dragons. This type of deceptive belief limited people so much that they didn't see the need to search for greater knowledge or understanding. This was created by only one idea, overblown to an extortionate level. That idea was the image of the devil. It created great ignorance and superstition which filled people with fear and paralyzed their actions. Next were the tricks of priests' about an angry, punishing God. Fearful, simple people fell for this. In the past such attitudes and beliefs filled people with fear and worry. It's no different today, except for the subject of fear changing. However, even now for many people the idea of the devil is still alive and influences their attitudes.
A few years ago I was invited on a catholic television program to participate in an on-air group discussion. During the discussion someone said something to the effect that the devil is the main reason for every evil. I said that it's very easy to blame the devil for everything, just as it was done in a past with scapegoats. I added that the devil didn't exist, and really only lived in people's consciousness. Several people on the panel strongly disagreed with me. So I quoted Pope John Paul II's words to validate this position. During his visit to the United States in 1999 Pope John Paul II clearly said that hell and the devil were only metaphors expressing a state of existence without God. The participants in the discussion jumped on me then, incensed, pointing to the Bible and its inspired writings.
As you can see, dear reader, even today during these "enlightened" times people who desire the maintenance of the status quo at all costs hold on to their old beliefs even after the Pope himself denies them. What they built their life on is not sustainable and realizing that appalls them. Many people have the mistaken belief that they are better, unique. That is why they have an illusion that they would go to Heaven, to God as a reward. Since there is no hell, and everyone has an equal chance then what is their uniqueness based on? Such people have to manage their overblown spiritual ego which despises other humans. This type of ego is a lot harder to tame than the small, self-focused ego, which you deal with on a daily basis and which is mostly displayed through selfishness and indifference to others.
As I mentioned before, education is just knowledge – obtained and taught. It only gains value when it's turned into wisdom. Without wisdom, knowledge leads people to nonsense. Knowledge is needed but knowledge alone is not enough. By relying solely on knowledge we would only reach a certain level of growth after which we would hit our heads against the ceiling and we would be unable to go beyond that level. That is why there is so much rubbish in the media and there is no one to correct it. And if people do come forward to correct it, most likely they would be publicly mocked (the same as occurred in my case with hell). This makes it harder to promulgate the truth. People who run media companies haven't grown to deal with the truth yet, and they mistakenly belief in old patterns. They resemble the former priests who wanted to rule over the ignorant masses.
What great courage heroes and visionaries like Columbus, Magellan and other discoverers had. Despite talk of the devil and superstitions people, they were brave enough to change basic beliefs during their times (for example: that the earth was flat). They led humanity in its entirety to change its beliefs with their relentless faith. Certainly, they also learned from their mistakes, but thanks to those mistakes their horizons were broadened, and through them the horizons of other people as well. Ultimately, they and others crossed the borders of the world of illusion, borders of our own beliefs. They proved that the truth was different and that the idea of the sun ostensibly circling the Earth was an illusion. There were many such great people. Each of them acted with a Higher Consciousness. It is this Higher Consciousness that leads people to understand that no set of beliefs or attitudes could be fixed. If a person is to grow and live successfully then he has to change his views and beliefs. And when it is time for serious changes (as applies now), then the existing worldview would also have to change. There is no other path.