Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson


             Many spiritual teachers and new age gurus talk about raising our vibratory rates. What they are really talking about is changing the way that we relate to the world, each other and our minds. Most spiritual beliefs include the proposition that we have a soul, or spirit, that is separate from our minds and thoughts. It is commonly referred to as the “higher self”, or an awareness of the perceived and the perceiver. When we can observe our minds thinking, our personalities working, our bodies doing, we can stop being held captive to these aspects of ourselves and begin to become aware.

            We constantly struggle with how we perceive the world and how we fit in it. This is the role of philosophy, the study of life. Many scientists, theologians, spiritual leaders and holy men have endeavored to explain why we see the world the way we do and why we suffer. Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, and scores of prophets and gurus have taken turns sharing wisdom and their perspective of how to become happy and enjoy our lives.

            The current notion is to “raise our vibratory rate.” There are no machines existing that measure vibratory rate, so this must mean something other than a physical phenomenon. There are many metaphors running rampant through this belief system, such as “being the light”, “we are not the Doer”, and others. What, we ask, does this really mean? I believe that the basic message of all religions and philosophies is that in order to truly relate to this world and understand our roles in it we have to attain a certain manner of thinking and awareness of our surroundings.

            Another way of describing this concept is that we actually do not raise our vibratory rates, we simply stop those beliefs that distract us from our true nature. Our true nature is energy, awareness and being that is not our bodies, thoughts and beliefs. It is this energy that gives us life, breath, and awareness, and survives the cessation of our physical bodies. When we become trapped in the beliefs that we are our thoughts, our bodies, our circumstances, we cannot understand life from the bigger perspective. The bigger picture is that we are here to have experiences and to learn how to love others and ourselves without condition, and this leads to happiness and bliss.

            We talk in terms of “raising vibratory rates” to describe how we feel. When we feel light and happy, we have “raised our vibratory rate”. When we feel sad and depressed, we have “lowered our vibratory rate”. So we are actually talking about how we feel about others and ourselves. Feelings are tied to thoughts, thoughts are tied to beliefs, and beliefs are tied to our experiences, and our experiences may not be what we perceive them to be.

            Let me give an example of how we perceive the world can make a huge difference on how we experience it, what we believe about it, what we think about and how we feel. I was on a flight the other day and the attendant announced that there was a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor on board. The Congressional Medal of Honor is given for military bravery far above what is expected in battle. This particular man had won his CMH in Vietnam, a war that produced few heroes and divided the United States. The thought that went through my mind as the man received thanks and applause, was that we should be giving the same accolades to men who had refused to fight and declared Conscientious Objector status or fled to Canada. These were pacifists who were ready to give up everything they had for their belief that killing others was not an appropriate way to handle the situation. People who are willing to sacrifice for non-violence are just as honorable and courageous as those who are willing to kill others to keep what they have. Until we are willing to honor those who refuse to fight, we will continue to have war and killing.

            Even in this age of “raising our vibratory rate”, we continue to celebrate those who kill. Whether it is “the enemy”, or an animal, or ourselves through addiction and pain, we glorify the taking of life. One of the biggest debates we have now is over abortion. People take hard stands on these issues and refuse to compromise. The irony of all of this is karma will even it all out in the end. When we commit violence to force compliance with our beliefs, we are only hurting ourselves. It is interesting that the Dalai Lama resigned because he could see that the Buddhists were not following their own beliefs when they rioted to free Tibet. When people refuse to participate in violence, peace will come. This is “raising vibratory rate”.