THE REAL SELF
© January 2011, The Center For Development
This article may seem to be outlandish, or anti-biblical. However, please try to reserve judgment. The concepts are worth considering. This article presents a non-dualistic thought system that I believe is not anti-biblical at all, but represents a deep way of interpreting some of the truths in the bible and in other holy books.
I am sharing the article because it has been extremely helpful for me and for others. I guarantee it will cure you of negativity, despair and cynicism if you assimilate it into your consciousness and really live the principles. However, they are not always easy to put into practice, at times.
For more on this subject, I recommend the CDs and books from the Shanti Christo Foundation at www.shantichristo.com or (505) 216-7541. Another version of this article is also found in The Real Self, a small book I wrote. It is similar to this article, and just states the ideas a little differently at times. It is a somewhat expanded and refined version of this article.
WARNING! The principles and concepts in this article flow together as one whole thought system. I call this the new thought system, to contrast it to our usual ways of thinking.
Because they form an integrated whole system, if you try to pick and choose from among them, deciding you like some of the ideas, but you reject others of them, you will become confused and you will not be able to understand and live the principles.
This is because the ideas depend upon each other. They form what might be called a mystical whole system of thought that Christ, Buddha, Krishna and others have taught. In any whole system, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You cannot add or subtract from it, or change it, and expect the system to work correctly. This is most important.
Therefore, if one of the ideas in this article rubs you the wrong way, do not reject it, as it will ruin the entire system. Instead, sit with it a while. Perhaps it needs more explaining, or it needs to be viewed in context. At some time, I will expand the sections below to include more explanation.
This concept of a whole system is, in a way, similar to nutritional balancing science. We find that nutritional balancing science consists of a series of elements such as a particular diet, particular types and amounts of drinking water, and so on. If one “dissects” the system and rearranges it, leaving out parts and adding new ones thinking that you know better, most often you will inevitably ruin it and you will not get good results. I encounter this almost on a daily basis. The same is true of this thought system. If at all possible, do not dissect it, or analyze it too much, or reject parts of it, or make your own additions and corrections. This will cause endless confusion and you will be unable to learn it properly.
Here are the ideas, followed by explanations.
* I Choose to Love Myself
* I Am Sovereign and All-Powerful
* I Remain in the Present
* Every Thought is Powerful
* I Take Full Responsibility For My Life
* All Events Are Neutral
* My Past is Perfect
* No Seriousness Allowed
* All the World is a Stage
* I Choose to Radiate, Not Absorb
* I Give From Fullness
* I Do Not Seek For Love
* I Allow, Rather than Strive
* I Choose for Peace
* I Forgive Seventy Times Seven Times
* My Issues are never just Mine
* I Choose To Let My Light Shine
* Love Alone Heals
* I Stop Seeking. I Have Found
* There is No Guilt
* There Are No Victims
* Failure is Impossible
I CHOOSE TO LOVE MYSELF
This is a central principle. It is based on the idea that I am always one with God, always loved, and never alone. This is a real feeling, but it begins with a decision. Only after one makes the decision to love the self will the feeling begin to be experienced and felt. The decision must come first, and the feeling will follow.
Love yourself as God loves you - totally and unconditionally. No ifs, ands or buts! Love all your creations, even what you consider mistakes, incompetence, selfishness and all else, because only love heals. You can only know the Father by loving his children - including you. Include yourself in the circle of your love, in the circle of your giving.
Most people love some parts of the self, but not others. As a result, you may accept people, ideas, and things into your life that are not really worthy of you, and reject goodness, prosperity, and love that is yours. So look carefully for thoughts of unworthiness, undeservedness, and even self-loathing - and let them go. There is no conflict here with Christianity, as I see it. We have all made mistakes or sinned. However, Jesus brought grace and the law of grace. So it is time to stop loathing the self.
Loving the self does not mean indulging the ego. The ego is here defined as the confused mix of fears, anxieties and other baggage learned from the world. It is a substitute for the real self, which is all-knowing and one with the Creator. Living the new thought system involves discerning which voice is speaking to you, the ego or the real self.
Exercise: Say, many times, "I am loved, I am loving, I am lovable". If any of these statements are difficult for you, work with them until they feel totally comfortable.
I AM ALWAYS SOVEREIGN AND ALL-POWERFUL
Restoring a feeling of power is central to the new thought system. You are a sovereign master. That is your nature as a spiritual being. Even if you are in prison, this does not affect your basic identity. As a result, no one does anything to you without your permission.
Note however, you can use your power to give your power away. This is what most people do most of the time. Then they mistakenly blame others for circumstances and misfortunes.
Sometimes, a person does not take back his or her own power for fear that he will abuse it., or that one does not deserve it. You may look at politicians or others and see what seems to be the abuse of power. Let us address this concern.
Within this new thought system, there is no such thing as abuse of power. Everyone operates from his or her power all the time as a co-creator of their lives. There may be an agreement with another that one will oppress the other. But this is done from a position of sovereignty of BOTH participants.
The senses deceive one into thinking some are powerful while others are not. This is never the truth in the new thought system. Full power is the reality of spirit. Therefore, let go of the fear of power. If you want to feel powerless, say "I use all my sovereign power to become terrified of my power".
A logical extension of this idea is that you have no power over others, as they are all-powerful, too. Therefore you cannot hurt another at the deepest level. This is a very difficult idea for most people. It simply means that if someone is harmed, it is always done, at the deepest level, with the consent of both parties. I know this will sound odd, especially if what occurs is seemingly not under a person’s control at all, such as an earthquake or a tornado. However, in this system of thinking, which is just the ancient mystical way of looking at things, each of us is all-powerful and connected to everything at the highest level. Therefore, nothing just ‘happens’ totally by accident without our knowledge and permission.
Exercise: Repeat often, "I and I alone created this situation. Thus I have the power to correct it". Repeat often, "I and I alone am sovereign in my life". The opposite of sovereignty is victimhood or 'subject to'. Note whenever you feel like a victim and you will know when you have given your power away. Keep loving yourself and take your power back.
I REMAIN IN THE PRESENT MOMENT
Only the present is real. All power is in the present. Concerns over the past or future must be handled in the present. All information is available in the present. Living in the present is the best preparation for the future. In fact, in the new thought system time is unreal, as it is a function of the ego. Any issue that you must clear up from the past must be handled in the present, so staying in the present is not a way of avoiding problems. It is merely a perspective.
Exercise: Repeat often, "I am in the right place at the right time". If you find yourself in guilt or remorse, you are in the past. If you find yourself anxious or afraid, you are in the future. Most people live in the past or future 95% of the time. Pull yourself back to the present, thousands of times if necessary, until the mind learns better how to stay in the present and not drift into the past or the future.
EVERY THOUGHT IS POWERFUL
Be vigilant with your thoughts. Your thoughts are like pebbles thrown into a pond. Each creates a ripple that spreads out to all of humanity, influencing not only your life but that of everyone around you. The saying, "you can't afford a negative thought" is far truer than one might imagine.
Many people pray, affirm and strive hard for what they desire. Results are often slow in coming because in between these prayers and affirmations, they indulge the opposite thoughts - fear, anxiety, and thoughts of undeserving. This weakens or neutralizes the positive thoughts. The phrase from the bible for this principle is "be vigilant for the Kingdom". A Course In Miracles expresses it as "remember only your loving thoughts, and teach only love."
Exercise: Learning to observe your thoughts takes some practice. It helps to practice by slowing down. Walk slower, eat slower, talk slower and breathe slower and deeper. This will slow down the thought process and make it easier to listen to your thoughts. You can always speed up later, once you understand your thinking process better.
I TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY LIFE
Taking full responsibility for your life is taking back your power. If you are not responsible, it means someone or something else is controlling you, and you are not powerful.
Our modern welfare society teaches people they are not responsible for their lives. We are told that parents, governments, corporations, or genetic 'accidents' like race and sex cause our problems. This is always a lie. It is the victim mentality and the opposite of responsibility and personal power.
In many people's minds, responsibility is linked to guilt. If one is responsible, it means one is guilty of something. It is important to separate these. Responsibility means the ability to respond. Guilt is a judgment of blame. Let go of any negative associations with the idea of or the word responsibility.
Responsibility for one's entire life may feel burdensome. Remind yourself that although responsibility is yours, “of yourself you do nothing”, as the bible states. The Father or God does it through you.
Many people feel that being responsible is a heavy burden. This is usually because they have taken on more than their share. They believe they are good people for feeling responsible for the problems or situations of others. You are not responsible for others, as they are sovereign, even if they seem dependent and helpless. Partial exceptions under our laws are minor children. Parents are responsible for their children under the law. However, even minor children have chosen their situation at the highest level. Also, the government is responsible under the Constitution for the protection of the nation, for example.
Exercise: Notice whenever you feel like a victim - of your birth, your genetics, your friends, your job, your spouse, your children, your dog, illness, poverty, misfortune and so forth and so on. You will be amazed at how often this old pattern surfaces.
ALL EVENTS ARE NEUTRAL
Events just are. We judge them and give them meaning. A rainstorm can be judged as negative if you are planning a picnic, or very positive if you are a farmer and depend on the rain for your crops.
Even an earthquake that kills thousands may cause changes that eventually are positive for millions of people. If events were not neutral, one would be a slave to them or a victim of them. You and only you give meaning to events through your perception and judgment of them. A key to the new thought system is shifting the way you perceive events.
The ego mind will ask, "How can you say the holocaust was a neutral event!" "What about the destruction of the planet by pollution?" Well, perhaps the holocaust was a huge cleansing of the planet, needed to wake up many sleepy minds. Maybe the destruction of life on the planet is necessary to allow a more advanced civilization to develop here. And of course, these events only affect physical life, not the spiritual side of life, which cannot be harmed or destroyed. Challenge your friends and your ego to prove these possibilities incorrect.
Exercise: Recall often the phrase, “All events are neutral. I give meaning to events by my perceptions of them”.
I AM HERE TO WAKE UP
The holy spirit is orchestrating your life to help you wake up. It is only the ego that wants the "comfortable life". The spirit wants to wake up, and brings about whatever is best for your particular ego structure to jolt the soul into awakening. If you don't get the message this time around, another situation will be presented.
This is a very important principle, for example, for those who are ill. It is tempting to become angry that one cannot participate in life as others can, or one cannot think clearly, or that one is not as attractive or athletic as others. Holding these thoughts actually can make a person more ill.
An excellent way to shift these thoughts is to recall that “I am here to wake up”. In other words, I am not here to just run around, be popular, have a lot of things or friends, and so on. I am here to wake up, and although I do not understand it, I accept that my illness, my weakness or whatever it is that seems bad or wrong is somehow helping me to wake up and discover who I am at the highest level.
Such thinking is fabulous if you can manage it whenever you feel sorry for yourself because you don’t have enough money, friends, health, fun, etc. A quote from the bible comes to mind that “the lord chastens those he loves most”. This does mean you are condemned to a life of suffering. Quite the opposite, in fact. It means that some of us, for whatever reason, are given obstacles or challenges because we are loved so much and the creator or god or the higher self wishes for us to overcome the obstacle and in so doing wake up to our real self.
Exercise: Repeat often: "I can be at peace with this. I am here to wake up”.
MY PAST IS PERFECT
The fearful ego loves to dwell on the dramas of childhood, past relationships, illnesses, abuse, etc. The fact is, it was all perfect because it brought you to your present place of open-mindedness and wisdom.
If things had been different, you might never have arrived where you are today. Besides, if things had been different, you might well be dead of a car accident or something else. Notice how insane it is to say "what if", or "if only". Let go of any such crazy thoughts as they come up. This way of reviewing or thinking of the past indeed offers many opportunities to change your perception of events.
This does not mean to deny pain you may feel about your past. You can still realize that the past was perfect, even if you experienced it as painful. By so doing, painful memories will begin to subside. However, you will find yourself free of your past in a strange way. Instead of pulling you back, seeing your past as perfect allows you to slowly come to peace with past events and traumas so that you can let them go more easily.
ALL THE WORLD IS A STAGE
This principle can help one understand the apparent insanity around us. It states that the world we see is but the projection of people’s thoughts, somewhat like a motion picture, which is just a projection. It appears odd or even insane, at times, because many minds are very mixed up. Some, for example, think violent thoughts. As a result, they create violence in their lives and those around them. Others think thoughts of lack, and indeed they outpicture or co-create situations of famines or great lack. Others think thoughts of illness, and diseases result.
This idea is not new. In Buddhism, for example, the world is called maya or illusion. Physical events in the world are viewed as a kind of stage play where ego minds act out their dramas. In fact, we are the actors, the directors, the audience, and the critics who write the reviews.
For their role in the dramas of life, some people choose to be an oppressor, or the oppressed, the cowboy, the villain, the comedian, the murderer, etc. Some choose life as a tragedy, while a few choose life to be a comedy, or perhaps an action thriller. At the end of the story, they all pack up and go home together, and all is well.
This idea of seeing the world as a stage upon which people play out various dramas can help you not to take things too seriously. It can also help you to see that if you do not like the role in the play that you have consciously or unconsciously chosen, you can change it. It is just an act, so with a little effort you can decide, for example, that you want to play a happier role, perhaps. This may seem impossible, but it is not impossible at all. Many people figure this out and just make a decision to change their script, so to speak.
Exercise: Imagine playing different parts in a play. Realize they are all equal in value. Try on different parts for yourself and don't be afraid of your 'image'.
COMMITMENT IS NEEDED, BUT NO SERIOUSNESS ALLOWED
If the world you see is but a projection of the thoughts of billions of people, it is definitely unreal, just as a movie is not real life.
Taking the world too seriously invariably leads to problems, just as if you took every fantasy movie you saw seriously. Playfulness is a quality of enlightenment. A sense of humor is a mark of wisdom.
The ego mind may scream, "How can I laugh when I have no money, or I feel terrible?" You can! And often it will break an impasse.
Too much seriousness is pathological. Try to remember this. It can be a sign you are trying too hard, for example. This does not mean to avoid commitments and obligations. Commitment is necessary, but it needn't be somber and heavy.
Exercise: See the humor in everything. Be silly. Play. See what events or subjects cause you to be serious - politics, religion, environmentalism or others, and don't let it happen! See the world as a stage play only. Watch out for people who are too serious. Something is not quite right with them or they would be able to step back and laugh at themselves and at everything else. Dr. Bernard Jensen, one of my mentors, used to say “Wear the world like a loose coat”.
I CHOOSE TO RADIATE RATHER THAN ABSORB
This interesting principle states that one is here to extend love, not to absorb all the apparent misery that is in the world. This idea is especially important for those 'sensitive' people, who pick up others' vibrations. Taking in the vibes around you, instead of putting out your truth and your love, can really trip you up.
The idea of taking in the vibrations of others and “sharing the misery” or commiserating, as it is called, it is an integral part of the old thought system. One is accepted and feels one is a good person because one commiserates with others, that is - joining others in their misery. However, it is possible to be empathetic without soaking it up.
I must say, it is not an easy task, however, at least not for me and most people I know. As one’s health improves, it definitely gets easier, however. Also, one must be vigilant or it is easy to get trapped and back into old habits of thought.
It is a choice to constantly absorb the energies of others. It is fine to do so if you wish. However, ultimately, you are here to radiate or extend the love and the peace of God, and it is a choice that each of us has.
Exercise: The following I have found helpful. Sit comfortably in a chair or lie down, if you prefer. Now imagine you have a light bulb or a giant flame in the middle of your chest, and you are radiating or extending your light outward in all directions. Feel deeply what this is like, how it feels to you, and perhaps how it would feel to others. When you get up, try to walk around and hold onto this feeling of radiating your light and your warmth, rather than just absorb the energies that are out there around you.
You may want to say, “I am here to radiate and extend love. I am not here to absorb the energy of others”. It doesn't matter what others do or say. I radiate my light. I do not hide my light under a bushel.
I GIVE FROM FULLNESS
Giving is wonderful. How you give makes a difference, however, and can mean the difference between health and disease, or wealth and poverty.
There are two ways to give, from fullness or from emptiness. Giving from emptiness is based on separation or lack of self-love. One gives out of obligation, guilt, fear of consequences or to compensate for feelings of low self-worth. One often feels one has not given enough, which just creates more guilt and even self-loathing.
The other option is giving from fullness. It is quite different, and based on full self-love. One first allows oneself to receive and to be filled, and when one feels filled, then one simply allows this fullness to overflow onto others. There is no obligation, no guilt and no compulsion to give. It is totally natural, like water overflowing a cup.
If the feeling of fullness goes away, one knows one has either given too much for the moment, or that one has temporarily cut oneself off from the divine supply.
To avoid adrenal burnout, it is critical to give from fullness. This is an important principle of health and wealth.
Imagine holding a cup under the faucet. After it fills up completely, it begins to spill out onto your hand, and everywhere else. That is how you want to give. You are so full of love that it literally overflows and spills out onto others and onto all your activities.
Exercise: Notice the feeling when you give. Learn to discern the difference between giving from fullness and giving from emptiness, compulsion, guilt, fear, even anger. If the latter is occurring, stop and reflect. Realize you will burn out if you continue to give for the wrong reasons and from emptiness. Even if you don’t burn out or spend all your time or money in this way, it is not as good as giving from fullness, which has an entirely different feeling. This feeling is related to the paragraphs above about radiating your light.
I DO NOT SEEK FOR LOVE
You are the expression of the creator’s love in physical form. That is another central principle of the new thought system. Love in this thought system is not an emotion or feeling. It is an energy, like the force in Star Wars or the tao in Taoism. It has nothing to do with romance, family or friends.
This is a most important principle. You are not someone’s son or daughter, husband or mother. You are the way the creator expresses on this physical planet. You need a body here because that is how others can see and interact with you. Also, the body is giving you a unique opportunity to learn many things and learn who you really are.
Once again, however, in fact you are the extension of the creator’s love into this world of form. It is a kind of playground for souls who are learning who they are and how things really work in a physical dimension.
Most people seek love outside of themselves. They may do this by seeking a friend or a mate, or perhaps by seeking the right job or career. Others believe if they just have enough or ore money, or a different house or car, perhaps, that they will feel this love they seek.
If you seek for love outside yourself, in people, places, things, or pets, you will become frustrated because you have denied who you are! You have lied to yourself. It is like the person who travels the world seeking treasure when the treasure is right there in one’s own back yard.
It is fine to have companions, houses, money and all the rest. However, let go of the idea of seeking for love. You can seek for companionship or support, but these are not love. Keep the distinction clear. Love, again, is the primal energy of the creator.
In fact, in the new thought system, any use of the body to get anything is a mistake. Your body is a communication device, a way to connect with others to spread the love that you are. The only relevant question regarding it is, “What do I wish to communicate?”
Rather than seeking for love, be the presence of love, using the criteria for giving from fullness outlined above. Love will return to you, because everything is an aspect of yourself. Also, as you give, you will receive. By the same reasoning, teach only love, because as you teach, you will learn more about love, and about how this world really works at the highest level.
Exercise: Repeat "I am loved, I am loving, I am lovable". Especially note if you have difficulty with any of these phrases. Also repeat often, “I am the presence of love in physical form. Therefore, I have no need to seek for love.”
I ALLOW, RATHER THAN STRIVE
This is a subtle principle. The ego strives to get what it wants. Striving involves effort, such as working hard, running around, worrying, reading a lot of scripture, perhaps, affirming or studying hard. Striving assumes one is powerless and separate from God, and that must somehow “make” one’s life happen. This is, in fact, a step that we all must take. However, many become fixed on some future goal, and as a result become oblivious to opportunities and events in the present.
Allowing is different. It assumes one is all-powerful and totally loved, and it assumes that the things one desires are already there. One just needs to receive them. Allowing is not the same type of struggle, although it requires some effort for most people.
It is about becoming open, relaxed, aware, empty or somewhat hollow inside, receptive, available, staying in the present, knowing that the things one wants just need to be received. One can be grateful for them, even if they have not manifested yet.
The difference between striving and allowing is similar to the difference between judging and discerning. The fearful ego strives and judges. The spiritual self or high self as some call it, discerns and allows.
These two modes of operating feel very different. Striving, pushing or willfulness can be very hard on the body. Allowing is more yin, more receptive, and tends to heal the body and mind. Making a balance between the two and noting how they feel is most helpful.
Exercise: Be aware of the differences between striving and allowing in your daily life. If you want something in your life, as we all do, can you work on opening yourself up to receive it or allow it to come to you, rather than strive or force it to ‘make it happen’? This is a very subtle difference.
For example, to heal you may need to eat better and sleep more, and remember to take supplements and saunas. You can either do this with a lot of forcing and striving, or you can relax into it, set up routines and focus on allowing and making the space for the new routines in your life.
I found the Roy Masters meditation is needed or at least very helpful for this, in my view. It is a subtle way to use your will and your striving to release the lower will and allow more to come into one’s life.
I CHOOSE FOR PEACE
Much of the new thought system is about choices - often about choices you don't believe you have. Abraham Lincoln once said that people are about as happy as they choose to be. Yet how often do we believe that our happiness depends on something or someone outside ourselves?
It is very important to understand that choosing for peace does not mean to be a doormat, to walk on eggshells, bend over backwards or give in to anyone or anything. It is about being at peace within, no matter what the outside circumstances are. One may have to grab a gun and shoot, but it can be done from a place of peace within, not out of rage or fear.
Choosing for love is also about a place within. It does not matter if others are loving toward you. You can choose to respond with love no matter what. One can decide for love and peace, and then say or do whatever the holy spirit guides you to do. If you do this, your behavior may shock others. You may yell, scream, or hit someone. However, it will not be from anger or fear. It will simply be the most appropriate response in the moment.
The choice for peace, and the choice to love, can be made at any time, no matter what the circumstances. This is a function of your sovereignty and your power.
Exercise: Repeat often, "I choose to teach only love". "I can be at peace with this".
I FORGIVE SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN TIMES
Forgiveness is a key to transforming the mind. It is an expression of one’s love and power. It also goes against the world's system of judgment and blame. Therefore it helps one let go of the old thought system. Forgive, forgive and forgive some more.
Forgiving others does not mean to condone another's words or behavior, nor does it mean one needs to hang around others or even be friendly with them. One might even send another to jail, because actions have consequences. However, it can be done with a forgiving attitude, not anger or fear. Forgiving means one holds no grudges, and that one chooses to see the Christ in everyone, with no exceptions.
At the highest level, all forgiveness is really forgiveness of oneself for one’s misperceptions. Because no one can hurt you, no one has ever wronged you. You have just misperceived events. Forgiveness is not really necessary if one is living the new thought system. After all, why would you need to forgive anyone if they never really did anything to you without your consent? However, forgiveness is necessary until one is fully committed to the new thought system.
Exercise: Try forgiving everyone, over and over. Try it with other drivers on the road, your friends, family, police, politicians, and the IRS. It is actually a very interesting exercise. Note how you feel. You will generally feel quite empowered, because it actually requires power to forgive others. In fact, it is a secret of power.
MY ISSUES ARE NEVER JUST MINE
This idea states that one’s problems or concerns are not necessarily personal, although they may appear that way. In fact, one never knows if the issue even originated with oneself, or if one tuned into it from others. For example, money is an issue for many people. Is it really just an individual issue, or is it possible one could tune into this issue out of compassion to help heal it, since it affects millions around the world?
It may sound strange that one would take on other's issues. But think for a minute. You probably have many more resources, support, access to books, etc. than for instance a person living in total poverty in Bangladesh. Why is it so strange that you might volunteer to help the less fortunate this way? Perhaps you are just helping with God's 'case load' by taking on the issue of money, or health, or relationship problems.
One assumes a part of the burden out of compassion and love for humanity. One will never be given more than one can handle, hopefully.
See this way, there are only collective issues, because there is only one Mind in the new thought system. It is often written with a capital M to distinguish it from the little ego mind. Each one of us is part of that Mind, so each is affected by collective issues. NO issue is just yours. We come to earth to take on certain issues and heal them - not just for ourselves, but for all of humanity.
The key is not to take anything personally!!! Instead, celebrate your greatness, your compassion and your power to take on certain issues. Do not waste a moment trying to figure out whose issue this is, or why you have to deal with it. Instead, just heal it!
I know this goes against most psychological teaching, which encourages one to dig into one’s past to find the cause of the problem and analyze it to death. The new thought system is only concerned with healing. You need not analyze too much. The healing is usually about forgiving yourself and others, using your common sense, reading and learning about the problem and proceeding.
A common trap people fall into is self-judgment and guilt about the nature or magnitude of one's problems or situation. This trap can produce paralysis that stops the healing process. Time to let that one go! Realize that no problem is too large, and it is never just your problem.
I CHOOSE TO LET MY LIGHT SHINE FORTH
Many people are afraid of being different, afraid of not being accepted by friends or family, afraid of standing out in the crowd, afraid of being persecuted for their views, and definitely afraid of their greatness.
There is a very important paradox here. At the highest level, one will connect best or most deeply with others when one is most thoroughly in one’s own power and center. This is because at those moments, one is operating from one’s essence. This allows a person to connect best with the essence of others.
One will not connect well with others when seeking to please others or win their approval. That is just repression or manipulation, which blocks the love and light that one is, blocking the true connection with others. The masters Jesus, Buddha and countless others only accomplished what they did by breaking free of conventions, being a little outrageous, and letting their light shine forth to the world.
This principle is not a license to become crazy or rebellious for its own sake, or to run away from problems. It is about being authentic, honest and genuine. As the teenagers say, ‘get real’ and ‘stay real’. Always come from a loving place. However, if others refuse to take responsibility for their lives and insist that you share their misery, the most loving solution may be to let them go their way and you go yours.
Exercise: Check to make sure you are living from your real, authentic self, and not acting in ways that are not to your liking, but you think you must do so to please others.
Why conform to an insane world? Drop the phoniness and stay real, even if it costs you a few friends or family members. You will gain new friends and new family, as there really is no such thing as loss in the new thought system. Being yourself all the time may mean being a little outrageous. That is perfectly acceptable as long as it is not just an act or a rebelliousness for its own sake.
And do not hide your light under a bushel. Let it shine forth.
LOVE ALONE HEALS
Bring your love to EVERYTHING that comes your way. This means to love your hurts, your fears, your anger and all else! All of it. Hold nothing back from your love. When you hold back your love from some part of yourself or some emotion or situation, you are really saying that this aspect, this problem, this relationship is too awful for God (who is Love) to handle. Examine that thought, see how insane it is and let it go.
Love yourself for judging yourself. Love yourself for being able to use your infinite power to be so fearful or petty. Love yourself when you are angry or really stupid in some way.
Do not deny love to any part of yourself. You must embrace a thing in order to transcend it. To embrace it means to wrap it in your love.
Exercise: Repeat many times: "Love allows all things. Love embraces all things. Love trusts all things. And by so doing, Love transcends and overcomes all things."
I NO LONGER AM A SEEKER, AS I HAVE FOUND
Many people pride themselves on being a seeker. They are proud of this. While it sounds good, however, seeking often sets up an odd psychology in the mind. The psychological effect of seeking all the time is that you are telling yourself that you have not found – over and over again.
In fact, priding yourself because you seek is like priding yourself because you are trying. What matters is not trying, but doing. Similarly, what matters is finding, not seeking. Many waste years and years seeking for truth.
Many people become professional seekers. It becomes the purpose of their lives. At a subtle level, they do not want to find the truth, as it would be the end of their quest. The ego often likes seeking, because it gives it something to do. True ‘finding’ means the end of the reign of the ego mind, as it would be much less necessary.
An altogether different strategy is to begin with the realization that one has found. This may seem odd. But it is not. It sets up a different dynamic in the mind that allows it to move forward, rather than keep assuming that it has not found.
The same principle is used in many visualizations. Basketball players, for example, are taught to visualize getting the ball in the hoop, not seeking the hoop.
You, as spirit, already know the answers. Realize the ego loves to seek, but not to find. For if it found, the game would be over - and with it, the ego's purpose. So searching becomes the important thing, and the real goal - to find the truth - is forgotten.
By deciding one has found, a new mental pattern arises. First, the ego is relieved of its duty to seek, and the mind can rest. Second, saying one has found affirms that this is the truth. Saying one is a seeker, one perpetuates seeking, not finding.
A Course In Miracles is very clear there are two phases to spirituality. The first is called the journey to the kingdom. This is the 'spiritual path'. This has an end, and one is to get there as fast as possible. One spends the rest of one’s life, and hopefully a lot of time, in the second phase. This is called the journey within the kingdom. One looks the same, and life might look outwardly similar, but one is transformed.
An old Zen parable expresses it well: “Before I was enlightened, I chopped wood and carried water. After I was enlightened, I chopped wood and carried water.” In other words, once you have found the truth, your life may look the same on the outside. However, you are really transformed and all is different inside.
Some will say the idea of assuming you have found the truth is phony. They say it is just a way out of having to process your issues. Saying that ‘I have found’, rather than believe that ‘I am seeking’, may sound arrogant, and seems to deny the 'process' of your journey. This is not so. One is always to stay in the present, and therefore experience and embrace everything that comes up. And the only arrogance is to deny the reality of spirit, the one who knows.
Also, although one has found, it does not mean one is not learning and growing. It just means that one is knowing, underneath, not a poor lost soul, as many believe they are.
A related topic is to realize that the spiritual search begins from the point of view of the ego mind. As old tactics fail to bring happiness, the ego looks for new ones and comes across the spiritual seeking mentality. It is just another subtle ego trip. Saying “I have found” derails this ego ploy and sets one on a fast course toward mastery.
THERE IS NO GUILT AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL
This is a confusing idea. However, it follows logically from some of the earlier ideas in this article. How can one be guilty of anything if the others involved chose the event from their own place of power and sovereignty? The mind will reel at this, and says, But I harmed a small child, for example, or I wasted so much money or time. Or perhaps, it was an innocent bystander that I hit with my car.
The answer is that at the highest level nothing happens without full agreement of all parties, even if it involves a young baby. A young child is still a mature soul who simply has a very undeveloped body and brain.
The reason this concept is so important is that guilt can waste an entire lifetime in some cases. Many environmentalists are extremely guilty, for example, as are many others such as some parents and others. Guild can even dominate one's life. Yet it serves no real purpose. If one has committed a crime or improper action, one should take stock, repent, make reparations if necessary, forgive oneself, and let it go.
Your mission on earth is not to wallow in guilt, but to acknowledge it, rethink it, and realize why guilt is always unreal in the new thought system. This takes some practice, as do living all these principles. However, it gets easier each time one corrects oneself and live by the new thought system.
Exercise: I acknowledge the sovereignty of others and I give everyone permission to experience whatever they wish. Love allows ALL things, no matter how horrible they may seem to the ego mind! For the environmentalists, for example, love allows the planet to be destroyed, if people and other forces so desire. It is not that important, as life will go on elsewhere.
I know this sounds awful to some people, and it is not intended as a license to despoil the earth. However, the point is that we do not know the whole picture! There may be a greater plan for ourselves or for the earth, for that matter. Meanwhile, wallowing in guild and fear saves no one, and often can do a lot of harm to oneself and to others. Spirit, our true self, is untouchable and perfect forever.
THERE ARE NO VICTIMS
All beings are co-creators of everything in their lives, according to the new thought system. So how can there be victims? There cannot. This is an important idea because the mass thinking is so focused these days on victimhood:
Š The news announces daily who are the latest victims.
Š The legal system spends billions deciding who is the victim of whom.
Š The politicians continuously create more victims so they can feel good saving them with more welfare programs - that just create more dependency.
Sadly, America has recently begun to embrace the idea of victimhood in a big way. This is a deep shift for a nation founded on the idea of the sovereignty of the people, not the victimhood of the people.
The ego much prefers victimhood, because it is relieved of responsibility for its condition. That is the key. Anytime one feels like a victim of anything, it is because one would prefer not to take responsibility for the situation. Victimhood is harmful because denies one’s power and the truth of one’s being.
Often those who do not buy into victimhood are accused of being cold, uncaring, prejudiced, racist or sexist. The ego screams: How dare you not feel sorry for ......? (you fill in the blank). How can you be so cold as to say that innocent children create their abuse? This block keeps many people believing in victims.
Let us answer by clarifying a few points. Not believing in victims does not mean one has no compassion. It is not a reason to sit around and do nothing about suffering. In fact, the person who accords each person his or here sovereignty and responsibility for their lives is often more effective at correcting injustices in the world. This is because they are not blinded by victim emotionality. We all know the insanities perpetrated by well-meaning do-gooders who are just trying to “help the victims”.
Nor does denying the reality of victims imply that another deserves his suffering or punishment. That is insane. All people deserve the best. Not believing in victims means that one does not know the intent of every soul, and one does not know what is best for another. The soul may choose pain for many possible reasons - to get attention, to teach others, to learn about fear and powerlessness, to wake up another, or for other reasons. All that is asked is to stop judging by appearances when in reality one does not know the whole truth.
Instead, when you come upon a situation of apparent victimhood, go within and ask the Holy Spirit, or your guidance: What shall I do in this situation? Then listen.
If you come across a homeless person, on one occasion the guidance may be to give him some money. On another occasion it might be that this person can work and is not taking responsibility for his life. Help would just spoil him further. Or the guidance might be to use your money to build a soup kitchen and shelter for these people. Let the answers come, rather than jumping to the victim conclusion. Victimhood, and the belief in victims, is deadly for the spirit. I wish more of our leaders understood this and were not afraid to say it.
THERE IS NO FAILURE
Life is not a win-lose game, though one is free to perceive it that way. It is an expression of the Creator's love. Events may not turn out the way one expected, but that is because the desired outcome may not have served the greater purpose - to wake up.
If things do not work out, celebrate just as much as if they worked as one hoped. Realize one really does not know what things are, or what they are for. Life is ever a mystery, and failure in the game of life is not possible. Failure, along with the word loss, are judgment words best left out of one’s vocabulary.
This is a difficult concept because schools routinely “fail” people, or threaten to. So people grow believing in failure and often believing they are failures if they don’t live up to some standard. You are here, reading these words, so you are a success.
If the body dies, your soul or spirit will just let it go and move on. That is not failure. If a business fails, you will recover and try another business or job. It just means that the world was not ready for your business, or perhaps it was set up incorrectly in some way. Try to think of it as an experience, rather than judge it harshly as a failure.
Some of this has to do with semantics or the words we use. However, in part it is about changing one’s thinking style and learning to reserve judgments, instead accepting things and moving on.
ABOVE ALL, CELEBRATE
Once one understands the principles above, one realizes one is already the presence of love in physical form. There is nothing to be gained from this world. This does not mean one cannot hone one’s skills, learn more about one’s job or spouse, and so on.
However, at the highest level, one needs to know that all is well, you are loved and you need not become anyone other than who you really are.
As you do this, you will begin to celebrate at all times. For example, you will still need to shop for your food, perhaps. However, you will use the occasion to celebrate the oneness or atonement (at-one-ment) and radiate the creator’s love into this world. You will bless the people in the supermarket, bless the food and just celebrate the truth of who you are and what this world really is all about.
The same is true of going to a movie, or even going to see a doctor. Everything you do and everywhere you go becomes just a context in which to celebrate and be the presence of love for others.
Life becomes a never-ending joy as one allows the holy spirit to direct one to people and places that need one’s love. Life also becomes so much simpler as one does not have to figure everything out, and indeed realizes that all is working for good, in ways that the limited mind cannot understand. The mind rests and life takes on a new meaning. One can truly live the happy dream of being the presence of love in a world that needs it.
Shifting one's perspective from the old to the new thought system is considered the wisest use of one’s time, and the true purpose of time.
It may sound simple, but anyone who has undertaken this task knows how tricky and subtle the old system of thinking can be. So it can be very important to employ any methods, gimmicks, reminders, etc. to help shift one’s perspective into the new thought system outlined above.
This is a very unusual idea – that the best use of your time is to change your perspective and your thinking. So do not despair if it seems difficult, at times. Below are some of the problems that occur when you make up your mind to shift your perspective in this way.
PROBLEMS ONE MAY ENCOUNTER
A common problem is the new system is so positive that many people have difficulty allowing it. It just sounds too lovey-dovey. I had this problem. I just couldn’t swallow all the positive implications of these ideas. It took at least seven years of reading and working with the principles in this article before the ideas and the new feelings began to sink in.
Some people want to hold onto their perceptions because it keeps them from making real changes in their lives. These changes appear scary and uncertain. Others are steeped in another thought system or religion that makes it hard for them to entertain a different perspective. Others can accept the ideas, but are so caught up with daily rituals and activities they cannot allow the essence of these ideas to really take hold in their lives.
To change, make room in your life for change. Start questioning everything you believe. Allow the new to take root. Refrain from judgment. Avoid discussing the new thought system with skeptical friends, and instead seek out sympathetic friends. Perhaps seek out a study group that discusses these ideas, rather than other spiritual concepts.
Surround yourself with that which you wish to learn and practice, and let go of all else. Holding on to the false only slows or stops progress. Slowly, the new ideas and the feelings behind them will take hold and one will be changed forever.
Healing will occur as the mind is freed from bondage. The world becomes one’s playground. It is the second coming of Christ spoken of, only it comes through you. Through you, a new consciousness steals gently across the mind of mankind.