Archive for the ‘Life is a mirror’ Category

The Mirror

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Dear friends

There were three significant experiences in one evening! I do believe it—I have to, I was there—but as you’ll see, it confused me for a while. Here’s what happened. Do let me know what you think (comments).

Two weeks ago, I noticed a small advertisement in the local newspaper. Someone called Gangaji was speaking in my town, on December first, a week away. I had never heard of Gangaji. I didn’t even know how to pronounce the word. Apart from the vaguely spiritual context of the ad, I had no idea what she represented, let alone what she would say. Also, I don’t rush off to listen to every spiritual speaker who passes by. But I was drawn to the name, and something kept nudging me to go. I marked it in my calendar.

The night before her speech, I had a strange dream. I dreamed that Gangaji looked at me sitting in the audience and invited me up on stage with her, to sit on her right hand side and talk with her in front of the crowd. In the morning, of course, I dismissed it ‘just a crazy dream’.

But before we get there, I need to backtrack.

If you read last week’s newsletter, you’ll know that I’m in the happiest space of my life right now—which I put down to a new realization. Here’s a list of the main points I made in that newsletter: stop chasing enlightenment; you’re already where you want to be; nothing has to be fixed because nothing is broken; look for the silence between your thoughts; your thought of who you are is not who you are. And more. (If you want to read it again, click here.)

I sent that newsletter to you (to subscribers) just two minutes before I left to listen to Gangaji. Then, in the first few minutes of her talk she said all of that. Every main point of my newsletter.

That was significant experience number one.

In those few minutes, I became an admirer—not because she was echoing my new realization, but because of her presence. Gangaji was radiant. I have rarely seen anyone with such love and compassion. Once, when a woman in front of her was fighting tears, she did not try to fill the silence with words, instead she just smiled at the woman. It was a huge smile, wider than a dawn, and it was the right smile.

And then the dream turned into reality.

I tell you I did not force it to happen; in fact, I resisted it. Unlike the woman in tears and the other three who went forward, I did not volunteer. Dream or no dream, I had no desire to be a centre of attention and no burning question. I was there to listen. But Gangaji clearly thought otherwise; when there was no one else on the stage, she looked directly at me and beckoned.
     “You have a question,” she said.
     In spite of the dream, I was startled. I  looked around at my neighbours, back to Gangaji, and said, “Who? Me?” (Okay, call me slow on the uptake.)
     “Yes, you,” she smiled. “Would you like to join me up here.”
     Now I knew that the dream was unfolding.
     “Okay,” I said. I went up there, I sat on her right, I talked with her in front of the crowd. Here was the dream in every detail, except, oddly, that the size of the real audience was smaller than in the dream.

That was number two.

I did think of a question to ask her, which she answered. But that’s not what stayed in my memory. It’s what followed. I was so captivated by her presence that I said, “I know what I want… I want the look in my eye to be like the look in your eye.”
     To my astonishment and the crowd’s amusement, she chuckled, produced a mirror (!!!), and thrust it in front of my face, forcing me to look at myself.
     “But you do have that already,” she said. “See for yourself.”

No, I’m not planning to parade as the next Gangaji. In fact, as I left the stage, I was puzzled. Her manner suggested more than stage playfulness… there was serious intent there. What was she really saying to me? What was the point? Well, now I have to laugh at myself. How could I have missed it? It took my friend Tom Newnam in Philadelphia, to take off my blindfold with an email. His words, summarised: What you saw in Gangaji is not only who she is, but also who you are.

Of course, of course. In admiring Gangaji, I was primed to see—in her—the best in myself. We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are. We don’t see people as they are; we see people as we are. She didn’t say that in words, but it’s what she was telling me. More to the point, she made me feel it.

That was number three.

Could there be a finer illustration of the second universal truth: that your life is your mirror. How extraordinary that she actually held up a mirror. How subtle, how playful, how mischievous. (And how startling… did she have that mirror ready?)

Had you or anyone else expressed the same desire as me, she could have made the same reply.

Turn it around. When 100 people look at you, they each see a different version of you: the version that best reflects them, their beliefs and aspirations. It’s not you that affects them, but their version of you. Not one of those 100 versions is the real you. So who is the real you? You’ll only find the answer by looking into the looking glass that is your life – yes, that life which seems to happen to you, but is really created by you. In this incarnation, your life, and everything and everyone in it, is you. Literally. The universe is not objective, it is subjective.

On the face of it, that stretches credibility. You could, for example, be in a coal mine one day and a cruise ship the next; so you might ask, How could I change so much overnight? But your physical surroundings are only the shallowest reflection of you. Instead, look to your relationships, the events you attract, and the attitudes you take with you from one place to another.

Here’s some Sufi wisdom, repeated from Finding the Field.

Once upon a time, somewhere between the mountain peaks and the shores of the azure sea, there was a village in which there dwelt a Sufi master renowned for his wisdom. One day, a stranger entered the village, and immediately looked for the master to ask advice. He said, “I’m thinking of moving to live in this village. What can you tell me about the people who live here?”
     And the Sufi master replied, “What can you tell me about the people who live where you come from?”
     “Ah,” said the visitor angrily. “They are terrible people. They are robbers, cheats and liars. They stab each other in the back.”
     “Well now,” said the Sufi master. “Isn’t that a coincidence? That’s exactly what they’re like here.”
     So the man departed the village and was never seen there again.
     Soon, another stranger entered the village, and he too sought the Sufi master for advice. He said, “I’m thinking of moving to live in this village. What can you tell me about the people who live here?”
     And the Sufi master replied, “What can you tell me about the people who live where you come from?”
     “Ah,” said the visitor in fond remembrance, “They are wonderful people. They’re kind, gentle and compassionate. They look after each other.”
     “Well now,” said the Sufi master, “Isn’t that a coincidence? That’s exactly what they’re like here.”

You do, most comprehensively, take your mirror with you wherever you go. You want to find yourself? You don’t have to go anywhere. You want happiness? You don’t have to wait. There’s joy to be had, even in the difficult times.

I have Gangaji to thank for the reminder. And also for the moment when she looked around at the audience during a silence, and said softly, “It’s all so very simple.”

Yes, yes, yes.
Joy to you.
Michael
P.S. Next week’s newsletter will be the last for this year.

To find out more about Gangaji, try this link.

Confessions

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Dear friends

This week is different. Something significant has shifted in me and I want to share it, in the hope that it’s useful to you. I especially owe this to you if you have read or listened to Finding The Field.

A little background. I was 10 when I first started to wonder, Why is there pain? Actually, I’m smiling right now, remembering my egocentric outrage that such a thing had dared to enter my life. But even then I sensed that there was more to the cause of pain than the most obvious cause in front of me. (No, no details… I just want to get to the point.) Within another 10 years I was seriously looking for answers to the big questions: What’s it all about? Who am I? Why am I here? What’s my place in the universe? It took another 40 years for the answers to fall into place, and then into Field. In spite of what I’m about to tell you, that has not changed. The answers are satisfying to many, it seems, which is wonderful.

Now, let me try put my recent discovery into words.

I’ve been startled by new understanding of something I’ve heard many times, and so, probably, have you. I wrote it into Field: The journey is the destination; the destination is the journey. I learned that one when I journeyed through the Andes looking for the Truth in the classic way. Ironic, yes? I thought I understood it fully back then; but I didn’t, because I somehow never saw the connection with the first universal truth: You are entirely the creator of your reality. Existence is subjective, not objective—even in the hunt for the Truth. Yes, I know, it’s way too academic. Too much thinking. Which is exactly why I missed the point. Here’s the point…

Stop looking.

I must stop looking for enlightenment, because if I believe it is not here, it is not. If I believe it is elsewhere, it is. My beliefs create it so. And I must stop looking even inside myself, because if I believe it is hidden, it is.

Call off the chase. Stand down. Just remain quietly open, aware, relaxed.

Through intense, anxious decades I chased: answers, truth, enlightenment, awakening, fulfilment, self-realisation, serenity, all of that, chasing a butterfly I couldn’t see. What did it look like? Was I running towards it, or away from it? Would I recognize it if I saw it? I didn’t know.

Now, I must stop and allow it to settle gently on my shoulder.

Some have that butterfly on their shoulders all their lives and never speak about it or even think about it. They just live it. But we can sense it, if we want, when we are very still, aware of the silence that holds all sounds and the light that holds all sights and the invisible ocean that holds all thoughts and all things.

You know, I feel wonderful right now. Butterfly safaris were never this good. Why on earth did it take me so long?

Well, I do know the answer to that. I was like the Buddhist student who wanted to impress his master.
     “I’m going to plant this seed,” he said proudly, “and its growth will be an allegory for my spiritual growth.”
     “Yes it will,” smiled the master.
     And the student planted the seed and watched its growth anxiously. He gave it too much water and too many nutrients and it struggled to grow. So he dug it up and re-planted in different soil, again over-watering and over-feeding. Again it struggled and again he re-planted.  And so it went on.
     The day came when the master arrived to see the results, and there was, of course, little to show. The student hung his head.
     “I’m sorry, master. I wanted it to be an allegory of my spiritual progress, but it hasn’t worked.”
    “Yes it has,” smiled the master.

So, this newsletter is something of a confession. I am certain of what went into Field, but that doesn’t mean that the butterfly was flapping vigorously on my shoulder as I wrote. In some ways I was blinded by my own words, even though there is truth in them. My thought of the truth is not the same as the truth. My thought of who I am is not who I am.

But no one has to worry about such things. Why? Because everything works perfectly anyway. We lose the butterfly when we are separate from Consciousness, we find it again when we re-connect. It just doesn’t matter; one state is no better than the other, because  separation and connection are fundamental to creation. They are fission and fusion in perfect dynamic balance and the one has no meaning without the other. Consciousness does not have accounting columns marked right and wrong, good and bad. Jesus and Judas were two faces of one being.

Which means that there’s simply nothing that has to be fixed. Certainly our efforts to fix things add to the great adventure of life, but our efforts are not a requirement of existence. Nothing has to be proved. No one has to be saved. Nothing has to be done. What liberation!

I think I just dealt myself the get-out-of-jail-free card.

I surely have something in common with the man who said, “When I was young, I prayed to Allah to give me the strength to change the world. When I was middle-aged, I prayed to Allah to give me the strength to change those around me. When I was old, I prayed to Allah to give me the strength to change myself.” Well, I think that’s me. But I would add one thing—when I depart this body, I might pray that I have had the strength to be true to my heart. Which is what I seem to be attempting right now.

So does this new relaxation mean that I will become an aimless, protoplasmic blob?

Of course not. I aim to enjoy myself, including plenty of earthly pleasures in the mix. I aim to live fully and love well and make a difference to the world of people around me. But I don’t have to do anything. How terrific to know that everything is part of the perfection of existence—including that pain I experienced as a 10-year-old. How terrific to know that my individual existence will not be weighed on scales. How terrific is that?

And I will not think too hard. Maybe sometimes I will not even describe the smell of roses—I’ll just smell them, for heaven’s sake.

But I will keep writing these newsletters. Yes, I will, as long as you value them and as long as people keep asking me about Finding the Field. Don’t worry, I won’t always treat this newsletter as a confessional.

A last thought. In my writing I have dipped into compassion. But I realise now that I just had my toe in the ocean. The butterfly whispers to me about how vast that ocean is and I suspect that when I have as much compassion for a scorpion as I do for a puppy, I’ll have this whole thing sorted.

But I’m in no hurry.

Joy to you.
Michael

Nicola’s pencil

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

In 15 years of television journalism, the interview I remember most was with a five-year-old girl called Nicola.

Here’s what happened. Nicola was dying of muscular dystrophy, but was still well enough to attend school classes in her wheelchair. I was in her classroom, making an item on the mainstreaming of disabled children into normal schools. The children adapted quickly to our presence and got on with a normal day.

Nicola dropped her pencil. She leaned over the edge of the wheelchair and looked for it, frowning. Immediately, half a dozen other youngsters, both genders, dropped what they were doing and cast about under the table, until they found the pencil. Then only two of the helpers returned to schoolwork. The rest stayed as Nicola held court about the birthday party she’d had in the weekend. She waved the pencil about, punctuating her statements in the air.

She was obviously very popular.  Was it because she was in a wheelchair? Were they sorry for her? Had the teacher instructed them to look after her needs… especially today? Was it the presence of a camera, or the unusual attention of adults?

It wasn’t any of those things.

The sequence finished and the camera operator nodded at me. The teacher changed the activity. Now it was posters and group discussion. Video-taping began again. Nicola continued to be a strong presence, her every utterance doted on by other five-year-olds. And beside me, smiles grew on the faces of the cameraman and sound recordist, who, like me, had seen many things that don’t lead to smiles. The teacher said nothing, but her smile was knowing. She saw this every day.

They were entranced by Nicola.

I was fascinated.  This was more than superficial popularity. What was it that gave this five-year-old such magnetic presence? Her physical looks? Well, no, she wasn’t pretty in any conventional way. Was it the way she spoke? I noticed that she never stumbled over her words. So perhaps the secret lay in her words—but I could hear nothing essentially different from those of her friends. And yet, somehow, here was a small child with charisma. The ‘X’ factor. How does that happen?

The explanation didn’t emerge until the interview.

For that, the camera crew set up outside, then Nicola and I wheeled and walked across the playground towards them.  On the way, there were a couple of clues. When talking to me, she did not speak child-to-adult, but person-to-person. Also, a waiting television camera crew can easily be intimidating to a child, but she showed not a shred of self-consciousness.

The red light winked on, the tape rolled. Nicola did not change in any way. She continued to chat with me without self-consciousness, as if there was no camera at all. Somewhere in the middle of the interview—I couldn’t resist it—I nodded in the direction of the classroom and commented on her effect on other people.

“You’re very popular.”

Recognising the question for what it was, she screwed up her face and cocked her head to one side for about five seconds of serious thought. Then her expression cleared and her eyes came back to mine.

“I think it’s because I like them,” she said.

Not they like me, but I like them. That, from a terminally ill five-year-old, was an interesting reply. But it was years before I understood it.

Here’s the second universal truth. Your life is your mirror. It shows you what you’re creating and who you’re choosing to be. In the language of the Maori, our indigenous people, Ko au te taiao, ko te taiao ko au: I am the world, the world is me. What you think, feel and believe is what you get, and every object and event is an external reflection of your internal adventure. It’s the secret language of things and events.

The day we know that is the day we start to place what we want in our mirrors.                

There is no physical universe that exists independently of you and me. Everything is an expression of Consciousness, which includes your mind. And your mind—both conscious and subconscious—expresses itself constantly, creating your own adventure stories around you. But so that our adventures can be real to us, we forget that we are the creators. We forget that our thoughts, feelings and beliefs are potent, casting themselves around us like movie projectors.

As we grow, our challenge is to take conscious control of our thoughts, feelings and beliefs—and conjure our life story deliberately.                                         

I didn’t finish the story about Nicola. Yes, she died shortly afterwards, but not as expected. She died in an accident, sparing her the prolonged death of muscular dystrophy.

You know, even as I write this, I realise that I missed out the essential word in her five year life story: love. Nicola loved everyone around her—and it came back constantly in her mirror. Her love included me, a complete stranger. How about that? I love her for it. I’m about to have a glass of wine, I’ll raise it to her memory.

Namaste
Michael

Take me to all the five universal truths

Passion and the condor

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Hello everyone.

I’ve been asked if any one experience led to the novel Finding the Field. And one certainly stands out. This, more than any other, taught me that our passion is the greatest generator of our existence.

I was in the Andes mountains of Peru at the time. Although my training was in science and physics, it was obvious that the incident could not be explained away by science, logic or rational thought.

I was on the altiplano: a frozen desert more than 16,000 feet above sea level. I was alone, exhausted from walking all day in the thin air. Snow was falling through air so deeply cold that stalactites of ice were fattening in my nostrils. I was not yet worried, because the most remote village in the region should be little more than two hours away. I had checked carefully in the previous village, where the chief, el jefe, was delighted to help—perhaps because a gringo was a rare sight in those parts. He assured me enthusiastically that the way was unmistakeable. “No problem, Señor, there is only one path. There is no fork.”

There was a fork.

The implications sank in immediately, infused with fear. I was in serious trouble. With the snow covering everything, I could not tell which path was the most used, nor could I hope to make it all the way back to the previous village. I had to choose one of the paths ahead, but which one? The correct one led to safety and warmth. The incorrect one, I reasoned, must lead to long-abandoned silver mines in desolate wasteland. In this cold, I would be condor breakfast by dawn—that specific, gruesome image flopped into my mind.

At first, I just stood there, with snow building up on my poncho. I wanted to sit down to think about it calmly, but that would lead to lying down, then to the urge to sleep, which would be suicide. So I just stood there, trying to control my thoughts. Which way to life? Which way to death? Life or death? Heads or tails? Life or death? Heads or tails?

Then, for the first time in my life, astonishing to me, I found myself praying—but not to any god, because I had no religious faith at all. My prayer was a wordless, formless reaching out to… something. It was a silent crying-out from my belly, both a plea and a command which meant: Show me the safe path and let me live! Above all it was an upward surge of passion that I did not generate with my mind, and it would be years before I understood the full significance of that passion.

No answer.

Then my mind took back control and sneered,Of course there’s no answer; what did you expect, you idiot! So I made the choice. I convinced myself that the path to the right was marginally more substantial than the path to the left, and began to walk.
In less than half a minute, perhaps only twenty seconds, a condor landed directly in front of me, exactly in the middle of the path.

It folded its wings in slow motion and bobbed its head and moved a couple of paces towards me, turning its head side on, and placing its feet carefully as if sensitive to the snow. I stopped still and watched it blink at me. The condor is a vulture, the world’s largest flying bird—wing span 11 feet. I looked around, but couldn’t see any others circling or waiting anywhere. Thoughts gusted through my mind, each trying to strip the condor of significance, trying to make me continue my travel along that chosen path. But all thoughts were a waste of time, subjugated by a black, leaden dread, dragging down through my gut. My feet simply refused to move one step further.

So I turned and went by the other path. Immediately the blackness changed to certainty, exhilaration and triumph. I felt fantastically, thrillingly alive as never before, and expanded as if I were somehow merged with the world around me. I didn’t hope I was on the right path, I knew I was on the right path. And in two hours I was recovering in the safety and warmth of the last village between the altiplano and the headwaters of the Amazon.

What was that… something I had entreated so passionately? What was the condor about? What was it doing there? And when I chose the other path—where did my utter certainty come from?

When I returned to New Zealand, months later, a Christian friend pronounced judgement immediately and without reservation. The conversation went like this.
     “God saved you. He sent the condor.”
     “Why would He bother? I’m not a believer. Not only that, I’m anti-religion.”
     “Well, in His infinite mercy He wanted to save you anyway.”
     “Oh, really? Then what about a bit of infinite mercy for all other people in strife and danger? And what about the millions of children born into poverty and disease? And what about-”
     “Well, He moves in mysterious ways,” said my friend.
     That’s the Christian Gallic shrug.

The rational and science arguments I heard were even less convincing.
     “It was a fluke that it landed on your path. A coincidence with no inherent meaning. It’s a human characteristic to look for significance where there is none.”
     “In that case the condor must have been blind, deaf, nostril-deficient, and unable to feel the vibrations from my steps.”
     “Maybe it was expecting you to keel over right then.”
     “A lone vulture lands directly in front of a meal that is still walking strongly and that could disable it with a kick? I don’t think so.”
     “Well, just because science can’t explain it yet, doesn’t mean that it won’t in the future.”
     That’s the science Gallic shrug.

So both religion and science required me to have blind faith to paper over the cracks. I couldn’t accept either position. But nor could I let it go. I wanted another alternative: a seamless cosmology, capable of explaining the condor incident without insulting my intelligence.

I had many more experiences (some in the Andes), many more clues, and even wrote a couple of books which laid out my first understandings. Then, very recently, the whole cosmology fell into place.

The condor was actually a distraction from the first real clue. Let’s go back to those vivid feelings: leaden dread, utter certainty, exhilaration, triumph. And a sensation of expansion and connection so vivid that I was the condor, I was the path, I was the snow and the wind sweeping the flakes around me. Now, finally, I do have words for that first clue and for what it meant: passion is the source, not the result, of all that we call reality. All events and all things are passion expressing itself.

The universe is a giant feeling—not, as has been famously said, a giant thought. Descartes was mistaken; he should have written, “I feel therefore I am.”

Passion is our essence. Feelings are the generator of the eternal creation. But thoughts are feelings with the juice squeezed out of them. The more that thoughts reach for passionless objectivity and stand-alone reality, the more they skate across the surface of existence. Undoubtedly, some very fine intellects interpret the great masters. But for spiritual growth—as distinct from spiritual knowledge—those interpretations only have value when they arouse vivid feelings and become a powerful experience in their own right.

Now let me get to the point. There is nothing we have to do to grow spiritually. There’s nothing we have to study. But nor is there any one experience we must have, because all experiences are paths up the same mountain. We are already that …something which creates us and is created by us, on every path on the entire mountain.

Let’s play with Genesis and give that …something a name. Let’s call it Consciousness.

Imagine. In the beginning, there is no universe, no galaxies or stars, nor any material thing.  There is no gravity, no space or time, no contrast and no opposites; which means no up and down, no here and there, no before and after, no hot and cold, light and dark, or black and white. There is only Consciousness, which is a deep longing, and the longing is the question, What Am I?

Now, Consciousness decides to play a game of chess. It uses a portion of itself to create a chessboard, with pieces drawn up ready. Who to play with? No problem. Consciousness places another portion of itself on one side of the board and calls it Mind. Then, in order to make the game real, it gives Mind a gift. It’s the gift of contrast and opposites (black and white), space (forward and back), time (this move, then that move), and gravity (so that the pieces don’t float away). And it makes the first move (pawn to king 4).

But the game still cannot begin, because Mind still knows itself as Consciousness. It knows every passion and stratagem, every move and counter-move in advance.

So Consciousness gives Mind another gift—the gift of forgetting. It forgets that it is Consciousness. It now experiences itself as alone, made of flesh, and contained by a shape with head, arms and legs. Finally, Mind makes its first move (also pawn to king 4) with the question Who Am I? and the eternal game begins.

We humans are the cutting edge of the Creation. Our question is the answer. Our journey is itself the destination because there can never be a final answer to the eternal question. We can choose to be happy now, not tomorrow. We can choose to appreciate the path now, even when it is painful. We are that …something that whispers across the chessboard, you are already home.

Do I sound spiritually complacent? Well, in part I am; there is no need to get out of bed in the morning and seek enlightenment, which is like going out on the horse to look for the horse. But why abandon a perfectly good adventure? Besides, the horse is keen on the exercise and the more passionate a rider you are, the more willingly it responds to the reins.

And I do still have my own spiritual goals. For example, I strive to fully realise, in the most passionate sense of the word, that all is connected; when 10 or 20 or 100 people gather, there is only one being in the room—a being with many faces and many adventures. I strive to fully realise that I am the creator of my life; that before birth I create the highway and during life I choose the lane. I strive to realise that my life is a mirror, constantly showing me what I believe, and what I feel and think, and taste and touch, and smell and hear and see. And I strive to fully realise the end of fear, knowing that the essence of me will live forever, continually changed by me and my journeys.

And who are you? Who is it that is aware that you have a body? Is it your thoughts and feelings? But who is it that is aware that you have thoughts and feelings? Is it your imagination? But who is it that is aware that you are imagining? Is it your soul? But who is it that is aware that you have a soul…?

The higher we climb those rungs, the more we know ourselves as that… something which, when passionately experienced, needs no proof of its own existence. 

Namaste
Michael

For more, read or listen to the novel Finding the Field (buttons at the top of this page) or go to articles on this website about the five universal truths.

How do I know that ‘God’ exists?

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

How do I know that God exists? I’ll let my artist friend Tom Newnam answer for me, because his is the simplest, yet most profound answer to that question I have seen. Just four words:

“That’s all I know.” (If you’re puzzled, put a slight emphasis on the word all.)

Here’s my take on his beautiful answer.

All things—material and non-material—are different faces of one being, which I’ll call Consciousness. I could equally call it God, the Field, the Great Spirit, the Source, the Tao, the One: all are names for the same thing. The universe is Consciousness: it is an ocean in motion, a river of eddies, an infinite field of creative works in which the art is the artist and the artist is the art.

Consciousness, longing to experience itself, imagines us into existence, individualized so that we can interact as if we are separate, so that our adventures can be real. What we create in that experience is also consciousness. Whatever object you might name—a galaxy, a mountain, a mouse, a fish or a fowl, a blade of grass or a puff of air—all is consciousness. Whatever thought you might have—idea, concept, feeling, attitude, belief—all is consciousness. And if you ‘know’ something, that knowledge too is consciousness, waving to you in your life mirror.

All that you know, is God.

Here’s another glance at the same thing through a science window. In recent years, physicists have been mystified by some of their own discoveries. Here’s an example: the behaviour of subatomic particles often reflects what is going on in the mind of the scientist doing the experiment! So the scientist is then compelled to ask the astonishing question, “How can a particle know what I’m thinking?”

All that you know, is God.

For more, read  Finding the Field, Part II Chapter 6. Or you can listen to that chapter of the audio book.

Exercises from the soul gym

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Try these two exercises from the soul gym. If you can, get some peace and quiet for them. If you focus well on both, and if you like the point I’m going to make afterwards, you should be left with a pleasantly disturbing feeling.

First. Place any two objects in front of you (it doesn’t matter what they are) and put a hand half way between them. Here’s your challenge: choose which of the two you’re going to touch without first imagining the touching. Tried it? Okay. And you’re right, it can’t be done: imagination is a core component of human creation.

Second (do this right after the first exercise). Close your eyes and try to imagine the universe without you in it. Tried it? Okay. And you’re right again, it can’t be done. 

Why not? Because your universe is an extension of you. One cannot exist without the other.

You think I’m playing with words? Then go one step further. Ask yourself this: Who is it that is aware that you have a body? Is it your thoughts and feelings? But who is it that is aware that you have thoughts and feelings? Is it your imagination? But who is it that is aware that you are imagining? Is it your soul? But who is it that is aware that you have a soul…? The higher you climb the rungs of that ladder, the more you know yourself as that essence, that observer, that eternal Consciousness which creates all that it observes.

Incidentally, physicists have discovered that when they stop interacting (experimenting) with sub-atomic particles, those particles no longer exist. Think about that. Einstein thought about it and he was horrified by the implications. He said, “I like to think the moon is still there even when I’m not looking at it.”

If the hairs on the back of your neck are prickling, you’ve got the point.

For more, visit my website article, The first universal truth.

The universe always grants your greatest passions

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Last week, I said that passion is the magic ingredient in the power to have, do, or be what you want. Now I’m going to add something else that, at first sight, may seem like nonsense.

The universe always grants your greatest passions.

Looks easy to dismiss, doesn’t it? Let’s pick an example. You might say, “But I have passionately wanted a new car for the last two years. Why isn’t it here already? I believe in abundance, I’ve done the visualization, I’ve chanted affirmations to the point of needing throat surgery—and still no car!”

But where, exactly, is your passion focused? Where are you investing that potently creative energy? Is it really in what you want, or is it in what you don’t want? It’s very easy and all too human to confuse these opposites. If, for example, your current ride is a battered heap of rust with rodents nesting in the upholstery, your greatest passion may not be desire to own a new car, but despair that you don’t! Imagine the creative centre of your being looking from one passion to the other: desire or despair, which is the greater? If despair triumphs, then your universe must grant you the lack of a new car, and you already have plenty of that.

I have met many people who realize intellectually the power of belief in abundance, even while their underlying passion empowers scarcity. So no matter what rituals they follow, they can’t override passions that bring them pain.

It comes down to this: how do you take control of your own passions? How do you make sure that your greatest passions align with what you consciously desire? How do you take charge of your life and direct your own movie? For that, go to the First Universal Truth, or read about the Quickening in Finding the Field.

Namaste
Michael

Passion: the cutting tool of consciousness

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Passion is the cutting tool of Consciousness, the leading edge of the creation that never ends. It is also the magic ingredient in all successful recipes for achieving the power to have, do, or be what you want.

As well as writing about the nature of reality, I teach presentation skills. The trainees most difficult to help are those so fearful of the bad opinion of others that they have shrunk their passion (and their presence) to the bare minimum to get by undetected. Some tell me directly that they don’t feel strongly about anything. In that state, it’s nearly impossible for them to move an audience.

In life, the passionless are powerless. Until we grow our passion, we cannot move our world; we must wait for the world to move us, and hope for the best.

Here’s the opposite. I remember an Indian trainee (I’ll call him Rajit), who had plenty of internal passion. At first, it was stifled by his fear that, “They will see I have wrong words and very bad grammar.”  But on the second day of training, Rajit got the point and was suddenly, delightfully, an excellent presenter. When we stopped applauding, we asked how he had done it, and he said (with passion), “Now I am understanding. When I am speaking with passion, no one is caring I have wrong words and very bad grammar!”  So we applauded him again.

The passionate are powerful. When we grow our passion, we move our world.

Picture a children’s story wizard casting a spell. He thrusts his staff to the skies, and cries out—in the midst of thunder and lightning and wind and rain—his command that the powers of darkness bring down a plague of locusts upon the king’s enemies. That vivid image is no accident. It has not built in our collective consciousness by chance. It represents our intuitive knowledge that personal power requires intense, focused passion. Even in Harry Potter, the power is more inherent in the person than in the ritual.

Consciousness is a giant passion and we are different faces of that passion. Descartes said, “I think therefore I am”, when he should have said, I feel therefore I am. Those who know this, also know that extraordinary power is inherent within us. Apply within. Then harness the passion and become a conscious creator, able to have, do, or be what you will.

How to grow your passion? Read about the Quickening in Finding the Field: an adventure of body, mind, and spirit.

Who are you? I mean really!

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

The most important question in our lives is Who am I? Each of us, in our own way, is directed by our desire for the answer.  And believe it or not we can get one immediately – if we take a sidelong glance at Genesis. Follow me to the beginning of time…

In the beginning, there was no universe, nor any material thing.  There was no gravity, no space or time, no contrast and no opposites: which means no up and down, no here and there, no before and after, no hot and cold, light and dark, or black and white. There was only a deep desire. And the deep desire was the Great Spirit. And the desire was the Question, What Am I?

Now, imagine that the Great Spirit decides to experience the answer through a game of chess.  Out of Itself  It creates a  chessboard, with pieces drawn up ready to play.

Who to play with? No problem. The Great Spirit plonks another chunk of Itself on one side of the board and calls it Mind. Then, in order to make the game real, the Great Spirit gives Mind a gift. It’s the gift of contrast and opposites (black and white), space (forward and back), time (this move then that move), and gravity (so that the pieces don’t float away). And it makes the first move (pawn to king 4).

But the game still cannot begin because Mind still knows it is actually the Great Spirit. It knows every move and counter-move in advance. So the Great Spirit gives Mind another gift.

It’s the gift of forgetting. Mind forgets that it is the Great Spirit. It now experiences itself as alone, made of flesh, and contained by a shape with head, arms and legs. Finally, the game can begin. And in its deep desire to remember who it really is, Mind plays an excitingly creative game of chess, a  game that will evolve forever.

So, do you see it?   We are the cutting edge of the Creation. Our question, Who am I? is the Great Spirit exploring the Question, What Am I? In other words, our question is the answer. Our journey is the destination. And our challenge is to choose to love our life now, even as we strive with passion and creativity to improve it.

For more, click on the universal truths.

Namaste.
Michael

A wonderful servant, but a terrible master

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Your ego makes a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.  The popular meaning of ego disguises its real potency. Its purpose is not to raise you above others, but to maintain you as a separate entity—seemingly disconnected from  all else—so that you can go about your life with independent free will. That’s its only job description. It must make you believe that you are not connected with Consciousness, so that you will then long for the homecoming, and have real adventures on the way back. Separation and connection: that is the eternal dance of Consciousness.

To boost your journey, your ego whispers the essential message: you are distinct and unique. Fine; you need that in order to be human. But ego doesn’t know how to stop; give it half a chance and it moves on to whispering: anything that is not your mind and body is not you. Then it discovers it can isolate you even more if it makes you afraid: you are isolated and alone; out there beyond your skin is stuff that can hurt you. Which means that you can live through entire incarnations blighted by anxiety, apprehension, and dread. And your ego can even whisper (listen to how cunning this is) your suffering makes you special. Which means that you may be instinctively unwilling—not unable, but unwilling—to stop suffering. 

And where does your ego get these gratuitous, destructive whisperings?

From you.

How can that possibly be? For more, click on the fourth universal truth