Archive for the ‘Finding the Field’ Category

Silence and the sea

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Dear friends

This will be my last newsletter for 2010. I’m going to spend a little time beside a lake in the mountains where Finding the Field is set. I’m looking forward to plenty of peace and quiet. Silence.

Not true silence, of course, because even in the still of night, the bush has a thousand conversations.

 There are two kinds of true silence. One of them is so rare it’s almost a curiosity. The other is available to anyone, and can transform your health and well-being. I was lucky because for me, the first led to the second.

The first kind is the complete absence of sound. I experienced it half way between New Zealand and Tonga, over the Marianas trench, where it can take 24 hours for a discarded can to reach the bottom. There’s no point in telling the whole story here, but for about an hour my six-year-old son Sam and I were alone, far from the yacht, in a tiny dinghy. The Pacific was asleep, dreaming long, slow dreams; not a breath or breeze, not a ripple in the glassy water, not even a whale cry from the depths. So, for a few minutes Sam and I experienced life utterly devoid of sound.

At first, my mind objected to the silence and filled it in, making me think I could hear my own breathing and the blood moving in my veins, especially around my temples. Then, after a few minutes, it seemed that silence was itself like a sound: a long vibration. Which is how I glimpsed the second kind of silence.

Profound stillness. It’s been known since ancient times—always in us, waiting for us to notice. It’s the stillness that holds all sound, like an ocean holding a dinghy. In fact it holds everything, including us and all our thoughts and adventures. I call it Consciousness, or the Field. Quantum physics calls it the inseparable web of dynamic activity that brings forth all physical objects.

Hard to get your head around it? Imagine that you are watching a rock. Imagine that you zoom your vision down to the surface of the rock; closer and closer until you can see individual atoms vibrating, and even further in until you can see each sub-atomic particle dancing the Wu Li in empty space. And yet when you zoom out again, you see only the stillness of the rock which you now know contains a trillion moving things.

Like the rock, Consciousness moves within itself. When we find the stillness within us, we find Consciousness.

And we find ourselves. That’s the prize. Many claim it through meditation. No one needs to go to sea, climb a mountain or build a sound-proof bunker. It’s right where you are, right now. Once you’re practiced, you can find it in a second even in the middle of Piccadilly Circus. But, of course, beginners need to start looking in a reasonably  quiet place.

But there’s a catch. Many of us are instinctively afraid of losing our ego identity if we contact this profound stillness within us. Many are even afraid to sit quietly and alone without distractions. We fear the poverty of loneliness, when it is really the richness of solitude. I know, because I’ve had that fear myself, and the breakthrough for me was discovering the difference between thought and awareness.

Want to try it? Find a quiet room and gentle music. Put something in front of you to engage your visual focus; it hardly matters what—for me it’s a candle.

Now, turn off your thought track—but don’t try too hard. When a thought does come, don’t treat it like a nuisance. Instead treat it like an atom in that rock and ‘zoom’ out of it until you are watching it from a distance. It’s like lucid dreaming, where you dream on one floor of your mind and watch the dream from the next. When you’re watching the thought pass by—I think this is working, or I’m hungry, or I wonder when Jack is going to call me—then you have begun. You are in two ‘places’ at once. Now, no matter what the thought is, just be aware of it; don’t form an opinion about it, don’t judge it, and don’t judge yourself for having it. Keep ‘zooming out’ until you can no longer see the individual thoughts, but are simply aware, until you are extended way out into the universe around you.

Do you see the possibilities? What is it that’s aware that you have a body? Is it your thoughts, your mind? And what is it that’s aware that you have a mind? Is it your spirit? And what is it that’s aware that you have a spirit? What, then, is the real you?

The real you is all of that and more. Body, mind and spirit. We are like the legendary child made of salt, marching through the mountains and the valleys of its life until it reaches the ocean. It dissolves into the water, changing itself and changing the ocean that gave it birth.

The complete you is in the all the layers of the ocean, all the way to the bottom. You can wait until you reach the beach, or, through meditation, you can experience the ocean on the way, travelling the mountains and the valleys with an inner current of joy—yes, even the valleys.

Perhaps I’ll find another layer on this summer break. But perhaps not. I’m in no rush. For your own break, summer or winter, mountain or valley, may you take joy with you.

I’ll be back in a few weeks.
Namaste.
Michael

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.

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

The bandit and heaven

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Hello everyone

There was once a bandit leader, feared throughout the land for his cruelty and contempt for human life.
      One day, his gang surrounded a village and herded the trembling inhabitants together in front of him. He strutted before them, enjoying their terror, prolonging the uncertainty of their fate. But then he came to the village monk who was calm and unafraid. Surprised, the bandit stopped in front of him. But still the monk showed not the slightest sign of fear.
      So the bandit mocked him loudly and taunted him. “Before you die, monk, you must enlighten me. You must tell me about heaven and hell.”
      “No,” said the monk. “I will not.”
      The bandit leader could not believe his ears, so he repeated the demand, this time with a voice that promised a hideous fate if he was not obeyed.
      “No,” smiled the monk. “There is no need.”
      Then the bandit leader’s brows darkened with fury and he fell into a rage so terrible that he shook, and blood roared in his ears and rushed into his eyes, blurring his vision. Even his own men fell back in fear. But not the monk—who was observing him with great interest.
      “There,” said the monk, looking into his eyes. “That is hell.”
      The bandit leader was so shocked by these words it was as if his body had been pierced through with a great spear. But even as he fell to his knees, his heart began to soar—filled, for the first time in his life, with understanding, light and compassion. So the monk spoke again.
      “And that, my friend, is heaven,” he said. “You see? Heaven and hell were already inside you.”
      Immediately, the bandit leader wept and begged to become the monk’s pupil, and his gang fled in confusion.

The foundation of the universe is not physical matter. It is thought. Or, more accurately, a giant feeling called Consciousness. Consciousness expresses itself as all things and through all things, as us and through us. So the question where do we find heaven and hell? does have an answer. They are in our minds, deeply present, bringing real joy and real torment.

The poet John Milton once said, “The mind is a place in itself. It can create a heaven out of hell, or a hell out of heaven.”

Can you see where this is going? Don’t wait for a post-mortem white-bearded gent to hand you tickets to your ultimate destination. You are at your destination now. And now is all there is, with past and future mere malleable dreams.

Here’s the fourth universal truth: You are already home. Amidst all the paths weaving the tapestry of our combined Soul is your path. Wherever you are on your path, that is your spiritual home. Your home is not at the end of the path, or around the corner, or when the ship comes in. It’s here and it’s now. If you wait fearfully for hell, you are already there; if you wait joyfully for heaven, you are already there.

Which means that heaven is as close as the blink of an eye. We have only to see it. As Jesus of Nazareth said, “Heaven is right here in the midst of you.”

Yes, we can look around at poverty, hunger, illness, and the abuse of man by man and we can think, If this is heaven, then I will choose the other place. But if that’s what we choose to perceive of our earthly playground, then we have already chosen the other place. What we think, we become. What we feel will follow. What we choose to believe and perceive is the only reality—the idea of an absolute reality independent of mind is a mass illusion. All that stops us accepting immediate ownership of heaven and moving in is what we choose to think and feel and believe.

The trick is to choose consciously and deliberately.

Looking elsewhere for heaven is like going out to look for the horse.

What horse?

The horse. To look for it, you gallop to the top of the hill and gaze into the distance, and when you can’t see it there you gallop to top of the next hill and gaze into the distance, and when you can’t see it there…

Live now as if you were in heaven, and you will make it so. Become the master of your life and your bandit.

Namaste
Michael

Tail of the dog

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Hello everyone.

A distressed Buddhist monk goes to his Abbot for advice.

“People in the street are mocking me,” he complains. “They’re calling me a dog!”

“Turn around and look at your rear end,” the Abbot says.

The monk looks at his own backside.

“Do you see a tail wagging?”

“No,” says the monk.

“Then the matter is settled,” says the Abbot.

When I heard that story, my first thought was, it’s not that funny. But my second was that it contains an interesting question. Why do we give other people—even strangers—the power to make us feel badly about ourselves?  Eleanor Roosevelt understood the same point when she said, “No one can make us feel inferior without our consent.”

Our reaction is a personal choice. Put a thousand people through the same event and a thousand paths will come out the other side depending on how each person chooses to react.

In the West, we habitually seek external cause for our current condition: we blame our parents, our upbringing, lovers, accidents, fate, the stars, the government and God. And people in the street. In doing so, we miss the point.             

Here, again, is the first universal truth: You are entirely the creator of your reality.

Entirely?

Entirely. At mostly subconscious levels—starting before birth and fuelled by the accumulated gestalt of thoughts, feelings and beliefs that were once conscious—you create every event, detail and nuance of your life. The day you live this truth and take conscious control is the day you declare your freedom and power. It’s also the day you cease to be a victim.

Before birth you choose the highway. During life you choose the lanes. One highway, a million lanes, and you negotiate those lanes with your thoughts. Most of us have little idea of the long-term power of our conscious thoughts. But Hindu teachers have known for 3,000 years. What you think, you become; what you feel will follow; what you believe will be manifest around you. Just as a beautiful building is the physical expression of an idea, so is our entire, magnificent universe the continuous expression of thought. It is a mass illusion that the physical world exists independently of thought.

The lesson is clear: take control of what you think, feel and believe. Choose. At any moment in any situation, ask yourself, Does this thought, feeling or belief serve me? Does it serve me now? Will to serve me tomorrow?

You may be asking how you could possibly be responsible for that earthquake, or tsunami, or pandemic. Do you believe that many things just happen? Nothing to do with you? But that belief, of its own accord, shapes much of your life.

Where are you on the scale of self-fulfilling creation-beliefs? 

Here’s the lowest, most helpless level of creation-belief. That you’re not the creator of your life, but a victim of circumstance. You always blame your condition on something other than yourself. You never stood a chance. You are inherently worthless. Life is a valley of sorrows.

Is that you? If you have read this far, probably not.

Try the next level, more evolved: you are sometimes the creator of your life. You can influence some events, but most external forces are too strong to fight. You blame most of your condition on something other than yourself. You take some responsibility for what happens to you. You have some worth, some potential. Life is a painful struggle with a few highlights.

Is that you?

The next level: you are mostly the creator of your life. You can influence most events, though sometimes external forces are too great. You take responsibility for most of your actions. You spend little time blaming others for painful events. You are a worthwhile person with faults. You have a lot of potential. Life is an interesting and often enjoyable challenge.

Is that you? If you have read this far, it probably is.

Or is it this? The master level of creation-belief is that you are entirely the creator of your life. You do not see your Earth character as you, but as your work of art. Your every thought and action is your choice. You are fully responsible, not only for your creations but for your response to your creations. You never blame or judge others for your experiences. Your inherent worth and potential are vast. Life is an exciting, surprising, sometimes painful, yet joyous adventure.

Is that you?

Do you see the irony of those levels of creation-belief? What you believe, you will manifest. None of them is right or wrong—you will simply create the conditions that appear to prove you right. The power of a belief is not in its truth, but in its depth and intensity. That is the potency of the first universal truth.

A last word. If you see any value in what I’ve just said, don’t waste even a second faulting yourself for past beliefs. The word is not fault, but cause. Instead, begin the habit of choosing your conscious thoughts, accepting some, dismissing others. Your most frequent and vivid thoughts inform your feelings, which inform your beliefs, which sink into the shadows of your subconscious mind where they become powerful creators of your life.

And if anyone calls you a dog, the length of the tail is your choice.

The Lotto ticket and the quickening

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Hello everyone.

Heard this one…? A man passes the local Lotto shop and sees that the big prize is a million dollars. And he prays, “Please God, let me win Lotto.” He waits for the result but to his surprise, he doesn’t win. The next time he passes the Lotto shop, the big prize is five million dollars. And he prays, “Please God, I beg you to let me win Lotto.” He waits for the result, but to his annoyance, he still doesn’t win. The next time he passes the Lotto shop the big prize has reached ten million dollars. And he prays, “Now look, God. I’m imploring you to let me win Lotto this week. I could really use the money.” And a voice speaks from the heavens, “Well you could meet me half way and buy a ticket.”

I imagine George Washington would have enjoyed the story, because he said this: “Success is not a matter of spontaneous combustion; you have to set yourself alight.” And remember the old saying that God helps those who help themselves?

For years I have been fascinated by all the different methods for achieving goals: prayer, visualization, affirmations, suggestion, hypnosis, meditation, step-by-step goal-setting, witchcraft, and sheer willpower and more. Of course none are always successful and none are always a failure—including prayer (note that Pope Benedict XVI prayed that he would not become the Pope). The real question is this: when those methods work, what do they have in common? In other words, is there a pure method more likely to succeed than any other?

Yes, there is: it’s a feeling-based visualization called the quickening*. But, as you’ll see, there’s still a catch.

First, the core of the quickening. Imagine that God is a giant feeling expressing itself through the continuous creation of all things, which includes you. So you, a piece of God, are in essence a multi-layered bundle of feelings expressing itself through your life. And your bundle includes your conscious and subconscious beliefs—the deeper you go, the more powerfully they create your life around you. And who built those beliefs? You did. Are you getting the picture here? We are not just the art, we’re the Artist, and feelings are our paint brush. We’re creating like this all the time—the point is to learn how to direct it consciously. The quickening method involves deliberate focus on specific passions. For example certainty—can you see the place of faith in this?

The catch, of course, is your willingness to meet God half way. Whatever goal-getting method you use (the quickening, prayer, visualization, casting spells etc), here are some essential points…

Make the decision… to have, to be, or to do what you seek. You may wish to be a millionaire, but when did you make the decision that you would become wealthy? A firm, irrevocable decision gets your deity (creative subconscious) into action immediately.

Get imagining and get passionate. Vague imagining and wishful thoughts won’t do it. A thought is a dried up feeling. Try to work a method with dispassionate thinking and your deity won’t even bother to get out of bed.

Make your actions consistent. Once you have used a goal-getting ‘method’, don’t stop there—make all your subsequent actions, thoughts and feelings consistent with the certain arrival of the goal. Don’t hedge your bets, don’t use the if word.

Finally, a warning about mixed messages. Millions of goals never materialise because of underlying mixed messages. What are yours? You may feel a strong desire for that ten million dollars, but what if your underlying feeling is I’m so frustrated that I never have money. Instead build the picture and the passion money comes easily to me, how wonderful!

*The quickening is described in full in Part III Chapter 6 of Finding the Field (to order the book click here), or you can hear it for free in Part III Chapter 6 of the audio book.

Namaste
Michael

Beam me down, Scotty

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Hello again.

We’ve all viewed movie scenes like this: someone throws a switch (in Star Trek it’s Scotty the engineer). There a hum and a flickering light—suggesting a powerful force-field at work—a human appears in the light, vague, then solid. The hum stops, the field dies, and the newly-arrived human sets about exploring the planet.

Why is that idea iconic? Because we instinctively know that there’s something real in it. In fact, to see the reality of our existence, we only have to make a slight adjustment to the scene.

Imagine that the force-field is always everywhere, like the clearest air, invisible to the human eye. Imagine that it concentrates a fraction of its power on one spot – still invisible – and you appear on earth. And, most important, imagine that the process is continuous: the switch is always being thrown and that you are an ever-changing projection of the field.

Who keeps throwing that switch?

You do. No, not you, but You (capital Y): that part of the invisible field you might call your subconscious.

Now, here’s the true, two-way magic, of your personal movie. Yes, You continuously beam your body and adventures on this planet, but You are constantly influenced by you—by your thoughts, feelings and attitudes. You projects you, which in turn changes You, which projects you… and so on to the end of your earthly enterprise. 

One more thing: there is no limit to You. The force-field is our collective, connected subconscious—think of an ocean which, through the sky, gives birth to every brook and stream and river. Yet, no matter how isolated, all brooks must run to the ocean, changing that which continues to give them birth. All brooks, no matter where they wander.

The force-field as a giant Being with many faces. You are that Being and you are your individual self. The illusion is to think that you are contained by your skin. 

Which raises this question. Why don’t we remember our greater Being? Were we beamed down with amnesia so that we would forget the mother ship? Who did that to us, and why?

The answer to that question is contained in a chess game: see last week’s blog, Passion and the condor.

Will science kill us?

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Hello everyone

Once upon a time, on a planet far away, there was a scientist who had only one way to measure reality. His ruler. A farmer came to him with sacks of potatoes and asked if he could measure their weight for the town market. The scientist was skeptical of the word weight, but he ran his ruler over the sacks anyway, then shook his head. “No,” he said, “I can find no evidence of weight, so it does not exist. You are either deluded, or a fraud who takes advantage of people’s gullibility.”
 
That planet is Earth. Our traditional science is that confused.

When I travelled in South America, I was the butt of a favourite leg-pull. If I asked, “Señor, which way to the bakery?”, the response was (after thoughtful consideration), “No, señor, it is not possible to get there from here.”
 
Here, to traditional science, means ‘all things arise from physical matter’. There means ‘all things arise from consciousness’. Not only does science say there’s no way there, it says there’s no such destination. Science is trapped in the physical realm. So it cannot see that physical matter is an effect, not a cause. It cannot see that the universe is a vast net of intelligence exploring itself—that humans, animals, birds, plants and minerals are different faces of one being that I call Consciousness.

For humanity, the consequences of the material science paradigm have been terrible indeed. Oh yes, it gave us the comforts of technology, but it also gave us an earth that struggles to survive us. We all know it. It really is time to question why we allowed science – the most powerful religion in history – to create toxic wastelands, poisoned rivers, lakes and seas, and nuclear missiles. And to conduct cruel experiments on animals as if they had no feelings. As if they were made only of complex physical matter. As if all were disconnected from all else.
 
Will science now find the technology to cure the earth?
 
No, not while it turns a blind eye to the steadily mounting evidence that its core belief is simply wrong—evidence, for example, that thought can influence physical matter; that thought is detected by animals and plants; that plants know your intentions, form attachments, have memories and can communicate with each other. Evidence that all things are connected.
 
But there is hope. Einstein began the move away from disconnected (Newtonian) science. He sensed and sought to prove that all the fundamental forces were connected. He showed that matter and energy are connected and interchangeable (E=mc2). When science wakes fully and calls energy Consciousness, perhaps then it can help us save this earth that we have collectively imagined into being.
 
Incidentally, I meet many individual scientists who do feel our connectedness and genuinely strive to improve the quality of our lives—albeit within the crippling traditional paradigm. More often now I’m seeing their eyes light up with discussion just like this. The light comes from a feeling of recognition of something non-physical that was always inside them, like a live ember that must now be brought forward to the front of the cave.
 
Namaste
Michael
 
For more, read or listen to Finding the Field (buttons at the top of this pages) – especially Part II, chapter 6), or go to articles on the same website about the five universal truths.

Punishment from God?

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

In this morning’s newspaper, I found a glorious letter to the editor. A classic, straight out of a time warp.

First, you need to know that two weeks ago, my city (Christchurch, New Zealand) was hit by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. It made streets look like a war zone, with army and police cordons. Thousands fled the city and surrounding towns and they’re only now returning as the number of aftershocks passes 700. I won’t try to describe the fear and trauma involved.

Now along comes this letter to the editor. It’s entitled Repent, Christchurch and here’s the text: Manchester St was the focal point for destruction within the city centre – Manchester St that is the street for prostitution. The den of iniquity is the area of greatest destruction. This is a warning from God to the people of Christchurch to repent and change their ways, as I believe the next time the earthquake comes we will not be so fortunate.

Wait, don’t laugh just yet.

Do you know the ancient game called Chinese whispers? Schoolchildren love it. The first thinks of a phrase and whispers it in the ear of the next, who whispers it to the next, and so on to the last person. When first and last whispers are compared, there’s usually a hilarious difference. Some children deliberately invent on the way, but most don’t—they hear the message, interpret meaning through their own filters, and pass it on in good faith, changed.

The letter writer’s vengeful, bad-tempered God may well have turned up as the result of a sort of Chinese whispers through the ages—nonsense, but still containing a faint echo of the first, inspired whisper.

Here’s the third universal truth. All things are connected. All things – seen and unseen – are different faces of one being, which is a vast, multi-layered web of intelligence. It is an ocean in motion, a river of eddies, an infinite field of creation in which the art is the artist, and the artist is the art. Let’s call this being the One. The One is all there is. It imagines us into existence, out of itself as if growing limbs. Yet we are individualized so that we can interact as if we were separate, so that our adventures can be real. So we are both connected and separate.

The first inspired whisperers knew that; but as the message passed through the centuries, it distorted: whispers of connection faded and whispers of separation grew. Those who craved earthly power deliberately encouraged that distortion. Fear came. The dark ages of religion began. We were no longer limbs of God, but of Satan. Now we were outside God. Now God was capable of being offended, by humans who were born offensive. And we could only appease his wrath by travelling a path prescribed, of course, by the ministers of religions.

So where is the echo of the original truth in this bizarre letter to the editor?

You are both the Created and the Creator. Aham Brahmasmi; the Hindu masters knew it thousands of years ago. The Buddha knew it also, and said, “What you think, you become.” You are the creator of your life. The most frequent thoughts and feelings you entertain turn into beliefs, which build the powerful but subconscious You—which in turn creates your life around you like a movie set.

Call it, if you like, the law of attraction.

Now, do you see where this is going?  If the conscious actions you allow are misaligned with the subconscious You, painful results must show up. Not as punishment—there really is no sin—simply a natural expression of misalignment with your greater being.

Now, think of this. While you are feeding your powerfully creative subconscious, so is your family as a group subconscious; so is your community, your city, your nation, your world, layer upon layer—what Jung would call the collective unconscious—creating individual and mass events in your world.

For a mass event you can’t do much better than a powerful earthquake. God’s punishment for sin? Of course not, but can you hear the far off echo of a universal truth? We made it. The giant collective subconscious We.

A last word about the working girls in Manchester Street. I wonder if the man who wrote the letter realises that many Christian churches (including a cathedral) were significantly damaged by the quake.

Namaste
Michael

For more, read or hear the novel Finding the Field: an adventure of body, mind and spirit.

Spiritual story of the week

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

 Hello everyone

There was once a man with absolute faith in God. So pure was his faith, he knew that if he was ever in serious trouble, God would save him.

One day, he fell ill.

A neighbour came to his bedside and, filled with compassion, said, “Let me take care of you; I will help you until you are well again.” But the sick man refused, saying, “God will take care of me. ” And he returned to prayer.

But his condition deteriorated and he became dangerously ill.

A doctor came to his bedside and, filled with compassion, said, “Let me take care of you; I will look after you and make you well again.” But the sick man refused, saying, “God will protect me. ” And he returned to prayer.

But his condition deteriorated further until he was close to death.

A surgeon came to his bedside and, filled with compassion, said, “Let me take care of you; I will look after you and make you well again.” But the sick man refused, saying, “God will save me. ” And he returned to prayer.

But soon, the man died.

Immediately after death, he sought and was granted an audience with God. “Why did you not save me?” he demanded.  And God smiled gently and replied, “I tried. I came to you as a neighbour, I came to you as a doctor, I came to you as a surgeon; but you did not recognize me and turned me away.”

Did you like that? Some stories convey the message so well, they need no explanation. So for this week, I’ll just bid you farewell with the Hindi word namaste, which can be translated as I recognise the god in you.

Namaste
Michael Brown

P.S. Stories are a wonderful way to make a point. If you have any that are consistent with the universal truths, and are willing the share them, please send them to me… at michael …at… findingthefield …dot… com

Plant identifies a ‘murderer’

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

When I was a school science teacher, I asked my class to help me conduct what was then a controversial ‘murder’ experiment. Here’s a swift summary:

We put two pot plants side by side in a backroom of the lab and looked after them for weeks so that they could ‘get to know each other’. One of them we called Percy. On the day of the ‘murder’ we attached Percy to a device known as a GSM machine, which would measure minute changes in the electrical conductivity of its leaves. Then the entire class left the lab, all but five going to a remote part of the school.

The five potential ‘suspects’ went to separate, pre-allocated places, each holding a sealed envelope containing instructions. The envelopes had been juggled so that no one (not even me) knew what any particular suspect was going to do. One by one, each suspect was directed to go to the room with the two plants, open and obey the instructions, then return to their pre-allocated place, speaking to no one.

One of them destroyed Percy’s companion plant, leaving it in shreds on the floor.  

All suspects were then paraded in front of Percy (the only witness), which was still attached to the GSM machine. Sure enough, for one suspect, there was an unmistakable jump in electrical conductivity of Percy’s leaves. The results were issued to the class. The suspect was accused, and he confessed in front of a hugely delighted science class. Percy the plant had identified the human ‘murderer’.

The excited class discussed the significance of what we had seen, and of course the interpretations varied hugely.

Here’s mine. Imagine that there is an invisible thread joining your little finger to every other object in the universe. So if you twitched your little finger, some measure of that movement would pass through every material object in existence. Now, imagine that the invisible thread is a form of awareness that permeates all things. Go further: imagine that the universe is a giant awareness, a feeling, expressing itself as all living and non-living things.

We are one Being, with many faces. Percy and Percy’s companion plant and the ‘murderer’ were three of those faces.

For more, read two articles:  The principle of existence and The third universal truth on the Finding the Field website.

Can an intellectually handicapped person be spiritually enlightened?

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

True or false? An intellectually handicapped person can be spiritually enlightened.

As part of my writing research, I was once shown through a hospital for the intellectually handicapped. Before visiting the most severely affected patients, the superintendent warned me that I could find the experience disturbing. He said, “I never enjoy going into this room, because when I look into their eyes I see that whatever’s going on in there, it isn’t nothing.”

One patient in particular (I’ll call her Nancy) had about her what I can only describe as a glow. She could utter no words, but she approached, touched my upper arms, and looked directly into my eyes. Her own eyes were filled with joy and love; and connection, as if she somehow recognized me. It was shocking – wonderfully shocking – from someone I might be expected to pity. She had something priceless that I did not have. She left me to return to the others, but her glow remained with her and all the while I was in that room, it connected with everyone around her.

The superintendent commented dryly, “Everyone loves Nancy.”

So, what do you think? Is the statement at the beginning true or false?  

It’s true. Yes, yes, yes, it’s true. Intelligence possesses no fast track to enlightenment. Nor does knowledge. Nor does even an encyclopedic knowledge of the words of the great masters. None of it says anything of our personal spiritual enlightenment and spiritual growth.

So what does? What is enlightenment? 

You’re enlightened when you know your neighbour as another face in the mirror. You’re enlightened when you know yourself as both the creator and the created.  You’re enlightened when you know a trillion invisible streams as a visible ocean. And you’re enlightened when you know that the question of enlightenment has the same answer as the question, “What am I?” 

My friend Tom in the US has just sent me this koan: “I’ll give you an orange,” the student challenged the master, “if you can tell me where God is.” “I’ll give you two oranges,” replied the master, “if you can tell me where God is not.”

For more, visit my website and read the article, the third universal truth.

Next week, I’ll tell you about an experiment  I conducted with a school science class, using a pot plant to identify a suspect.

Yes, a pot plant.

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.

You and the highway

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Hello everyone

Here’s the first universal truth: you are entirely the creator of your own life. 

Entirely? At first, that seems offensive or laughable. No one says to themselves, “I’ll have a hurricane come on through.” Or “Time to catch the big C.” Or “I think I’ll get myself mugged in the morning.”

So let me say the first universal truth more accurately. At mostly subconscious levels—starting before birth and fuelled by the accumulated gestalt of thoughts, feelings and beliefs that were once conscious—you create it all: every event, detail and nuance of your life. You are a part of the great Consciousness, a god-fragment who has deliberately forgotten your wholeness so that your adventures can be real.

Before birth you choose the highway, during life you choose the lanes. Your highway has a million lanes.

The highway is your fixed life parameters: certainly parents, country, skin colour, but also some pre-set milestones: a particular partner, a devastating illness, a great good fortune. You choose your lanes in every second of your waking life—with your thoughts. Your thoughts accumulate and become potent beliefs, the most powerful operating at subconscious levels.

Little wonder that when something unpleasant happens, we think life has ‘done it to us’. We treat the world as if it exists in its own right, when in fact life is the most perfect mirror of what we think and feel and believe at the deepest levels. It shows us who we are choosing to be.

Namaste
Michael

For more, visit my website article first universal truth.

Dealing with painful emotions

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Who are you? Who is it that has your body? Is it your mind? Your thoughts and feelings?

But who is it that has your thoughts and feelings? Is it your awareness?

But who is it that is aware…?

The higher you climb those stairs, the more power you have to move on and take charge of your own life. When you can deliberately stand back and watch the movie of your thoughts and feelings, that’s when you can sit in the director’s chair and issue orders, redirecting the spotlights, changing the scene, consciously steering your life away from pain and fear and towards peace and happiness.

But how?

Here’s the method. But first, one important note: even though you can use the method to cope with painful feelings, you must not pretend that those feelings don’t exist. You must not deny them (I don’t feel it), fight them (I’ll beat it), resist them (I’ll stand up to it) or judge them (this is a bad feeling) or judge yourself (I’m an inferior person for feeling it). If you do any of that, your energy will feed the feelings you want to lose! Instead, this method helps you fold them safely into your repertoire of life experience.

Here it is then. Let’s suppose, for example, that your painful feeling is hurt. Wounded hurt.  Let’s also suppose that the hurt is pushing you to act out in an uncontrolled way, damaging your relationships and your life.

First, Allow. Allow yourself to feel the hurt. Accept its existence. Say to yourself, “This part of me feels hurt.” Even in this first stage, you will notice a difference, because most suffering comes not from pain, but from resistance to pain. Resistance comes from fear, and fear is what makes pain hurt.

Second, Observe. Close your eyes. Strongly, vividly, imagine that you get up and stride a few paces away from your hurt self then turn to look back at it as if it were playing on a screen. Say to yourself, “That part of me feels hurt”. Notice the change from “this” to “that”.

Third, Release. Release the hurt-ridden self to dissipate in its own time. Don’t push it away; it’s not a rejection, just a letting go. Say to yourself, “That too will pass.”

Allow, observe, release. Now you have freed your mind to control your next thought or action, consciously viewing and directing the next scene in the movie of you. It’s very simple, and with practise you’ll do all three steps in a few seconds. But it will take practise, because you’ll be doing it to override painful feelings which will exert their own force on you. Perservere, because the rewards are wonderful.

For more, read Finding the Field. Look in it for viewing the movie of you, and for the Quickening. Or go to 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

Why I know that you and I will live forever

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

I will always remember the moment I discovered, beyond doubt, that I am immortal and so is every human on the planet.

I was on my hands and knees at the time, high in the mountains of Peru. I had climbed too fast, too hard, from a village on the Amazon side of the Andes, up to the altiplano – a frozen desert more than 16,000 feet above sea level.  With too little oxygen to sustain such effort, I reached the altiplano as the headaches began and a clamp grew in my chest and upper right arm. It was too late to turn back and suicidal to lie down in that cold. So I stumbled on, gradually slowing, eventually sinking to hands and knees and crawling, shale cutting my palms.

I had seen no other human being that day, but now, incredibly, there were two, on the other side of a tiny lake. They were tending a herd of white llamas, their multi-coloured ponchos shockingly vivid in that bleak landscape. I called out for help, using the wrong word ‘ayuda’, rather than the correct one ‘socorro’ – I’m smiling now remembering it – but they probably didn’t understand Spanish anyway. And perhaps they were afraid that I was a trap of some sort. For whatever reason, the two turned away and shrank themselves and the herd away into the greys and whites of the altiplano. I remember my first feeling: a child-like hurt that they could just walk away.

Then I found myself simultaneously inside and outside my body. This is hard to describe because it was seamless – no real separation. The inside part of me was locked into pain and fear.  But the outside part of me had a very different experience. It was utterly calm, peaceful and strong… and expanded as if I was connected with everything to the far reaches of the universe. It knew itself as the enduring essence of me. It loved the body-locked me. It was the mother that loves a child, even as it is changed by the child; it was the wind that drives the sailboat, even as it is stirred by the sailboat, which may choose its own direction. It occupied a gateless realm that requires no entrance qualifications whatsoever: there was nothing I could do that was bad enough to deprive me of ownership of that realm.

And it would never die, but would go on creating many adventures in many bodies in many lifetimes. My body would die, but I would live forever.

Suddenly, I was back in my body, no longer afraid of death. 

Now this may sound strange, but instead of accepting body-death on the spot, I was filled with more love of this life than I had never known before. What had been desperation to live became determination to live. I kept crawling, then found the energy to rise to my feet and stumble on until I reached help in the next village.

A lot of my growing up happened in the Andes. Some of what I experienced is written into the novel Finding the Field: an adventure of body, mind and spirit.

 For more on how and why we live forever, click on the fifth universal truth 

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 

Redefining what it means to be a human

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

It’s the most profound discovery in the history of science – so fundamental that when the implicatons sink in, the human race will redefine what it means to be human. Modern scentists, hunting for the fundamental building blocks of the universe, have discovered that the behaviour of subatomic particles depends on what is going on in the mind of the scientist. Yes, you read that correctly. More: they have also discovered that even the existence of those particles depends on what is happening in the mind of the scientist. No, it’s not a misprint and it’s not fringe science; it has been replicated many times.

Of course the implications are stunning. As one science commentator put it, “Physicists these days are battling insanity.” Einstein wasn’t at all happy and said darkly, “I like to think that the moon is still there even when I’m not looking at it.” However he did also say, “Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistent one.”

Traditional science is fighting back. It doesn’t argue with the discoveries themselves; instead it says, “Just because that happens on a microscopic scale doesn’t mean that it happens in the everyday macroscopic world.”  Which is like watching a large animal with tusks, a trunk and loud trumpeting, bearing down on you and failing to call it an elephant.

You’ve seen the implications, haven’t you?  Each of us is creating our world around us as we go.

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

You and the glove puppet

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

(Adapted from Finding the Field)
Our essence, as human beings, is not our bodies. We are the energy of consciousness, wearing our bodies like glove puppets, continuously discarding old parts of the puppet and replacing them with new until we withdraw the hands and move on.

Nonsense, says traditional science. There’s no ghost in the machine. The universe is made of dead things called atoms and, therefore, so are we. It’s like a complex mechanical toy, our paths dictated by the tiny atomic interactions that make up our bodies and environment. In other words, says traditional science, the future is fixed by the past. Michelangelo’s David, Beethoven’s Fifth, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, were supposedly all created by blind mechanical process.

Not only is there a ghost in the machine, the ghost is also the machine. The fundamental building block of the universe is not a physical particle at all – it’s thought.

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

Pain, the art and the artist

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

We all experience anguish. Of course we do… that’s life. But have you ever wondered why?

I did. As a child (after bad behaviour) I was astonished – no, I was outraged – by the existence of  physical and mental pain in my life. And when I was older, I realized that many people lead lives of quiet desperation, filled with anguish and fear. So I began to wonder, What is it all about? Who am I? Why am I here? What makes the universe work? And when the answers fell into place decades later, I wrote Finding the Field.

Imagine looking at your life as if you were looking at a very narrow, vertical strip of wood. The strip is decorated with a complex pattern of light and dark colours (that’s your pleasure and pain). Then you suddenly find yourself looking at the same piece of wood from the side – and it looks utterly different from that angle. It turns out that the narrow strip was only the edge of a picture frame and now you can see an exquisite work of art, featuring you, created by you. You are the art and the artist. Seen from the perspective of Consciousness, your life – including all pain and all pleasure – is not only beautiful, it is perfect. In fact, you are already in your spiritual home

Have I taken leave of my senses? How can that be? For more, click on the fourth universal truth.

Michael