Posts Tagged ‘Finding the Field’

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

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.

Who or what created the earthquake?

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

It’s been 10 days since the massive earthquake here in Christchurch, New Zealand. Here’s my take on it – the answer to that strange question.

For me, it was like waking inside a berserk concrete mixer, which has since thrown more than 400 rumbling fits and is still going.  But here’s the first wonderful thing: even though it was the magnitude of the Haiti quake and centred close to our city, even though many streets looked like a deserted war zone with rubble and army cordons –  amongst half a million people there were just two serious injuries and not one direct fatality.

Here’s the second wonderful thing: before the sun cleared the horizon, thousands were out helping others – and the helpers included many who had just lost everything. The connected spirit here has been a heart-warming and life-affirming phenomenon. Hundreds of inspiring stories are emerging; I’ll just sum them up with one quote from a cousin whose house is almost certain to be condemned. He said, “You can’t buy experiences like this.”

To the point. Who or what created the earthquake?

A full explanation needs the combination of the five universal truths, but above all it’s the ultimate test of the first truth: that you are the creator of your reality. For an individual event, the concept is easy to understand, if not to accept. But for a mass event like an earthquake it seems like nonsense—until we deepen our understanding of the words ‘you’,  ‘I’ and ‘we’. 

Traditional science says we are separate from each other. Yet for at least 4 decades, modern science has known better (while resisting the implications).  It has seen abundant evidence that our body cells respond to our thoughts, that plants respond to our thoughts, that inanimate particles respond to the thoughts of the scientist doing the experiment—and that the behaviour of any particle in the universe depends on the behaviour of every other particle in the universe.

If so, then where does ‘I’ end and ‘you’ begin?

Try this: picture ten people as ten bars of light, each a distinct colour. Now picture those colours flowing out and blending into each other, the combination becoming a subtle new colour—our collective subconscious. Picture a hundred, a thousand, half a million people, merged so that ‘we’ is literally a single, powerful, creative being expressing itself in the physical world. Now, knowing the first universal truth, we can see how a mass event like an earthquake might happen—even though such specific destructive thoughts might never crop up in any individual conscious mind.

Hard to picture?

Once upon a time there were three men, walking through the mountains and the valleys, with only a small loaf of bread left between them. The first man grumbled, “I’m hungry, one loaf is not enough.” Just then a crow flew overhead. The second man complained, “I’m famished, we must find more food.” And the crow landed in a nearby tree and watched them. The third man cried out, “I’m starving, we’re all going to die.” And in his distress he dropped the loaf, and the crow swooped down and carried it away.

Why were there no fatalities in our earthquake? The accepted explanation points to timing (most of us were in bed), good building codes, and a great deal of luck. Fair enough. But I point to a unique state of that invisible thing which truly unites us: our powerful collective subconscious.

And now? After the quake?  Of course creation continues, as always, individually and collectively. My cousin’s attitude will lay his own post-quake path; other attitudes will lay other paths—some inspiring, some sad. There will be half a million self-created realities, yet only one.

I want to leave you with a smile. A Christchurch man, noticing one of the smallest tremours, said to his four-year-old son, “Hey, Al, can you feel this aftershock?” So the little boy held his hand up in the air and tried to feel it with his fingertips.

Take care. Hold your loved ones close. If you are shaken, be not stirred.
Namaste
Michael

For more, read 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

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.

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.

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 

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