Peace Comes From The Balance Of Mind And Soul

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We have been given the gift and the curse of the use and enjoyment of our minds and our hearts. From the moment that we rose above the other animals to become co-creators of our universe, we were given the heart to love, and appreciate the world. We were given the mind to classify, and the ability to blend the two for the creation of solutions to our problems, ensure our survival, and to develop the wisdom that comes from the balance of the two.
How far have we come in the evolution of these gifts? Not as far as we believe we have. The mind has been developed to the point that without the heart it cannot go any further. Scientifically, we have traveled to the point where we are now dealing with a quantum reality that requires creativity, imagination, and even a bit of faith to explore.

Still, the heart is well behind in its development. To kill in cold blood, or really, to kill at all, requires functioning without the heart. Hate is a cold product of the mind. Yes, it does become impassioned, but passion is not a quality of the heart. Passion is a remnant of our primitive ancestry — the energy that drives animals to pursue food, pursue a mate, and scare intruders from its territory. It is an energy, which is directed by a healthy ego or it directs an unhealthy one. The ego, which separates us from the other creatures on our planet, coordinates the use of mind and/or heart. The ego is the decision maker; it is the mediator. It is the health of the ego that determines which we use.

The heart and mind are in balance in a healthy ego. Working together they choose when, how much, where, and if the fuel of passion should be utilized. The decisions, guided by creativity and wisdom, are born out of the combination of heart, and mind. Hate is an instinct based by-product of an unbalanced ego. It is instinctual fear harnessed by the mind without consideration of the heart. Hate is the absence of love. Love is the only ingredient that the heart has to contribute. Even a balanced ego may become unbalanced for a moment when it considers the stresses of life on earth and the different ingredients it has to balance.

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Anger, however intensely it is experienced at the moment, is soon extinguished by the warmth of the heart. It doesn’t turn to hate. Not if the ego is balanced and the heart is strong. Where hate has a place, the heart energy is not developed, either because there is too much reasoning mind, too much primitive instinct, too much fear, or too much of them all. Whatever it is, there is no room for the heart to grow.

Mankind was given, or we took — when we bit the apple — this enormous Pandora’s box of mind, heart, passion, and fear. How we mix them would determine whether we survived outside of the garden or not. And so we struggle with this mixture of cold reasoning mind, hunger for more, and divine love. And it is my belief that as part of the Divine Plan, the souls that incarnated at a particular time, are balanced in a way that will bring all souls, the lessons they have evolved to learn. There are no new lessons, the lessons we face today are the lessons that have been faced by mythic and historical figures, and mythic and historic lands, only the setting is changed.

Ultimately it all comes down to this, can we face the enemy without becoming the enemy? Or can we, as a species, be the hero who faces the enemy and allows the enemy to become one with us? Acknowledge, after thousands of years, that the battle waged out in our world must be won within our own egos, so that, as a species, our progress can be seen in the world around us. As long as we seek the enemy outside of our own beings, we will diminish our chance of winning with each outside enemy that we kill.

We fight the same war, century, after century, without finding peace, until it is found within our own hearts. There is no good or evil; there are no boundaries, no pure white hats, or pure black hats. There are only human beings torn within their egos between spiritual or material. It is a battle that the unbalanced ego does not want to face, because that battle requires letting go of those big shiny idols which the little mind finds such pleasure. It means embracing the small eternal flame, which the heart longs for. And so, we enter the battlefield like Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita, with God as our charioteer, patiently telling us that these bodies are not real, only symbols used by the soul for the true battle within. And this war, whether it is fought on the battlefield, in the playground or in the living room, is a battle of duality, one that continues for as long as we cling to our belief that first the other is bad, and second, that there is any other at all.

We battle those we label evil because we believe they seek to destroy us. They fight us for the same reason. No one marches into battle with a picture of Satan on their flag. We all go off to fight evil, to fight the devil we imagine we are facing. As we all wear both labels at the same time, saying to the enemy, “I am evil”, to myself, “I am good.” We fight to protect our lives because we do not really believe in the eternal soul. We fight to revenge the deaths of those we love, because as Krishna told Arjuna when he was questioning the battle that he was about to fight,

“One man believes he is the slayer, another believes he is the slain. Both are ignorant; there is neither slayer nor slain. You were never born; you will never die. You have never changed; you can never change. Unborn, eternal, immutable, immemorial, you do not die when the body dies. Realizing that which is indestructible, eternal, unborn, and unchanging, how can you slay or cause another to be slain?

As a man abandons his worn-out clothes and acquires new ones, so when the body is worn out a new one is acquired by the Self, who lives within. The Self cannot be pierced with weapons or burned with fire; water cannot wet it, nor can the wind dry it. The Self cannot be pierced or burned, made wet or dry. It is everlasting and infinite, standing on the motionless foundation of eternity. The Self is unmanifested, beyond all thought, beyond all change. Knowing this, you should not grieve.”
( Bhagavad-Gita 2.19-25)

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When we are able to see that the entire world is a symbolic battlefield for the individual soul and the larger groups of souls to play out their eternal battles, we will be able to deal with that apple, understand that the dark and the light are two sides of one coin that each exists because of the other. One cannot exist without the other because both exist within each of us. Only when we have a balanced mind and heart, can we be released from war and suffering.

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First We Believe the World To Be A Certain Way And Then Our Belief Creates A Perception That Proves It Right

There is no such thing as a fact; all that exists is a perception. Even a fact would be irrelevant in one’s life it one did not perceive it as such.

How we perceive a situation determines a different reaction and each reaction creates a different outcome. A perception can ruin our lives, and allow opportunities to pass us by. Another can take us to incredible new possibilities. No one remembers how many times we fall only how many times we rise. If we perceive ourselves as being victims we will be victimized.

Lets us say that there is, in fact, an objective reality. It would make very little difference unless it was somehow able to pierce through all subjective realities because our actions are subjectively driven. Let’s say that two people are dating and one is very jealous. The other partner goes to luncheon interview with a man in a position to offer a great employment opportunity, the opportunity of a lifetime. The lunch meeting is in a restaurant that is within a hotel. The jealous lover happens to see the two of them enter the hotel lobby, of course they are heading to the restaurant, but that is not what the jealous partner sees. The jealous partner waits outside for them to exit, and attacks the potential employer. The relationship ends and the jealous lover believes that his partner cheated on him. A person goes to a job interview and the man doing the interview has had a very difficult day, he just caught his lover cheating on him (so he believes) the first applicant enters the office and immediately assumes that the expression on the interviewer’s face means that he took an immediate dislike to him and doesn’t even attempt to sell himself because he believes that he lost the position as soon as he walked in the door. The next applicant, seeing the expression of the interviewer’s face decides to take his obvious mood as a challenge and begins his interview asking concerned questions about the interviewer’s day. Because this applicant did not perceive the interviewer’s expression as a reflection of his qualifications, he handled to interview in a way that landed him the position.

Only the Universe knows all of the facts. All that we will ever know is what we perceive to be the facts and even that perception is subject to change along with all other perceptions. Our perceptions will determine our actions or reactions to any given situation. Things appear the way the majority believes them to be. The truth, as we know it, is not based on reality it is based on consensus. An observation is relative to the perception of the observer.

Every opportunity in life is open to you if you perceive it as your opportunity. If you perceive a wall to be a dead end, you will turn back and allow it to prevent your passage. If you perceive it merely as an obstacle you will get a ladder and climb over it. Regardless of what situation you are in, there are those who will perceive it as better than theirs and those who will perceive it as worse. There will be those who perceive a situation as a beginning and those who perceive it as an end. If we want to change our lives we have to change our perception of them.

There is a story about a man who had two sons. One son was always happy one was never happy. So the father decided one Christmas to give the son who was never happy every possible toy imaginable. The other son he gave nothing but horse manure. When he went into the room of the son who was never happy, he found the boy sitting on the floor looking very sad. When he asked why the boy said that with so many toys there would never be enough room to play. When he went into the room of the son with the horse manure, he found the boy smiling and singing with a shovel in his hand just shoveling away. When the father asked his son why he was so happy he said, “With all of this manure there must to be a pony.”

People, who are truly happy, seem to illuminate peace. We may find that they have nothing more to be happy about than we have. On the surface it may seem that they have even less. Sometimes it may seem to us that they live in a fool’s paradise, but how foolish can one be who lives in paradise? I have had many losses and disappointments in my life. I have a friend who was constantly telling me that I am lucky. I believed that she was saying that because somehow she chose not to acknowledge all of the obstacles that I had to overcome. But finally she explained to me that she saw me as lucky because I faced each obstacle as an opportunity and so I was able to flow with life without so much suffering. I always said that if this is where I am, it is where I am meant to be, and there is something here for me to receive.

Those of us who amass large sums of money, huge holdings in real estate, diamonds, furs, cars, all of the emblems of wealth and or fame, do so because they perceive a world in which ones value is based upon these things, without them one is nobody, worthless. Living in this perceived reality is an enormous amount of work, because one always needs more just be remain good enough because in the material world, that bar is constantly rising, today’s penthouse is tomorrows basement, and so today’s person of worth is tomorrows worthless person. This is why we do not own what we have, but what we have owns us, so long as we believe that it in any way defines us.

Regardless of what anyone says, a conscious person, in a world of suffering caused primarily because of poverty. The only reason for a person with even a modicum of compassion to cling to wealth is because it holds his identity. Today, having so much more than we need while so many have so much less than they need to survive is like walking around with a fur coat made of pelts that are still dripping blood. Only the loss of identity – which could seem like the loss of our own lives, could allow us this caveat to perceiving the suffering around us. We are able to justify even to ourselves, whatever we do or do not do, based upon the need of our egos to feel safe. And if the ego believes that wealth and power are all that keeps it safe, that perception will allow us to justify what we could never justify directly to our souls. This is the same as the man before could not just beat up a man and leave the woman who turned his world, unless, his perception justified his actions.

We move through the physical world, but we live in a world of perception. One person perceives himself or herself as poor because that person has only one bathroom. Someone else perceives that same person as rich because he or she actually has a bathroom in their home instead of an outhouse. Someone else perceives the person with the outhouse as rich because instead of an outhouse he only has a hole in the ground.

We cannot change our lives until we know exactly how we perceive them. Changing our physical world will do nothing for us because the physical world is only the backdrop against which we live our lives. Our story as well as our history is played out within our perceptions. Once we truly understand how we perceive our world we will automatically understand that there are also other ways. Each way of perceiving any situation or any experience has its own unique set of possibilities and choices.

Happy people see beauty in things that unhappy people don’t see. It is not because they would not see them as beautiful. It is because they do not see them at all. Happy people find what the Buddhist call, “the bless in the mess”. They do not notice what is lost they notice what is found. I remember a job I had that made my life so miserable that I quit. Having no job my grandmother made my home life so uncomfortable that I went out to look for a job on my birthday. Thanks to that first job ending and my grandmothers nagging, my next job lead to my eventually starting my own business making close to one million dollars a year.

I quit my job without thinking I did not take the time to feel sorry for myself. I did not allow myself the time to engage in a long period of self-pity or self-destructive behavior. I did not see the loss of my job as the end so I did not miss that opportunity. But I have to add that opportunity is a train that runs twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. It may take determination to find the station, but the only way we miss it is if we perceive it as non-existent if it is not where we expect it to be.

Christ said, Jesus said, “Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. [And after they have reigned they will rest.]” (Gospel of Thomas)

We can’t change what is, but since what is has probably never been seen by the human eye, all that we have to do is change what we perceive it to be and we will change the path that lay before us, obstacles become challenges, and we no longer seek until we quit, we seek until we find. Life is a series of experiences, and whether our lives we wonderful adventures, or tortuous hell is only a matter of perception, it is a matter, not of life itself but of our experience of it. What we see, determines how we respond, and how we respond determines our life’s experience.

CHANGING OUR BELIEFS

There is no point in searching for happiness unless we believe we can be happy. We may find many things, but we only keep what we believe to be ours by rights.

We all have underlying beliefs which form the foundation of our lives. These beliefs determine the way that we respond to the world. We believe that we have a certain place in the world. We believe that we have certain entitlements or lack thereof. We believe that the world will respond to us in a certain way and that there are things that we can and cannot achieve. Some of these beliefs are conscious, some are not. Many of them only become apparent to us when they hurt us.

Tana, my oldest daughter, and I had been fighting about her lack of attention to school. She had no understanding of the consequences of her actions. I was up against a brick wall and could not break through. One day we went out to lunch with a friend, and when I left the table to go to the Ladies Room Tana and my friend were talking about her failing in school. When I returned to the table I overheard my friend asking Tana what would happen if she really failed, what would she do? Her response was, “My mommy will fix it…she always does”.

I felt as though someone had hit me over the head with a sledgehammer. I did this, were the first words that I heard in my head. I have ruined my daughter’s life. This belief of hers covertly affects each decision that is made. It’s not a thought, something that one weighs when life is happening; it has a quiet, unfelt weight. It is just there, but it is the determining factor. Sadly, I passed this one on to her.

When I was a child I was expected to be perfect. I was expected to bring home A’s from school, no fanfare, no reward, just expected. I began noticing that when my friends brought home A’s they were rewarded by their parents for their hard work, I simply heard, “So, what else would we expect of you.” So in fourth grade I decided to fail, you know, start from the bottom so maybe I would receive some appreciation for my hard work. How could I believe myself to be worthy of love? I was taught that it was conditional, and the conditions were always somewhere beyond my best efforts. So, in fourth grade I proudly walked into my house with a Big Red “D”. My mother immediately made an appointment with the Principal. She insisted that my fourth grade teacher was prejudiced and gave me the grade because of it. After all, I had never in my life brought home less than an A.

I don’t understand how she did it, considering the fact that I really earned that “D”, but she did. It was changed to an A. This created a foundation belief. If I wanted acknowledgement, I had better give it to myself. There was no prize out there for me. These moments that impress us deeply are difficult to change. It was my “D” and she took it away. Whenever I had a favorite toy, or doll, my father would take it away from me and give it to a poor child, because I could get another one. But I couldn’t get another on that was my favorite. When I was young I was a pack rat. I collected everything and kept my collections in my closet. My grandmother went into my closet one day and decided to clean out the “garbage”. She threw away all of my collections. I would hoard every penny of my allowance and every penny that I could find and save it all in a kitty bank. One day, I walked into my room and it sat broken in half and empty on my dresser. No one took responsibility for taking the money or for breaking the bank until almost six months later; when finally my mother admitted to it. I was being taught from the youngest age, that attachment caused suffering. This was a foundation belief. I sabotaged everything, I could not let myself fail, but I could not let myself succeed either. Whatever I had I lost. After each loss I committed to doing things differently the next time, but I couldn’t, my beliefs created the program that my subconscious ran. And I just worked the program.

The key to understanding our subconscious programming is that we can’t just affirm it away, we can’t just understand it away. A program is not designed by the conscious mind, and so it cannot be upgraded by it. Our programs are designed by our emotional mind through repeated emotional feedback. The more painful the experience that designed the program, the more safeguards, firewalls, and passwords are installed to prevent us from tampering with it. In order to change a belief based program, we must act consciously contrary to our instinct. We must do this enough to impress upon our subconscious mind that the new way is a more state of the art security system. Only through acting as if, and realizing the results of the new way, can we change a response or a behavior that has been set up as a defense mechanism. In other words, “Fake till you make it”. We cannot just reject a prior belief. Of course, we can, it just won’t make any difference in our lives, because we can’t change the program that will automatically act on that belief. If someone has a quality that you see attracts to them what you want, act like in those ways that you see working. Eventually, those actions will provide enough feedback to your subconscious to be accepted as the new way.

My soul, my heart – could not accept love that was earned, love that was conditional. But my subconscious believed that the only way to be loved was to earn it. So, if I believed that someone loved me for something that I did, or the way that I looked or carried myself – eventually I resent that person and acted in a way that would make them leave me. If someone came along who just seemed to love me for who I was, I distanced myself from that person like the plague because according to my program, my belief, if I didn’t earn love I would lose it. So I set up a lose, lose situation – and as crazy as it sounds, my subconscious did it for my own good.

There are the beliefs that we can list, and those we just live. The ones that we live have deep roots. My grandmother believed that you have no one but yourself to depend upon. She believed that if you don’t hold on tightly to everything it will disappear. Every decision that she made emanated from those beliefs. Everything that we face in our lives is filtered through the lens of our beliefs. If you know the beliefs of a person you can easily predict how they will hand any situation.

We can change our clothes, we can change our minds, but changing our beliefs is something altogether different. A belief has a deep root. We can’t just pull it out without replanting, without acting as if we hold a different belief.

When I was a child people would occasionally compliment the way I looked or some talent that I had like painting. When that happened I could feel the fury building up inside of my mother. I could feel her jealousy in my soul. I would pay. So my belief was that if I stand out, if I am publicly outstanding in any area, I will pay. So I crave the light and at the same time I shun it. This is so deeply rooted that I can’t change it despite my understanding of its cause. What I can do is act as if I did not believe that I would suffer. So, I decided to give a lecture to a woman’s group. I wasn’t punished, I did not suffer and it felt so wonderful to share that I began upgrading my old belief through this action and replacing it with the new belief that this is a good thing. It is not easy and takes a lot of work, Rome was not built in a day and cannot be rebuilt in a day, but it can be rebuilt.

The distance between a familiar set of beliefs and one that is new and unfamiliar feels infinite. Crossing that space between fully believing one thing and believing something else feels the same as stepping off of a cliff. Act as if you are not afraid when you are shaking with fear. Hold your head high as if you own the room, when you feel like you should be sweeping it. It is not easy, but the results are worth it. Look, you can’t visualize that you no longer smoke until the desire abates. You can’t visualize yourself hating potato chips until you do. You have to stop smoking – to become a non-smoker. You have to stop eating the potato chips, to stop craving them. You must replace a program with an opposite program to neutralize it and allow the new program to run instead.

When we are born we have a personality. This personality has been formed out of all of our past life experiences, good and bad it is filled with programs developed as a result of the past. Our natural talents come from lives of hard work and practice, our automatic fear are programmed to protect us from past life experiences. The programs are activated by certain stimuli, and reinforced in childhood. We enter each life to utilize the gifts and understanding that have been programmed and to reprogram the areas where we are stuck in spiritually self-destructive programming. When we change our beliefs we are entering a strange new country. In time though, that country become home. In order to make the transition it helps to realize that we can always go back to what we once believed. We have choice.

If our lives are not working the way that we want them to, there is something in our beliefs about our living, not in our lives, that is not working. When we try to change, we cannot maintain it because it is contrary to what we believe. We are not able to commit unless it is to something that we believe. We may change our direction, but if we are going left and still believe that we should be going right we will never see the value in having made the change.

One of the obstacles that we face in changing our beliefs is our need to be right. We need to realize that whatever it was that we once believed was completely appropriate for our lives at the time that we developed that belief. That belief gave us a sense of safety on ground that we walked at the time. Now however, things have changed and the facts that those beliefs were based upon are no longer applicable. Accordingly our beliefs must evolve.

It is not that what we have believed up until now was wrong, and therefore the way that we lived was wrong. It is that what we believed worked in the environment in which they were developed and now those beliefs must evolve to accommodate the here and now.

We can change our beliefs without damaging our sense of self by understanding that all beliefs have a reason for being. We don’t just believe something because we are stupid. We believe things because in order for us to have the experiences that we are meant to grow from the Universe has programmed our personalities to react to the stimuli of our family environment by forming these beliefs.

Using Astrological examples, if a Pisces steps on your foot he/she will apologize profusely for not seeing it. The preprogrammed belief being, if it goes wrong it is my fault. A Taurus who steps on your foot will tell you to watch where you put your foot. Thus believing that if you were not in the way you would not have been stepped on, your problem. If it were a Scorpio you might be accused of trying to trip them. They are obviously programmed with trust issues! Through our beliefs we make sense of the environment in which we must not only survive but thrive. Yet since we are here to evolve it only makes sense that our beliefs evolve in the same manner.

These are very difficult times that we are experiencing now. Nothing is as it was. It is as though everything looks as it did, the form is there but nothing has the same substance. This is a transitional period. We are forming a new reality and therefore the old one is losing its power. We are being forced to seek within ourselves and find the truth. It is what we cannot touch that has the greatest strength, consistency and dependability.

Whatever we can touch, will fade and pass away. Nothing will ever be the way it was. Nothing will ever work the way that it did. Yet if we allow ourselves to grow do the work to change our beliefs, our programming, we will find a strength and sense of self-empowerment that we never believed possible. Life is now miraculous; we are living in the possible all we need is to believe in the fact that nothing asked of us by the Source, the Universe is for anything but our good. Imagine the truth as a three-hundred-sixty degree circle, with every degree being a degree of the truth. We enter our incarnations at zero degrees of truth. That zero degree of truth is the foundation of our first beliefs, it is what our first program is built upon. It is TRUTH. Only, when we reach ten degrees, we see a greater truth and must reprogram our beliefs to accommodate the larger vision of truth that is now available for us to see if we are willing. At no point, were we wrong. The only way to be wrong is to have ten degrees of the truth visible and insist on seeing only the first one. We all see the truth, but it is only when we reach the three-hundred-and-sixtieth degree, that we know the whole truth. If we do not allow that there is always more truth to see, and that seeing it does not make the current truth less true, we will prevent ourselves from the greater experiences, the greater joys that lie in the greater truth.

Our beliefs need to be in alignment not only with our lives as they are but as we want them to be. We must believe in who we are, in who we are here to become, and in the process of that becoming. It is through the building of positive beliefs that we create a positive life. Our beliefs are where we begin when we build faith. And faith is the cornerstone of our successes. The doors to our future are opened by the faith built upon our beliefs. It is through our beliefs that we have the vision to see those doors and through our faith that we have the power to open them.

It is our beliefs that empower our obstacles. I have a friend who was afraid to go back to school even though she knew that she had an opportunity and that it would help her achieve her goals. Yet she was afraid because she believed that she was learning disabled. After speaking about it for a while she acknowledged to me that when she was a child there was such disruption in her home that it was very difficult for her to focus on schoolwork. There were so many emotional disturbances during her childhood that school took a back seat and so she did not do well. Today she is not in her parent’s home anymore. She is not a helpless child anymore, but still the belief that she is somehow unable to learn is still standing in the way of her progress. This is a belief that is built upon a prior view of the truth, but not connected with the current visible truth.
Our beliefs build the mountains that are in our way or they bring us the faith to move those mountains.

“… verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” (Mark 11:23)

IS FREE WILL AN ILLUSION?

One of the phrases that we hear and say a great deal in metaphysical circles in “This is all an illusion”. Although it sounds good, it is not something that we are able to really incorporate into our consciousness because it is so fundamentally opposed to our experience. And though we may be temporarily soothed by the idea of it, the feeling vanishes the moment we bump into a part of that illusion, like a wall, and get a concussion on another part of the illusion – our heads. For most of us the idea that our experience is “all an illusion” is filed away somewhere with God, another idea that, for most of us, is firmly implanted in our belief system but very much disconnected from the reality of our daily lives.

If this is an illusion, why does it hurt so much or feel so real? Why can’t we just affirm it away? In a movie, which is for all intents and purposes an illusion, when one of the characters – another illusion is shot by a bullet – another illusion, the character dies – another illusion. There are two layers here. There is the layer of the actors or the soul who is assuming the role of the character – the illusion who dies. Within the movie, nothing is an illusion. When the actor – the soul – steps out of the movie, or the life in our case, it was all an illusion. A good actor will feel the pain of the character; he will feel the joy of the character which is what makes his performance believable. A good actor is very sensitive, just as a soul is. When the actor leaves the role, he has to re-enter his own life – his own role in the greater movie that is life. This reorientation often takes time. When a soul leaves a life, that soul too has to re-enter its essence, after absorbing all of the experiences of the life that it has just left. A character in a movie or in a play follows a plot, acts or reacts in a way written by someone else. So, in order to react naturally the actor must inhabit the part. We souls inhabit our personalities and so we are able to act and react according to the character that we come to play.

An actor becomes the character, so convincingly. that we are able to anticipate what he will do or say next because we believe him. We may know that the actor is acting and that the words have been written by someone else, the cues given by someone else, yet we feel and experience what the characters are going through. Although the choices that each character is making have been predetermined by the writer, we know that those are the choices that this character would make. Even when the character surprises us, if the actor did his job and writer did his, we can review the movie and see how this unexpected action could have been predicted. This is free will. These characters are predictable because we understand how they are motivated. Yet, does our ability to predict their choices deny the freedom of their choices? No, they are free to choose. What is predetermined is the point from which they view the world at the time that God or the Universe places the choice on their path. How often do we say, “I did that based on what I knew then”, or “If I only knew then what I know now”, or, “The person I am today would never have done that”.

Imagine being in a room, facing a wall and from your position, you can see the wall in front of you and from your peripheral vision you can make out the walls on each side, right and left of your position. But from where you stand, there is no door. Now, the position that you are in places you on a wheel, like a clock gear, that will slowly turn you around. However, right now you only see walls. You are facing twelve o’clock. There is a door at the six o’clock position, but you won’t see it for six hours. Now a voice enters the room and says, “You are free to go”. Is it an illusion that you are free to go? No, there is a door. But from where you stand, there is none. In a story, the character has free will and, we can anticipate that characters actions. We have free will, and our choices are predetermined. They are predetermined because our visibility of available options is really limited to one, at the time that the Universe presents the choice. There may be ten puzzle pieces lined up before us to choose from, yet, the experiences, the beliefs, the impressions of the world that we have accumulated up to that moment sees only one perfect fit. Because there is only one, it is the one that our soul has chosen to best experience the lessons we need to learn.
We have to remember that we come here to learn and to grow. In order to do this, we have to set up a lesson plan.

Our lessons do not only come from where the choice leads us on our path, but also from which choice we make, and how we arrived at that choice. We are here to expand our view, and to learn to see from our hearts. Most actors take roles for a purpose. Many take roles which allow them to stretch, to grow. Free will is not an illusion, but in a way, the choices we make are. They are the lessons; they are the set-up for our growth. They create the plot within which the actor acts. As we learn from each choice, our view expands; our abilities grow until we are in tune with our hearts. When we are in tune with our hearts – we are in tune with our souls. When the soul has mastered the personality, its view is no longer limited. It then sees through the eyes of the creator of the path. The dreamer has mastered the dream, so it is no longer a dream; the actor now writes his part, so he is no longer limited by the existing plot. Illusion vanished and all that is left is one Will in tune with All-That-Is. To enlighten is to light the path so one may see the way. It really has never been a question of whether or not we have free will, the question is, how much we really see of what our free will is acting upon. This is where growth lies.

Changing our lives

To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.
Confucius, BC 551-479, Chinese

We may not like the course our lives have taken and feel that a radical change is needed. Perhaps we decide that we need to change our economic level, or that we need a change in our lifestyle. Then we pull out our affirmations and/or our prayers and begin the process.

While it is true that we manifest our own reality, we do not accomplish this in a vacuum. If we are going to survive in these times ahead of us, we will have to understand that it takes two halves to make a whole; there are two forces at work in the accomplishment of every task. Everything that you do whether it is acting from an inner thrust will or reacting to external occurrence – is one half of the equation. It is the act of throwing the ball, of placing the mail in the box, or hitting the send key on the computer. The other half is the energy which guides our action to a given destination. By destination I mean outcome. Some of us never act, whatever we do is an automatic response to stimulus that we either brought with us into this life from past lives, or were conditioned by a repeated act in the past of this life.

If, for example in your past life you suffered deeply from conditions of poverty – in this life you will act towards money and material possessions as though you had experienced this suffering yesterday. You might instinctively hoard, regardless of how generous you would like to be. After a past life regression, or simply a conscious act which is counter to your instinct, then you are actively taking control of your own actions, so, although you are not now, master of your life – you are master of your actions. Many people have past lives in which they were murdered or tortured for speaking out. If that happened to you, you would find that when it comes time to speak up or speak out, you are gripped by an overwhelming fear. In fact, any time that we find ourselves in an outwardly nonthreatening situation and feel overwhelming fear or anger – we are reacting to something that has no relevance in this life but came from the past. Understanding this motivation and acting upon it will aid us in acting consciously – it will not, however, change the fact that the outcome is not a direct result of our actions alone.

There is mounting undeniable evidence that we come in to each life to fulfill a plan that if not chosen was at least understood and accepted by each of our souls. I liken it to a giant mechanical clock with infinite gears. Each gear revolves and as it does so it turns many other gears. Those gears in turn cause the turning of many other gears. Yet each gear is not the same size and does not revolve exactly like every other gear. It is that difference, however slight it may seem, that makes the every gear from the tiniest to the largest equally critical in the functioning of the whole clock of Time. Each of our lives is made up of experiences and the totality of our individual experiences becomes our gear. The specific turning of each gear, in essence, turns the entire clock. We are able to incarnate when our needs and the needs of the whole are a match. Our experiences connect the gears and not our actions because it is the experiences which connect us to others. Soul growth comes as our experiences change our perception of life, but the whole clock, of which each gear is a part manifests our physical reality based upon the outcome of our experiences as we as a whole perceive it.

Because each outcome is equally necessary regardless of the size of the gear that generates it, each outcome is determined by the Source who is able to see and know the purpose and destiny of the entire clock. That higher Presence determining each and every outcome is influenced by the growth of the all of the souls in gear during a cycle of incarnations. What this means is that as each of us change our attitudes that energy combines with the energy of other souls in the process of the same change and all of the outcomes begin to evolve as well in a higher direction.

Our lives are always lived in context. As children, our lives are lived within the context of our families, whose lives are lived within the context of their community, which functions within the context of the nation and so on. We can only change our lives within the context in which they are playing out. What we can change is the way in which we live our lives. Today, we must all acknowledge the economic, social and environmental context in which our lives are playing out. When we seek a change in our lives, what we are seeking, all that we are ever seeking is happiness. It cannot be found if we are hungry, in physical pain or lack shelter , but if we are not lacking in those basic needs, happiness is available in abundance. It is as simple as beginning with a glass that is half full rather than half empty. Happiness will never become a state of being until we are satisfied, until we have enough.

So long as we seek more, we will be dissatisfied with what we have. As long as we are dissatisfied with what we have, happiness will elude us. Within the context of the world today, we must change our focus from having more to becoming more. What we have falls into the category of ‘outcome’. It is not a result of what we have created, or earned in the material world, all of that is only what we have been given. Who we are, who we have become and who we will become is the only outcome that is totally within our control. As we become greater human beings by increasing our reflection of the spiritual being within, we infect others with our growth and they in turn grow. As we grow spiritually we change the context of the world in which we live. Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bobby Kennedy were faces of the Civil Rights Movement. But the changes that occurred were the result of changes in the hearts and souls of hundreds of thousand Americans who, regardless of race, felt a need to move in the direction of truth. It was a subtle change in the hearts of many that moved the country in a different direction, from separatism towards a greater union. This was not the result of technological or material growth, but of spiritual evolution. It was this Spiritual growth, led by a few great leaders, who would have been unable to lead had it not been for that vast number of individuals who had already become in their hearts, the change before the leaders led to manifest in the world. Change in the whole is accomplished through the inner changes of thousands, perhaps even millions. We cannot be led into evolution, it is an inner process. Just as we cannot change our lives without the inner process being complete. Otherwise we just change place.

We are seekers by nature. We are creators by nature. It is our nature to love, because our true nature is that of God. The energy of fulfillment, of happiness, of self-worth comes to us through the strength and power of our creations. Our creations feed us as we ourselves feed our Creator. However, that sense of happiness, of fulfillment eludes us when we seek it through creations in the material world. There are three reasons for this. The first reason is that when our creation is material, it is perishable. It makes no difference if we create a business, an empire; a better paying job, an invention, wealth, higher social status or a new and improved body, everything in the material world has a shelf life. The second reason is that whatever we build becomes the launching pad for someone to build it better. In the material world that which does not fade on its own will be destroyed by the competition. The third and most important reason is that deep within our souls, in that same place where we ultimately find our happiness and sense of fulfillment, lives the knowledge that we were not really in control of the final product. The true credit for the outcome belongs to some power other than us.

Our actions reflect who we are. What we seek reflects what we value. What we hold on to reflects what we treasure. And whatever we cannot live without becomes the master that we serve. One day I decided to run away from home with my friend Beverly, we were about eleven years old. When it came time to go, she changed her mind. She said that it didn’t matter where she went, because, “Wherever I go – I go”.

Changing our neighborhood, changing our social or financial status, changing our marital status are all illusory changes. They may change the view, but not the perspective of the viewer. We tend to need what we have, rather than have what we need. So whatever we have we become dependent on. Material things go from ‘it would be nice to have’ directly to ‘can’t live without’ the moment that we have them. That which we cannot live without possesses us.

An actor needs a role in order to perform. A role needs a play in order to exist. And as each role is essential to the evolving plotline of a play, each role is in some way essential to the evolution of the person as an actor. We are all souls inhabiting roles in the play called life. The role that we play cannot just change or end because the actor has lost interest. However, an actor can change a role from within, changing a villain to a sympathetic character without changing the lines, only by changing the delivery. This subtle, inner change of the character can open up new directions for the character that may alter not only the actor’s experience of the play, but the way in which the other actors play their parts, and finally the experience of the audience. The ending may be the same, but these subtle changes could take the sequel into a whole new direction.

For us to change this we must fully understand the reason that we chose the role that we are living. It is not that we cannot change our lives; however, it is not something we can do without true knowledge of ourselves, and the reasons for our choices. Most of the time, we are not working with the knowledge of, or the Spiritual reasons for, where our lives are at this moment. Without that knowledge, how can we change? We do not change our lives from the outside in, but from the inside out.

For us to change from the inside we must understand what is going on inside. Why were these experiences set up in the first place? The truth is, that when the work is done, the lessons learned and the understanding lived – we need no more for ourselves than food, water, and shelter to be as happy as the laughing Buddha. Once we have completed the work, we no longer want for ourselves. Usually, we tell ourselves that happiness must be there – simply because it is not here. Obviously, if it’s not here – it’s there. But the truth is that here is the only place that happiness and all of those other things can ever be because we only move from one here to another.

So it is incumbent on us to know, first, why we came here now, then what the particular circumstances of this’ here’ and this ‘now’ have within them for us, because there is a strong chance that whatever we are searching for is here now, and if it is not, then the key to opening the box that contains it definitely is. The Universe does not waste. Every drop of rain contains an answer for anyone willing to take the time to look. It is only through the challenges that we have faced and will face ahead of us that we can find the treasure we came to unearth. If we perceive that life just happens to us, and that is all that we get from it, we will never know where we are.

There is no punishment and no reward on earth from above. Life is not about punishment or rewards from the standpoint of the Creator. It is about experience. When things go well, we are not being rewarded for past good actions and when things go wrong we are not being punished for past bad actions. In either case, there is something that we have to learn, something that we have to pick up and include in our treasury of knowledge and growth. If it were that simple—either punishment or reward—then all of those who we consider good, would have good things happen to them and all those we consider bad, would have bad things happen to them, but, as we well know, that is not the case. How many times have we heard people say, “Bad things happen to good people.” Life is neither fair nor unfair, it just is. When we are in school, there are no fair subjects and no unfair subjects; there are no fair tests or unfair tests. The fairness of a test is based on the perception and level of preparedness of the person taking the test. It is the same with life. Things are unfair when we are not prepared to handle them and fair when we are.
To change our lives effectively, we must understand them thoroughly, and be prepared with the knowledge obtained through each experience both good and bad. This requires being conscious and not a victim. It requires a willingness to examine life, not just experience it. If we keep being hit with balls that come from out of nowhere, we must learn to catch them or learn to duck—something must be learned. If we are being taught to catch and we keep ducking, the balls won’t stop coming. If we are being taught to duck and we keep catching, the balls won’t stop coming. If we don’t take time to figure out why the balls keep coming, we cannot stop them. But, if we do figure out why they are coming and either master the lesson or make a conscious soul connected decision to put it off, we can change.

If we are not this, if we are not these bodies and these egos then these bodies and these egos must have some symbolic purpose. That is the way it is with our lives. If we want to have a different set of experiences, then we must discern the original purpose; the original function. If we want to change the play, the story, we must first understand our own role in it. Then we must change our approach to that role so that change will transform the approach of the other souls to their roles and to the character that we play. This change will travel forward until ultimately the play becomes a new one.
When children are born, we are struck early on with the realization that there is a very well defined personality in there. There are reactions based, at the least, upon some innate set of beliefs defining the world. Babies have responses to people and to outside stimuli that are not just like every other baby. Some babies respond to the world in ways that just could not have been observed in the limited environment in which they exist. We bring into each life a core belief. It could be what we died in our past life believing, it could be imprinted from many lives of being stuck in the same pattern, it could be exacerbated or just reinforced by the thoughts and feelings of the mother during pregnancy, or it could be an innate Spiritual knowledge. We could bring in the lessons learned at the end of our last life rather than the reaction to the experiences. Wherever it comes from, it is the preamble to our life’s story. It is the filter through which we interpret the world around us and the experiences that we have. It is the key to understanding our perception of and our responses to the world and our experiences in it. Often it is difficult to uncover because it is imprinted in our psyche in the womb, or at least before words. So it is like a knee jerk response, hit the knee the leg goes up, no thought required, and because no thought is required it cannot be filtered.

My father suffered from Parkinson’s disease from before I was born. It went untreated until my mid-teens when my father finally acknowledged it. However, it had been slowly breaking down his ability to think, he lost large periods of time which we never knew of because he had never been in the habit of coming home every night. When I was fourteen he had very little money left and we moved from a large house with five bedrooms to a small house with two. My sister’s core belief was “who a person is – is based on what a person has. One’s chance of survival is in proportion to one’s image”. So, she carried this in from her past life, and in the womb she knew that she was not wanted by my mother who tried everything that she could to accidentally miscarry. Coming in with this belief, reinforced by her experience in my mother’s womb, added the belief that the world was not safe for her. The fact that my mother fell instantly in love with her the moment that she was born, had no effect on her core belief. She saw every experience through the filter of a threat, and responded as one would to being threatened. She relied on the façade of wealth that she was born into to intimidate or impress. She never worked in school – never sought to be anything because her belief was that on her own merits she would fail. When our family moved from having more than many to having less than most, my sister, at the age of ten years old, was pushed her over the edge. Her life deteriorated and she just went from one bad situation to another. It did not matter where she was or what opportunities were ahead of her, she saw the world as chairs being moved around in the same unsafe room, and reacted accordingly. Perhaps she could have sought help, but you can’t seek help when you believe that it is your image of superiority and nothing more that keeps you safe. To seek help would be to admit imperfection which in turn would invite destruction.

Our core beliefs are not simple; they are as intricate as the myriad of past experiences which created them. Still, there is a theme. One theme may be that the opposite sex can’t be trusted; another theme may be that to be seen as standing out in any area is dangerous. It could be that the soul brought in the belief that survival depended on being in control. Some souls are not as influenced by past lives as they are influenced by their core spiritual selves. Whatever these beliefs are, they are the colors of our lives for better or for worse. Everyone walks the same streets our experiences of those streets are personalized by the colors that we bring to them. My core belief – the one thing that I have come to realize that is written in stone for me is that the Source, All-That-Is, the Presence, the energy that we often refer to as God, is Love itself, it is Goodness beyond measure, and the only and ultimate source of all wisdom. I believe that it is the energy and ultimate creator of every experience that we have for eternity. For me, this has always meant that although my life has had a plethora of disappointments, losses, rejection and apparent failure, I have sailed through each storm unaffected because the water under my boat has been calm. I have faced every challenge as an opportunity to gain something that would outweigh the price. Even when, as now, I wonder why I have been so blessed as to have been given such an overflowing reservoir of growth opportunities, my mind is immediately guided to see how much love has entered my life from unexpected sources.

When my parents lost everything I like my sister, had to confront the loss of face. After the immediate feeling of a knife in my gut at seeing our new home, the thoughts that ran through my mind were of how much stronger I would feel in my skin after this test. The most crucial step in changing our lives is asking ourselves what feelings, or fears motivate us. What do we believe causes us to be accepted and what causes us to be rejected? What does our world look like to us? What does it feel like to us? What possible reasons could one continuously end up in the same bad situation if you remove deserving it, earning it, poor judgment, and bad choices? What do we believe will happen if we do _____________ and why we believe that? Every experience under the sun contains a gift, and usually the difficult experiences contain an opportunity to see our own power, an opportunity to see that we are loved and therefore worth loving, that love is love from wherever it comes, or an opportunity to once and for all free us from past, outdated beliefs that constantly limit us.

When my sister finally lost everything that she hid behind, including her ability to maintain her façade, her only choice was to walk through her fears, for the sake of her children, and to attempt to build a life on her own with only who she is and not who she was with, or what she had. With each step she found that who she was seemed to be much greater than she ever believed. From here, she was free to finally step in the light as herself. Even having fewer things than she once had, she has what she never had before and that is herself. It did not happen because she changed her life, it happened because life changed her view. More often than not, if we do the work, we find that we can only change places and change circumstances so many times before all places and all circumstances feel the same. But if we are willing to change our view – then we automatically change our living, and if we change our living our lives move to new heights.

The Secret – The Real Law Of Attraction

By Denise Gibel-Molini

Sometime in the 70’s I came across Norman Vincent Peale W. Clement Stone and Napoleon Hill.  Both of these men were amazing motivational teachers.  They taught what today is called the “Secret”.  Then it was the power of the subconscious mind.  Later in the 90’s I had a Spiritual Book store and I began seeing different books on the various “proven” laws of success.  These were more steps to achieve the same goals as were promised by Napoleon Hill and Norman Vincent Peale.

I believed, and still do to this day that there is an enormous power in positive thinking within the individual.  I remember that my year spent in “network marketing” was spent in hours of motivation and the power of positive thinking.  During that you I didn’t make money.  However, I never even caught a cold, I was never tired, and nothing could break my spirit.  It changed my life for the better – just not in the way that I was looking for.

I have a problem with all of these secret, hidden, special, scientific methods of attaining ones dreams.  They could never pass the kinds of tests required in order to state that a product or a drug was proven effective.  I know many many more exceptions to this rule than those for whom the rule has worked.

My cousin is the poster child for the anti-law of attraction, or the law of repulsion.  The more that she wants something, the more she is convinced to the core that she will never have it.  She focuses daily on visualizing her life – long and miserable in failure and loneliness.  Yet, after an entire year of this dedication to the negative – in rode prince Charming on his white horse to whisk her away to love and bliss.  In fact, most of the people that I know who focus all of their attention on the miserable trick that the universe has played on them, are the exact ones for whom success and opportunity seems to pop up out of no where.

Of course, there are those, such as Barack Obama, for whom living in the visualization of being President and sitting in the oval office did work.  Then, there are John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and scores of others who also lived “the Secret”, who lost the race and the chair that they each saw themselves sitting in day after day.  Yes, there is a law of attraction, but it is greater than we could every imagine, and it rules.  You could call it the attraction of fate, or simply the power of the greater plan – the soul’s plan for each of us and for the world.

According the today’s science everything is nothing, or energy, consciousness – fields.  Various fields of consciousness.  So, some believe, and this is what I believe, that the soul is a kind magnetic field.  Before it incarnates it programs itself to attract to it the people, places, and experiences that will facilitate its personal goals and the goals set by the accumulation of all souls incarnating in a certain time.  We, our fields, are all woven together to form a divine personal and universal tapestry.

We attract, and are attracted to only what we chose as souls.  And for the soul all experiences are parables.  All experiences have within their essence a moral lesson teaching love, faith, compassion, forgiveness, and placing the spiritual above the material.  We can find this in each story that we tell of an incident in our own lives.  Sometimes it may take years to “get it”, but when we do – we understand the lesson.

Part of this process is the ego.  The ego is made up of an accumulation of all of our lives on the earth past and present along with all of the emotional experiences that imprinted on it and lie buried within the database of our subconscious mind.  “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” W. Clement Stone.  This is true, however the kind of belief that is necessary is not belief held in our conscious minds, or our imaginations – it is belief held in our subconscious minds.  You see, we live in a world that is neither solid nor three dimensional.  It has no time.  That is fact, but it is not the belief that is held by our subconscious minds, otherwise we could not share this earthy experience.  So belief, is deeper that imagination – it is deeper than reality.

To journey into that realm of the subconscious through hypnosis or through deep meditation, is a journey to what is in essence another reality.  It is a journey in which we leave our ego behind.  What we find when we do, is that this plan, or this series of plans are purposeful and fulfilling in ways that are eternal and not limited to societal programs or past life understandings  of what we should our should not want in this one life.

What we find, is that the path, however it appeared in our conscious state seems to be a path to joy.  Even if we enter into this state to attempt to rewrite the script.  We come back knowing, believing that there can be no better script for our lives than the one written.

Some of us come into life with a burning desire to be rich and famous.  That burning desire comes from the fact that it is the journey written by the soul.  And when these people enter that path to wealth and fame – they find that it was nothing that they had ever imagined, in no way free of pain or suffering, in no way self-validating, and that lesson is the moral of their parable.

I have a ability to visualize, not so much a persons path, but the purpose of the path – the types of experiences that will bring the story to its true gift.  There is a good friend of mine who is a visionary photographer.  His work will take people to great places one day.  Consciously he is fully aware of the unique beauty in his pictures.  And he is frustrated that he cannot sell enough pieces to pay he rent.  Although people are taken aback by the beauty of his work, it is not selling.

We have done past life regressions.  In each life he rose to a different position of social prominence.  In each life he was very focused on his career, on his good name and his status in the community.  And – in each life he died in deep spiritual and emotional pain because he had passed up his chances for true love and emotional fulfillment.  His soul vowed that in this life he would balance both.  He was told by his guides under hypnosis that he had to learn that God gave him two hands and he could have fulfillment in each.

The last time that we spoke, it came to me that although his material success and public recognition were immanent, his soul would not attract them to him until he was balanced within himself.  Until he found his inner power, his inner love and was able to manifest that love in the world as a part of who he was – the material success would remain just outside of his grasp.  The purpose of this being that if his material success were to come first, he would then become caught up, as in his many past lives in that alone.  Once again he would miss the thing that eluded him life after life.  He had to find himself now, to avoid the risk of never finding it, and living a life of emptiness.

There is a law of attraction that is at work in our lives from the day that we are born, but the attractor is not our conscious mind but the spirit that lives within us.  When we want something and do not get it, it is because it is not something that we want from within our souls.  It is perishable.  The soul seeks that which is permanent and continuously giving.  When we do not get what we want, however badly we believe that we want it, however hard, we believe that we have worked for it.  The cause is not our personal failure – it is the success of the soul.  We don’t generally know what we really want, we only know what we really want to feel.

Society tells us that what we want to fell is in box number one.  But if we cannot open box number one, it is because what we want to feel is not in it.  Society, those things that we are programmed from childhood to believe are the keys to happiness, are only part of the superficial, impermanent world around us.  They are not part of the real and permanent world that is within us, the world that contains the true power.  Jesus says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all else will be added unto you.”  This means seek for the joy that lies within you.  Seek first the foundation that lies within you.  Seek first the soul and its treasures that lie within you.  Once you have found all the glory that lies within, all else will come.  All else will be attracted to you.  This is the Law of Attraction.  This is the real secret.

Whatever we find before we find the kingdom that lies within, will be empty.  And if we seek that first, it will consume us to such an extent that we will remain empty for the rest of our lives.  No praise, no adulation, no recognition that we may receive from the world, will give us the fullness of self that we are really seeking unless first we seek and become grounded in the foundation that lies within.