Monday, August 31, 2015

Masters & Slaves

This life is such an interesting experience. We are all participants in a vast game which we all agreed to play before we got here. The game consists in trying to thread our way between two worlds, each with a different set of rules. On the one hand, we have this three-dimensional physical world wherein we have to find food, shelter, clothing, companionship, and to confront other players of the game struggling to comprehend and cope. On the other hand, we have a, let us say, four-dimensional world which shows this reality to be a product of our own minds, an illusion, a "dream-world" from the fourth dimensional point of view.

What is the good of knowing all this? It depends on whether you want to be a slave of life or its master. To be a slave of life is to accept everything around you as the ultimate reality and to act as if you have no control over it at all. It is to identify with the waves of energy that pass through you from time to time, which we call emotion, to think that they are you, that they are yours; and to let them condition your thinking, when in reality the energy was colored by your thinking in the first place. It is like a puppy chasing its own tail. Then there is the problem of other people. Everything would be great if only they all did what you wanted or expected them to do. But other people are such contrary beings. Often they would rather do what they want, rather than what we want, even when we "know" that ours is the best way. So when they don't act according to our expectations and desires it upsets us terribly, causing emotional (energetic) trauma and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. But--and consider this very carefully--when others don't act according to our desires and expectations, then perhaps something is wrong with our desires and expectations, and not with their behavior.

A slave of life is also terribly bound by material possessions--money, land, goods. Their loss or lack causes emotional trauma and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, too. We may seek such "tangible" objects out of a need for security, but such a fragile and ephemeral type of security it is. The Bible parable of the man who worked his tail off for years and years to fill his barns and granaries with riches, only to find out on the very day that he thought he had attained material security that he was to depart this life the same night, reflects a fundamental truth. We are only passing through this life. The material world is only a tool for our experience. We are bound to suffer if we try to base our security on swirling atoms held in a temporary pattern, and to think of the pattern as the only reality.

The master of life--and it is the here-and-now potential of every human being to be such--knows that three-dimensional experience is a reflection of thought and not more. As a master of life you realize that you choose what you experience through your basic beliefs about life. You realize further, that to change your experience you have only to change your beliefs, and you understand the difference between desire and belief. You know that you, and only you, are responsible for all your happiness or unhappiness. And you also know one of the most important truths: that the way in which you experience life depends on how you choose to react to what happens to you.

For this is an inborn, inalienable power that each of us has. We choose to be happy or sad, disgusted or overjoyed, impatient or understanding, bigoted or tolerant, inflexible or flowing. The slave chooses, too, but he lets his choice be determined by the will or acts of others, thus putting his power in their hands, and then he tries to blame others for his failure or unhappiness. The master of life chooses the way he wants to feel, to react, in terms of what will be the most effective for him, regardless of what happens. You are all, at all times, masters of your fate, insofar as your power to choose your reactions goes. The difference is that the slave refuses to accept responsibility for his choice, and remains a slave, while the master of life chooses knowingly, and is free.

People speak of the courage it takes to choose effectively, and of the struggle to choose one reaction over another. Actually, the only courage involved is that of risking someone else's displeasure at your choice. And the only struggle is against your own fear and doubt. Of course, it is easier to float than to swim; easier to go with the flow than to direct your course, but floating brings you up against sharp and unpleasant rocks, while swimming brings you to safety.

To carry on the swimming analogy a bit, let us conceive of a particular experience in life as a rip tide. A rip tide is a strong current running from the shore out to sea a hundred yards or more. Let us use it to demonstrate a life experience over which you apparently have no control. Caught in the rip tide, a slave of life either panics and tries to struggle against the current, in which case he quickly loses his strength and drowns or he gives up all hope and floats out to sea with the current, in which case he drowns anyway. The master of life, however, flows with the current until he feels its power weakening, and then he swims around it and back to shore. Both slave and master undergo the same experience. The difference is in how they react to it. To master life is not to control it; it is to master your relationship to it. A master surfer does not control the wave. He masters the art of riding it.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Spiritual Economics

The issue of money is a very important one for people all around the world. Some people want a lot more of it and some people want to get rid of it, but probably most people think of it as a material concern rather than a spiritual one.

Money itself is nothing more than a medium of exchange (that really means a symbol) for goods and services. As such it has been around ever since people decided that bartering pigs and blankets for tools and trinkets was too inconvenient, especially when the guy with the tools or trinkets didn't want pigs or blankets, and wanted cows or crockery instead.

So every human group that has traded extensively with another human group has developed a monetary system, alongside a barter system that is used whenever it works. One of the most widely used monetary systems in ancient times was based on cowrie shells. The people of Yap in Micronesia have three systems: big stone wheels for real estate, shells for marriage, and dollars for beer. Gold has been popular in ancient and modern times because it's useful, durable, pretty and fairly rare. But the value people give to it goes up and down, and so do the monetary systems based on it.

The stuff we use for money may be material, like shells and metal or paper, but what really matters is the value we give to the stuff. And the value is not material at all. It's just an idea in the minds of people. The cowrie shells, paper and coins have very little intrinsic value, and the value of something solid like gold goes up and down as mentioned above.

As a medium of exchange for goods and services, money has to be backed by something valuable. That is, something people perceive as valuable. But it's often forgotten that money must also be backed by people's trust in the source of the money, regardless of the valued backing. You know that banks can fail when people lose confidence in them even if they are full of money. Governments can fail when people lose confidence in them even if they have a lot of material backing. The experience of the Soviet Union is a good recent example.

People can fail, too, when people lose confidence in them or when they lose confidence in themselves, regardless of the value of their goods and services. Likewise, people can succeed when people have extraordinary confidence in them or when they have extraordinary confidence in themselves, also regardless of the value of their good and services.

So the actual value of money as a medium of exchange for material things depends on very immaterial or spiritual things like confidence, trust, faith. And how much money people are willing to give to a person for goods, services or out of the goodness of their hearts depends on those very same spiritual things.

Now this next statement may disappoint somebody, but money only comes from people. It doesn't come from God (except indirectly, perhaps, through inspiration). It doesn't come from governments: it comes from the people who run them and those who pay taxes. It doesn't come from casinos or lotteries; it comes from the other gamblers who lost. It doesn't come from companies; it comes from people who buy things.

If you want to have more money in your life - for yourself or to help others or for both--then you have to make yourself more valuable in the eyes of other people. It won't be enough to provide valuable goods and services, or to be in the right place at the right time, or even to pick the right numbers.You'll have to be more spiritual than that. You'll have to have more faith, more confidence, in your own value, as a provider of goods and services or as a person.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Personal Sovereignty

Personal sovereignty is an issue which affects each of us as individuals and as a society, whether we realize it or not. Understanding it can help us to interpret what is going on within us and around us. Increasing it can radically transform our existence.

The word "sovereign" means to be in supreme authority over someone or something, and to be extremely effective and powerful. Therefore, it is usually applied to gods, royalty and governments. We speak of kings and queens as sovereigns (even when they are figureheads), and of the sovereign rights of nations and States.

Personal sovereignty, then, would imply the intrinsic authority and power of an individual to determine his or her own direction and destiny. If that sounds suspiciously like free will, it's because personal sovereignty and free will are the same thing.

Just as being a sovereign nation means having the right and power to make decisions and take actions in the national interest without being forced to by another nation, so being a sovereign person means being able to choose oneÌs actions and reactions without being forced to by another person. To the degree there is free will in all such choices, national or personal, there is sovereignty.

Although sovereignty also means to be powerful and effective, it doesn't necessarily follow that once you have it you can do anything you want. Whether you are a nation or a person, you also have to consider the sovereignty of others. Of course, you could try to diminish or destroy the sovereignty of others to get what you want, the way nations and people sometimes do, but human experience shows that you can usually accomplish more by cooperating than by conquering.

Ultimately, however, we each have only as much sovereignty as we can demonstrate. Having sovereign rights and being sovereign are not the same thing.

The way to increase your personal sovereignty is to increase your use of free will. The way to do that is to decide for yourself what actions to take and reactions to have in any situation, and to decide for yourself how to interpret your actions and reactions whether they are freely chosen or not.

For instance, if you work for someone and are ordered to do an unpleasant task, it can feel like you have lost some of your free will. But in addition to remembering that you can always quit, you can also decide for yourself that you are not working for the boss; you are providing a compensated service, and you can decide to do the task because you choose to, not because you are ordered to. The point is, you can always choose your actions and reactions.

Beware, though. Personal sovereignty has a high price. It's called personal responsibility. As you increase your use of free will, you also increase your responsibility for your own actions and reactions. Increase it enough and you won't be able to blame your parents, your enemies, your friends, your lovers or spouse, society, fate, Satan or God for anything having to do with your experience.

If a lot of people were to greatly increase their personal responsibility our society would undergo tremendous change. Co-dependent and manipulative relationships would all but disappear; untold numbers of trial lawyers would have to find new professions; politicians would be held accountable for their decisions; insurance companies would have to change a lot of policies; people of different faiths would be more tolerant of each other, humanity would act more from love than fear... Now what kind of world would that be?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Bless Your Way To Success

You may already be familiar with the idea of blessing, either from our booklet, "The Aloha Spirit," or from one of our classes or courses, so I'm going to expand on the idea in order to help you expand your use of it.
To begin with, some of you have witnessed or experienced the muscle test we use to demonstrate the power of blessing, but many others have not. Therefore I'll start with this extremely interesting phenomenon, because blessing is not just spiritually good, it's physically good as well. 

When you bless someone or something, that is, when you compliment it, praise it, thank it or just call it good in some way, your own subconscious responds by relaxing your body and increasing your energy flow. Even though you've directed the blessing to someone or something else, you benefit physically. It's easy to demonstrate this with muscle testing. Just have someone stand up and raise his/her arm straight out from the shoulder. Tell him/her to hold the arm up strong when you say "Resist," then push down smoothly on the person's wrist so you can get a sense of his/her normal strength. Don't push down all the way - you are not trying to overcome his/her strength - but just enough so you know how well he/she can resist. Then have the person silently criticize someone and let you know when he/she has done it. When you know, say "Resist" and push the arm down again. You will find that the arm comes down easier this time, often dramatically so. This is because the person's subconscious has taken the criticism personally (remember, "There Are No Limits"). Do the same test again with the person giving a compliment to someone this time and you will find that the arm has grown stronger, often much so, because the subconscious has also taken the compliment personally, has relaxed and freed up more energy to resist with.

Basically, criticisms of yourself or others cause your body to tense, and compliments to yourself or others cause your body to relax. Curses cause stress, blessings reduce it. Using blessings alone can improve your health tremendously, and sometimes that's all that's needed. In a recent workshop a woman asked me what to do when someone else criticizes you. As we demonstrated, the most efficient and effective thing to do is to immediately contradict them aloud or silently, with a self compliment. You can bless your way to success in health.

So many people have problems with their relationships, and yet a very easy and workable solution is available. No matter what kind of relationship it is, nor what the intent when you communicate, the fact is that if you give more criticisms than compliments you tend to destroy it, and if you give more compliments than criticisms you tend to enhance it. Nagging is deadly to a relationship because it is simply overt or implied criticism and it doesn't work to make the person better or you happier. If there is any person or group or persons that you don't get along with, it is because you have a critical attitude toward them. You get along with whomever you do because you ignore their faults, or at least don't consider them as important as their good qualities, and because you do compliment them on those good qualities. In other words, you bless more than you curse. 

It's a simple thought but true, that if you want to be totally in love with someone, see and acknowledge only their good. To the degree that you don't, the relationship will suffer. So you can bless your way to success in love, too.

Success in your career works in the same way. If you truly love all aspects of it, if you only bless it, then you will be successful in it. Some people experience what is called "burnout" in their jobs. Their ambition disappears, their desire to do a good job disappears, and their job can even make them sick. The problem is as simple as the solution. For whatever reasons, justified or not, such people have begun to curse their work to the point where they give it practically no blessings. The subconscious naturally resists being there but the conscious mind insists, usually for economic reasons, and the result is burnout. The solution? Either find a job you can bless or start blessing the job you have. Even when you haven't reached the burnout extreme you can use blessing of your work to improve your efficiency and increase your enjoyment. And when you love your work and you do it well, the rewards will increase, too.

May these few ideas help you on your path as you bless your way to success.