Thursday, February 25, 2016

To Pay Or Not To Pay

To pay or not to pay, that is the issue. Whether 'tis wiser to charge for a service or give it away for free. Oh, conundrum of conundrums!

It's a pretty strange world in a lot of ways, and one of them is the inconsistency of attitudes about paying for education and healing.. A fair percentage of the population in modern countries is quite willing to pay handsomely for "conventional" health care and private schools or tutoring, but balks for some reason at paying anything for "alternative" health care or education.

One argument I hear is that "people shouldn't charge for healing." Somehow drug companies, medical doctors, nurses, psychologists, chiropractors, homeopathic doctors, hypnotherapists and a host of others are exempt from this, and somehow herbalists, energy therapists, spiritual counselors, hands-on-healers and a host of others are not. In some cases the perception seems to be that "conventional" healers had to work hard and pay for their skills, while "alternative" healers were either born with it or had it drop into them out of heaven, and that this somehow justifies the difference. It doesn't take much research to discover that the "alternative" healers had to work just as hard and pay just as much in money and/or time to develop their talents or learn their skills, so that argument doesn't work.

In reference to education, I hear people say "you shouldn't have to pay for knowledge." Again, "conventional" education seems to be exempt from this, as are books and other media, but "alternative" education (in which category I include all manner of workshops, seminars, and lectures by private teachers in any subject) is not. I have never found even a glimmer of justification for this one.

A variation of the inconsistent attitude comes up in regard to "traditional" knowledge and healing. What I am talking about has nothing to do with the unethical and exploitive practice of a "modern" person learning from a "traditional" teacher and then going on to make a lot of money from that learning without any equivalent compensation or benefit going back to that teacher. Instead, what concerns me here is the belief among many modern and even indigenous people that "traditional" knowledge and healing was always provided free of charge. Let's look at that more closely.

The use of money is merely a medium for exchanging goods and services, something humans have done ever since there was more than one of them. Money itself has taken many forms, and in some places it still does. When I visited the island of Yap in the Western Pacific I discovered that they use shell money for bride prices, wheel money for real estate, and American dollars for beer. In Africa, where I lived for seven years, they used gold, iron, and cowrie shells, among other things. But in a great many traditional societies the more common way of exchanging goods and services was through barter or gift.

The barter system is based on exchanging tangible goods or specific services value for value, using negotiation to determine the trade. For instance, if I am a potter and you are a farmer we have to decide how many goats will buy how many pots, or vice versa, depending on whose need is greatest. Or if I am a teacher and you want to be my apprentice, either your family will give me so many cattle a year or you will indenture yourself to me as a servant for so many years. This is very common in Africa, for instance. In all my years of travel, along the coasts and into the interior, among many different tribes, I never once came across traditional teaching or healing being given to non-family members without some kind of exchange taking place.

A gift system is based on treating all exchanges of goods and services as gifts in which negotiation plays no part. This is similar, really, to the "donation" system used by many spiritual healers and counselors today. In Africa, the gift system came into play most often when goods or services had been given and received without negotiation. For instance, one time the women of an African village, for whose children I had been providing dry milk and grain, invited me to a gathering at which they danced and sang in my honor and presented me with fifteen eggs. The use value of their presentation and the food I provided had nothing in common, but the gift value was equal. A few minutes ago I picked up my car from a service station and they didn't charge for checking out a problem, so I bought some gasoline there (I usually buy elsewhere). That was also a gift exchange.

Early Hawaiian society was organized into districts composed mostly of extended family systems, and gifts were the predominant means of exchange. A district, or ahupua'a, typically extended from the sea to the mountains, and feathers might be exchanged for fish in gift-giving, without regard to amounts. There is a Kauai story about a chief who paid Menehune stoneworkers one shrimp each for their work. Modern interpreters think it was a tricky thing to do, but there is no indication in the original story that the laborers were upset about their gift.

Modern times are not the same as ancient times, and although barter and gift-giving is still done, money predominates for most exchanges. More important than that, however, is the fact that there have always been exchanges of some kind in every society. Even in families, where knowledge and healing may be shared freely, there is the subtle recognition that the family members will exchange something at some time when it is needed. In the early part of the last century Hawaiian kahuna healers felt perfectly free to publish a list of prices for their different services.

Now I am going to share how I operate, not as a model for anyone else's behavior, but as an example of one person's solution.

First, in my teaching for Aloha International (workshops, books, counseling, etc.) when I charge I do not charge for the knowledge. The knowledge is out there in the universe for anyone else to get the same way I did, or by many other ways. What I charge for is my teaching skill, which I have developed over many years of hard study and practice. Some people feel they cannot afford my workshops, so we provide an abundance of free information through booklets, articles, email counseling, websites, healing circles, live lectures, and video on a voluntary gift-exchange basis. No one has to go without the knowledge, but if they want to take advantage of my special teaching skills in an intensive way they have to pay for it. As for the source of my knowledge, my Hawaiian family has been very well taken care of, thank you.

In my healing work I take a somewhat peculiar stance. First, I make a distinction between counseling and healing. Counseling, for me, is teaching people how to help themselves. Although I do a lot of it for free, I have no problem with charging for it. As for healing, I believe that anyone who has healing skill or ability has the right to charge whatever he or she wishes for that service. However, I have personally chosen not to charge for any direct healing help that I give, whether distant or immediate, and an emergency always gets first priority for my time. To my way of thinking this is my gift to the Universe, and any return donations that people give are forwarded to Aloha International.

What I have stated in the last two paragraphs is my personal policy, not the policy of Aloha International or it's Alakai. As a matter of practical fact, Aloha International's policy tends to follow mine rather closely, but the individual Alakai are free to develop their own.

So, to charge or not to charge; to pay or not to pay, those are the choices. That's called free will. And that's what I believe in.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Power and Purpose

The essence of power is influence. It is that which enables you to be effective at doing what you want to do, to get the results intended, to move others to help you, and it is that which affects the power of others even when it is unintentional. 

Everything has both active and passive aspects of power. A flower has the active power to grow, blossom and reproduce. It may also have the passive power to give food to a bee or pleasure to a human, both of which enhance its active power to grow and reproduce. A human may have the active power to perform a certain task. He or she may also have the passive power to inspire other humans by that performance.

There are several kinds of power:
1. The power of energy (as of the elements, strength, emotions, vibrations).
2. The power of favor [ability to give or withold] (as of money, position, prestige, affection, punishment, protection, pleasure, etc.).
3. The power of intimidation (threat or act of violence or loss, emotional manipulation, etc.)
3. The power of knowledge (as of skill, information, wisdom).
4. The power of authority (as of self-confidence, or confidence in one's access to another power).
5. The power of focus (as with decision, determination, motivation, desire).
6. The power of belief (as with assumptions, attitudes and expectations).

Personal power is the power to direct one's own life, and to take responsibility for the effects of doing that. Everyone uses personal power to some degree, and most of them accept responsibility when it works the way they want it to. However, relatively few people want to take responsibility when it doesn't work out, and relatively many prefer to transfer the authority for running their own lives over to someone else. "Take care of me" seems to be a more popular cry than "Help me take care of myself." "It's not my fault" is heard more often than "I'll change myself."

Personal power does not just affect the individual; it also has social consequences. I was told about an incident that took place during the time when relations between the US and communist China were just opening up. As a form of cultural exchange the US had sent a table tennis team to China to compete with their Chinese counterparts. During a break the teams were discussing life in both countries with the help of a translator. An American happened to mention a statistic current at the time that on the average Americans move their residence every two years. A Chinese asked whether the Americans were angry at the government for moving them so often. When it was explained that Americans move whenever and wherever they want to, he exclaimed with disbelief, "How can you possible control your economy if everyone moves around at will?" 

It's hard for some people to understand that the most powerful, i.e., influential, nation, and the most successful, prosperous, and compassionate nation, will be the one whose citizens have the most freedom to make their own choices. A way to increase personal power, i.e., power to develop one's own life, is by combining the techniques of ku'uwelu, ho'ohui hoaka, and nalu.

Ku'uwelu is roughly translated as "hang loose", and as intended here it means to enter into a state of non-resistance to influences from within and without. The non-resistance takes place in both the mind and body, and the process is accomplished by using words, images, thoughts, feelings, movement, awareness and intent. In practice it consists of monitoring the body to continually release the slightest increases in unnecessary tension (necessary tension, as an example, is that required to remain upright in a standing position) and tension reactions, and monitoring the mind so as to continually release all negative thoughts and thought reactions. The effect is to achieve a kind of mental and physical transparency, a kind of "empty awareness." This does not mean no awareness, but a heightened awareness unclouded or restricted by automatic reaction patterns. The heightened awareness includes clarity of thought, increased sensory perception, increased perception of energy, and an ability to act or react almost instantly to any stimulus. In practicing the technique there is often an experience of body releases and "aha!" realizations.

Ho'ohui hoaka means "to connect the aura," and it refers to a technique of extending your aura to connect or join with the auras of your environment. In the proper execution of the technique you are highly aware of the shape, texture, movement and "feel" of whatever you have joined with. It is a 2nd level technique, though, and not like the "grokking" of kulike, because you are still very aware that the object or person is not you. Yet you are strongly bonded or blended just like you are when you hold or touch a familiar, well-liked object or person. Ho'omaika'i, the blessing technique, is a great aid for connecting.

Nalu is a contemplation technique that works on the EFWAG principle ("Energy Flows Where Attention Goes"). Whenever the mind is focused on something, especially with intent, not only is there a reciprocal energy flow, but the nature or quality of what is focused on tends to be reproduced by the ku, the body mind. So if you focus on the energy of a fire you tend to get energized, and if you focus on the freedom of an eagle, you tend to feel free. In addition, nalu can be used for telepathic and psychokinetic influence.

When ku'uwelu, ho'ohui hoaka and nalu are combined, the results can be very powerful. If you have ever experienced a high power or love state, this is a way to get back into it consciously. The idea is that the non-resistant state will allow an uninhibited flow of energy, the aura extension will connect you with your environment, and the contemplative process will direct the energy according to a natural intent, thus turning you into a sort of super-conductor for super-effectiveness. 

Once you are "transparently connected" the key factor is the focus of your contemplation. This does not have to remain the same. For instance, you could start by contemplating beauty, move on to energy, then to a desired effect or influence. The combination is also very useful for eliminating personal blocks, for as you contemplate a problem area you will have many opportunities to keep releasing mind and body.

Power, however, is meaningless without a purpose, and no purpose can be achieved without power. The larger the purpose, the greater the power, but it doesn't work the other way. You can't accumulate tremendous power first and then set about applying it to a great purpose. It is the purpose that expands the power.

Using power for the purpose of immediate self gratification is natural. We do that every time we act to increase our comfort, our pleasure or our effectiveness. Shopping is an expression of personal power, as is driving a car, playing a game or making love, but the degree of influence - and therefore the level of power - is relatively small. As we involve others in our expression of personal power, by helping them to increase their influence, our own power grows. All great religious, political, military, economic or social leaders have used this idea, consciously or unconsciously. Most have also encountered two major problems based on a misunderstanding of power.

The first problem is the false association of power with control. This error is very common, and is the main reason so many people are afraid of the whole concept of power. Actually, control is just a technique, and not a very good one, for exerting influence. Control requires the threat or the fact of punishment to be effective, and the response to that is always fear and anger. Therefore, the use of the control technique sets up a natural resistance to its use. If you look at the surface of a situation the control technique may appear to be effective, either in a family or a police state, but the underlying resistance is constantly working to undo it. Even if the situation lasts for many years, the control technique will produce a very poor record of achieving the desired results.

The second problem is the use of power against something. Now, exerting influence induces change, and the universe has a built-in resistance to change that helps to keep it from falling into chaos. In all of existence we can see a constant interplay between the forces of change and resistance to those forces. We also see constant attempts to reduce resistance in order to make change easier, such as the path taken by molten lava, the shape of a raindrop, the structure of a palm frond, the strength of an elephant, the streamlining of an airplane, and the altering of a lifestyle. Very rarely do we see power used consistently and purposefully to get rid of something, except among humans. Some people are not satisfied with developing their own religious or political system; they have to make theirs the only one by destroying the others. Some people do not want to compete; they want to eliminate the competition. Some people do not want to cure cancer or heal the drug problem; they want to make war on them. The use of power to willfully oppose, subdue or destroy another power generates tremendous stresses which reduce the effectiveness of both.

"Power over" and "power against" are very inefficient uses of power. A far more efficient use is "power to." The former are inherently destructive, while the latter is inherently creative. Sometimes the difference is as subtle as an attitude, but the effects can differ vastly.

For instance, two very different approaches to healing are to treat illness as an enemy or as a behavior. If an illness like cancer is thought of as an enemy then that can lead to the thought of making war on it, and then treatments like surgery, radiation, chemicals, and x-rays are thought of as weapons for winning the war. In addition, any treatment without the power to suppress or destroy the cancer, or to reveal its secrets, is put aside as irrevelant at best, or a hoax at worst. On the other hand, treating the cancer as a behavior, or the effect of behaviors, leads to the thought that any treatment that changes the behavior of body, mind or environment may be helpful, and that could even include treatments that are weapons in the "enemy" approach. The biggest difference is that the attitude of war produces far more resistant stress in the body, mind and environment than an attitude of peaceful behavioral change. The result of that, naturally, is that in the latter, more of the power applied to the healing is actually used for the healing, and less is needed for overcoming resistance. This is simply an aspect of the physics of energy.

In nature we see abundant examples of rocks, plants and animals following the path of least resistance. We find it in humans, also, alongside what seems to be the practice of following the path of most resistance. However, the path of least resistance may be so glaringly obvious that it takes a radical shift in attitude to recognize it. A blade of grass apparently has the power to break through a slab of concrete, yet it clearly doesn't have the strength to accomplish this feat. But perhaps it isn't breaking through the concrete at all. Perhaps, using the principle that energy flows where attention goes, it is focusing all of its attention on reaching the sun, and it is ignoring the concrete completely. Perhaps, in the face of such a love, the concrete simply parts to let it through. And perhaps this same idea might be applied to our human lives. That is to say, perhaps the path of least resistance is the path of love. If this is so, then perhaps there is greater power and higher purpose in keeping our attention on what we want, and not on what we don't want; less on what we hate and fear, and far more on what we perceive as the highest good.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Huna Path To World Change

interview with Serge Kahili King

This is an interview I did that was conducted by Jennifer Kos on behalf of Science of Mind magazine for their May, 1990 issue. It has been slightly edited and updated from the original.

"The Huna path bears a remarkably close resemblance to that of the Science of Mind in its blending of the ancient wisdom and modern methodology. Both Serge King and Ernest Holmes share a common philosophic platform, for each accepted the intimate relationship of mind, energy and matter. And both teach that we truly can achieve that to which we are all entitled - happiness, abundance, and joy in a world at peace.

Science of Mind: Serge, you are recognized authority on Huna. Please define Huna for our readers. 

King: Huna is a Hawaiian philosophy of living. It focuses on the powers of mind and the forces of nature, and how they interact. It is a very old philosophy associated with Polynesia. There are seven basic principles of Huna, which makes it a philosophy and not merely a system of techniques. Huna is simply a way of dealing with or viewing reality, and because of its simplicity Huna is easy to remember and easy to apply effectively.

Science of Mind: Your writings have described the use of Huna in a form of shamanism that follows the Way of the Adventurer rather than the Way of the Warrior. What is a Hawaiian shaman and what differentiates these two paths? 

King: Our definition of a Hawaiian shaman is one who has a particular world view and who operates in accordance with the seven HUNA Principles, primarily the first one, which states: "the world is what you think it is." A corollary of this principle is that reality is a dream and we can change it. We change the inner in order to change the outer. And that is really what designates a shaman - not a particular technique, but a particular way of viewing and interacting with the world.

The characteristic that differentiates the Hawaiian form of shamanism from other forms is that is an Adventurer system, not a Warrior system. The warrior Shaman is a healer who also works with the mind and spirit, but who does this by confrontation and conquest, with the goal of defeating illness or evil. The Adventurer shaman works from a perspective of cooperation, friendship, and harmony, with a goal of changing behavior. The Way of the Adventurer happens to be a lot more fun, because it involves an attitude of harmonizing rather than protecting or defending.

Science of Mind: How does the shaman view reality? 

King: From the shaman's point of view, reality has no set limits. Of course, there are certain limits that we accept, acknowledge and operate by, but these are not inherent. There are "creative" limits and "non -creative" limits. A creative limit is like a channel that allows energy to flow in a particular way, and a non-creative limit is like a dam that blocks the flow. We must have some non-creative limits in order to operate here in the physical dimension. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to focus our attention. For example, in order to listen to a program on the radio, we limit our reception to a particular frequency, and then we can pick up that program. That doesn't mean there are no other programs, but in order to hear that one, we must create a limit. Through our senses we narrow our range of perception so we can tune in to the frequency of physical reality. But this does not mean there aren't all kinds of other realities.

Science of Mind: In your system of thought, what is the view of the world and the part we play in it? 

King: From the shaman's point of view, there is one world, one earth. We are part of that one earth, creatures on it with our own purpose, and through serving that purpose we are also serving the earth's purpose. When we talk about healing as shamans, we talk about healing the physical body. We talk about healing weather conditions, such as earthquakes, and about healing circumstances, such as poverty or oppression. We talk about healing animals, trees and plants. We view the entire world as one, and we see our role as helping to heal the world.

Shamanism differs from a lot of other healing practices because it is not just a human-oriented system. It is an earth-oriented system.

Science of Mind: Has that always been true? 

King: Yes. Shamanism has always treated the whole world as one. That's why some of the traditional cultures talk about animals as brothers and sisters and friends, not totally separate creatures.

Science of Mind: Do you think more people are beginning to have that attitude today? 

King: Absolutely. Concern about our environment is growing everywhere.

Science of Mind: There seems to be a shift taking place in consciousness, particularly at this point in time. 

King: This shift has been occurring for a long time, and I believe it's happening because there's a growing interest in love and practice of love, like we have never seen before in history.
Science of Mind: Some people might take issue with that statement and say that we're poisoning, destroying, and killing more things than ever before - the water, the atmosphere, the earth, and one another. 

King: Those things certainly are occurring. They have always occurred with human beings. Only now, the big difference is that there is more love being practiced than there ever has been.

Science of Mind: What evidence of this do you see? 

King: Let's take a look at what happened when the Marshall Plan was put into effect at the end of the Second World War. Never before in the history of the human race has a conquering country not only given of its resources to help its allies, but given of its resources to help its enemies, and then turned them into friends.

During the period after the war, private groups formed. Some were church-supported groups, such as the World Council of Churches and Catholic Relief Services; some were private, like CARE and OXFAM. These groups were formed to help other people. Eventually, they served as a model for the Peace Corps. They were formed to help people in other countries with goods, supplies, services, technology, money, assistance, food, and personnel - with no expectation of return, with pure-hearted purpose. The people they helped didn't have to do anything in return. The Peace Corps has very much the same concept. Of course, there were people in the American government who thought of the political advantage of the Peace Corps, but it worked because a lot of Volunteers overseas weren't serving for that kind of reason. They served because they were loving people. They put up with tremendous hardship, giving years of their lives in extremely trying and sometimes dangerous conditions - all for the satisfaction of helping people.

The whole Peace Corps concept, where a government would train and send people to help other countries with no direct demand for return or payment, never occurred before in history. And other governments were doing this, too. The United States was the most publicized, but when I was in Africa I worked with similar volunteers from Austria, England, Israel, and China. Many different countries were doing similar things.

Science of Mind: Is there any other evidence you see of love being practiced on a worldwide scale? 

King: Yes. Recently, when a devastating earthquake occurred in a Russian province, the United States rushed in to help it with goods and services and medicine. After the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, citizens of other countries went over there to help. They didn't say, "You're going to have to pay us so much to do this."

When two whales were stuck in the ice in the Arctic, two "enemies," the United States and the Soviet Union, sent their military ships to break the ice so the whales could go free. Two superpowers used their military resources to help a couple of animals! I know of nothing like that ever occurring before. Over and over again, these kinds of things are happening all around the world.

Science of Mind: Perhaps this kind of caring and helping activity happened in primitive times. 

King: Not as far as we know. One of the most primitive concepts is fear of the stranger. Many primitive people believed they had to protect themselves from the evil that the stranger brings. Even in Hawaii, in earlier times, when the people here were friendly, they still wanted assurance that you weren't a threat to the community. Or you had to prove that you were so strong that they couldn't do anything about it. Once you were acknowledged as having peaceful intent or superior strength, there was great friendship, but it wasn't automatic.

Science of Mind: So this fear of other people goes far back into our history and we're beginning to take steps toward overcoming it? 

King: That's what appears to be happening, and on a scale that has never been recorded before in human history.

Science of Mind: What could account for this? 

King: What accounts for it is that a great many people, who have gathered together over a long period of time, are teaching and practicing love. There have been, and are still, spiritual groups of all kinds and all natures. The message keeps coming: love, love, love. There's a change in the inner consciousness. Movements that teach this message are forming. We're getting it all over the place. People talk about there being too much bad news, but there is more good news on television and newspapers now than there ever has been. there are more programs and articles about the environment, about animals, about nature, about things that human beings are doing positively in education.

When San Francisco had its earthquake, Armenia sent food. Think about that. A Soviet province sent food to help an American city. Russia is just coming out with a series of stamps. One of the stamps commemorates the Apollo landing. The Russians are actually commemorating an American feat. Yes, they intend to make hard currency on the issue, but it is still remarkable. Now, taken individually, these seem like very little things. But the " one world " is forming faster and faster. In many different shapes and ways and sizes, love is getting stronger.

Science of Mind: Can love make a difference even after we have poisoned everything? 

King: We have not poisoned everything. Wait a second. Look around you out here. Does this land look poisoned? Look at the world! When I was in Africa, we got news about the United States and the pollution and poisoning. This was in the 60's. I came back in 1971. By 1971 it seemed clear to everybody in most of the rest of the world that the United States was a rotten, stinking mass of pollution - that all the rivers were clogged with oil and debris, all the fish were dead, and all the skies were gray and cloudy. I came home and honestly, my culture shock was not in going to Africa, it was in coming back to find so much of our country in such great shape. We took a camper-van cross country. Marvelous, beautiful! Clear sparkling water, clean-air, gorgeous forests. We could hardly believe it, compared to the kind of news that was given oversees about what the conditions were by American newspapers and magazines.

Most of the world is in great shape. There are places that very seriously need help, that are potentially dangerous. Absolutely no doubt about it. But don't think that the whole world is polluted, because it isn't. That doesn't mean we don't have to act now. We must act now. In the same way that your whole body might be healthy, but if you've got a sore you're going to work on healing it. Right? But don't forget that most of your body is healthy.

Science of Mind: What can people do to begin creating change in the world? 

King: They have to start from where they are. The United Nations is putting out some great material indicating specific things that everybody in their own way can begin to do that will make a difference. There are guidelines available and there are organizations we can operate through, such as The Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, the National Wildlife Federation and others. They suggest things for people to do and help them do it.

Science of Mind: What specific tools does the shaman used to help heal the environment? 

King: The use the same tools that every other human being has available. Shamans do everything that everybody else does, only we do it a little more consciously. We use words, we use imagination, we use emotion, we use sensation and physical movement - we use all of our divine powers in order to change our reality.

Science of Mind: As human beings, then, we can exert a positive influence on the environment, even though it may seem as though we're separate from the trees and rocks? 

King: Ordinary reality says that we are separate. Shamanic reality says we're not. It is simply a different way of viewing or interpreting phenomena. When we experience our oneness with everything, we are practicing love, and this love has a healing influence on whatever needs to be healed.

Science of Mind: But can one individual alone really make that much of a difference? 

King: I'm not saying that one person is going to change the entire world. One person will change his or her awareness of the world, and there's a cumulative effect. In Aloha International we now have more than 2000 shamans who are working separately and together. Other people and other groups are doing other things. The number of people able to operate in this way is increasing. With each one of these individuals doing the inner work to help various aspects of the planet, the changes can be made rapidly. So, yes, one individual makes a big difference because the one individual is never alone. The second principle of Huna says, "There are no limits. " We are all connected. Other minds pick up and are influenced by how we think and act. It is partly this which is accounting for all the changes that are beginning to be made all over the planet.

Science of Mind: Then more people having thoughts of peace on earth can at some point totally change the old reality? 

King: That's the idea. Now, if you start saying, "It's too late," then you are not agreeing with what the Science of Mind philosophy teaches - which is that we can change the world. If we can believe it, we can achieve it. So the question is not whether there is time; the question is, "Can we believe it?"

Science of Mind: As you have said, changes always come from the inner to the outer. How we think and feel on a daily basis is going to affect the world around us. 

King: Exactly.

Science of Mind: Please take the Huna principle " Now is the moment of power" and relate it to the ability to make positive change in the world. 

King: Well, that one is easy, because now is the only time when you can effect any positive change. You can't do it yesterday and you can't do it tomorrow. You can't do it this morning and you can't do it this evening. The only moment in which can act, in any way, is right now. So even from the point of view of pure logic, we can see that. Now, the extensions of this in shamanic thinking are that you can change any effect from the past - right now - because here is where your power is. You can set up and begin to create any kind of future from right now. The viewpoint is that we are not bound by the past. In terms of creating change, the past doesn't matter. It's what we think about the past that matters.

Science of Mind: Then it's not so important to know the "why" of what we're going through in the world situation today? 

King: That's right. What matters is what we're going to do about it. In ordinary reality there is much power given to the past. People think that if they can only figure out the past causes of their problems, then they can figure out how to solve those problems. Certainly we can learn skills and gain information about what's going on now from the past, but the power to change is right here and now. We can gather information, but at some point we have to start to make changes.

The current state of most of the world is that you've got to build up all kinds of justification for change from all the things that happened in the past and give it weight and authority before you can go ahead and change. Shamans just don't look at it that way. If something isn't working right now all, let's start to change it. Sometimes you need information that has been gathered in order to cause change more effectively. Then you use that information, if that's what is needed. But you don't use that for your authority. There's a difference there.

Science of Mind: It's very difficult for some people to believe they create their own reality when they feel influenced by outside influences and forces, such as karma, for instance. 

King: Well, you see, we don't have that concept. We believe that "Now is the moment of power." Karma is right now. Everything that you are experiencing in this moment is your karma. And in any given moment, you can change that by making different decisions about yourself and about life. We're certainly not saying that these are always easy to make because it depends on your level of confidence as to how easy a decision is to make. If your confidence or your self- esteem isn't high, then you'll find it more difficult to make such decisions. The higher your confidence and self-esteem, the easier it is to make decisions to change.

Science of Mind: What you think the role of self-esteem is in healing the problems we now face in the world? 

King: The higher our self-esteem, the more we begin expanding our sense of identity with other people. Sometimes we try to build up self-esteem by separating ourselves from others. Essentially that never works. It produces effects. It can produce a big income, a lot of popularity, but always with a terrific kind of tension inside. That kind of self-esteem, then, is always dependent upon outside things or other people.

True self-esteem comes from confidence, and as our confidence grows our sense of identity with other people grows. So we become more identified with the world and therefore our concern and compassion increases. Then we're going to think in ways that will be healing, not only for ourselves but for our environment. It's definitely going to affect the world!

Science of Mind: Is it necessary for each individual or for us as a group to have an idea of what we would like the world to be? 

King: Nothing is necessary. No. However, if you want to change the world in some particular way, yes, then it's necessary to have some idea of how you want to change it and what you wanted to be like. If you don't have a clear idea of what you want, how are you going to get it? I meet a lot of people who say, "I want to help people." Fine. What you want to do? "I don't know. I just want to help people." Well, you're never going to help anybody unless you finally decide what you're going to do that is helpful. Being specific helps to accomplish your aims.

Science of Mind: Serge, your organization is dedicated to spreading "the aloha spirit." What exactly is "Aloha?" 

King: Within the seven principles, Aloha is the fifth. It says, "To love is to be happy with." in terms of manifesting, it means two things. First, the more you are at peace with what you presently have, the easier it will be to change it. Many people think they have to get very unhappy with their present circumstances before they will change, and yet all they're doing is developing a habit of getting unhappy in order to grow. This principle presents the startling idea that you can be happy where you are and still grow. And that growth will be faster and easier if you do it that way. The second thing is that the more you love your dream - the more it excites you - the easier it will be to manifest it. Many people have dreams that are born out of fear. They want to manifest prosperity because they're afraid of poverty, or they want to manifest peace because they're afraid of war. But if fear is your only motivation, you will only manifest what you fear.

The fifth principle indicates that the best way to manifest prosperity is to love prosperity, and the best way to manifest peace is to love peace. As a practical step, it helps tremendously to cut down on criticizing what you don't like, and to increase the blessing and praise for what you do like.

Science of Mind: Is there a simple technique you can share with our readers that can enhance our power to praise and bless what we like? 

King:Yes, there is a simple breathing technique which enhances your power to bless by increasing your personal energy , or ki , as it is named in Hawaiian. This technique requires no special posture or quiet place. And can be done while moving or still, busy or resting, with your eyes open or closed.

First, scan your body with your mind and be aware of any muscles the don't need to be used right now for whatever you are doing. Then, when you inhale, put your attention on the very crown of your head; when you exhale, put your attention on your navel. With a little practice you will feel a buildup of tingling energy. When you can feel the energy, mentally surround yourself with it like an electromagnetic field or a cloud of light. Then attune yourself to the power by making yourself feel as happy as you can. When you bless, surround the object of your blessing with a mentally projected field or cloud of this "love energy." This breathing technique is called pikopiko in Hawaiian, because piko means both the crown of the head and the navel.

Science of Mind: In what ways does your organization spread this "aloha spirit?" 

King: We sponsor a growing, worldwide Aloha Fellowship of people committed to spreading the spirit through the process of blessing. As we have been discussing, we also train shaman peacemakers and healers to work in our modern urban environments. In addition, we teach workshops on effectiveness. We have a new set of seminars for the general public that helps people learn how to love better - how to be successful, healthy, and happy through loving. Also, we have a center on *Kauai where we introduce people to the love of the earth and to the love of others. We want to teach people how to bring about peace and harmony in the world. [*the center is now on Big Island]

Science of Mind: Serge, what is your own personal vision for the planet? 

King: I have a vision of this world becoming a place of peace and harmony like a great orchestra playing a complex, inspiring symphony. There will be a cooperative integration of many different people using many different skills and instruments to play an exciting, enjoyable and adventurous composition of life.