Here’s a concept to consider:
Everything that surrounds you is an extension of you. Your mate, children, home, furniture, car, pets, yard, office, and career are all physical expressions of your belief system and attitudes. Your environment is a manifestation of your energy and core beliefs, expressing your self-image and cultural overview.
And what mind has created, mind can change.
Change begins with the acceptance of new beliefs. Beliefs generate your thoughts and emotions, which create your experiences. If you aren’t happy with your current life and want to change it, you need to change your core beliefs about allowing yourself to experience what you desire.
Your disharmonious beliefs are like a cage, restricting your potential and your life. But if you want to escape from the cage, you must first recognize that it exists and you’re not free. YOU CANNOT CHANGE WHAT YOU DO NOT RECOGNIZE.
Sadly, most people are unaware they exist in a self-created prison.
What can you learn about yourself by examining your key life areas as an extension of you-- a manifestation of your energy and core beliefs:
Let’s say, as an example, your yard and office are a mess. This may be a manifestation of a lack of control in your life. You would be served by cleaning up these areas as first steps of taking control of your life. Explore how this lack of control is reflected other areas. What do you want? Begin mind programming with techniques that follow in the next example.
If your primary relationship no longer reflects who are, explore your part in creating the way it is. Who have you become? Then consider what you desire to happen--be honest. Once you have clarity of intent, you can begin to program new beliefs in keeping with your desires.
Programming: Behavior wags the tail of feelings, so act in keeping with your desires and new feelings will follow. Visualize what you desire as if it were already so. Create vivid mental movies in which you’re living the life you desire you to live. Leave personalities out of the visualizations. If you visualize your mate doing something you want them to do, but it isn’t in keeping with who they are, you’re using black power and creating karma. Instead, visualize yourself living the life you desire with a loving (faceless) spouse. That way, if it’s your karma to bond with someone new, you’re not programming yourself into a corner.
Also, in meditation or self-hypnosis, give yourself positive suggestions worded as if what you desire were already accomplished. Self-talk--positive affirmations spoken out loud while you’re driving or home alone, is also powerful programming.
Use Dick Sutphen mind programming CDs. (You could have predicted that.)
Do you know someone who thinks they’re always right? No matter the situation, they are the final word? It will help you to understand they were programmed to be exactly the way they are. And you can use the knowledge to your advantage.
Your subconscious mind is a memory bank and operates very much like a computer. It’s programmed for survival and for you to be “right.” Everything you consider saying or doing is quickly run through your data banks, comparing the present to related past experiences. Your computer then approves your actions as compared to the past, for in the past you “survived.”
Computers are logically programmed machines and cannot be wrong. To be wrong is a malfunction. If your subconscious computer allowed you to be wrong, its survival is threatened. So, the only way it can work is to make you feel correct. It does not reason and it does not care if you get what you want out of life. It just needs to be right to protect itself, even if you lose the game.
To rise above this programming, learn to be aware of your programming so you can detach from the buttons that cause you to act like a robot. A robot has no choice in the way it acts. It has wiring and circuits that are set so when a button is pushed, it reacts according to programming. In many areas of your life you’re programmed the same way. When your button is pushed you need to be right. Even if you’re not right, you’ll find some way to justify yourself. Only those with enlightened awareness of how human beings work understand this. Winning the game is far more satisfying than getting to be right.
Years ago I had the following discussion in one of my seminars:
“Can the need to be right come from past-life programming?” asked Anita, a pretty woman in her mid-twenties.
“We are all programmed to need to be right, just as we’re programmed to stand and walk on our feet,” I replied. “But an excessive need to be right might go back to a past-life cause.”
“But what do you do? My fiancé has to be right about everything, all the time. No one else is ever right. It’s enough to drive you nuts.” She rolled her eyes at the ceiling.
“Do you want to remain with him?”
“Of course, I love him.”
“Then you’d better develop an enlightened attitude allowing him to be right while you win the game. You have to learn to override your own ‘rightness’ button. Knowing how he is programmed to function, you can let him be right. Remember, unless you allow him to be right, his survival is threatened and there is going to be trouble. So you can quickly allow him to be right with a phrase such as, ‘I understand how you feel.’ In so doing, you learn to override your own ‘rightness’ button. Knowing how he is programmed to function, you can let him be right. You’re not admitting he is right, you’re just taking him off ‘tilt.’ His survival will no longer be threatened and he can concentrate upon the problem.”
Winning the game is far more satisfying than getting to be right.
Those who have read many of my words know that I often talk about accepting what is. It’s the Zen idea of accepting reality (what is). In so doing, life gets easier. And one more time let me quote Buddha: “It is your resistance to what is (reality) that causes your suffering.”
We resist the way someone else is, and get upset by their actions or inactions, their words or deeds. Just when I think I have learned this lesson, I seem to come face-to-face with a new test, often resulting in some form of suffering. Someday, I am going to “get it.”
If every time you touch a hot stove, you burn your finger, eventually, if you have any intelligence at all, you will learn to stop touching hot stoves. The idea is to learn through love and wisdom, not through pain.
And if the base premise of accepting what is were not difficult enough to deal with, there is a lot more to the concept that I do not normally communicate. Accepting what is, is a matter of living in reality -- not in a world of assumptions, interpretations, judgments or conclusions.
To live in reality allows you to become aware of what you want and don’t want. You would no longer get together with friends out of any feeling of obligation -- only because you would truly enjoy the time shared. You would not allow what someone else thinks to keep you doing what you are drawn to do.
In her book, “If The Buddha Got Stuck,” Charlotte Kasl, Ph.D. says, “When we live in reality we simply hear what people are saying without adding or subtracting any interpretations or meanings. We take note of those nagging feelings that say, ‘don’t do it,’ or the bright feelings that say, ‘why not, it could be a great adventure.’ If someone is harming us, we don’t make up excuses or reasons; we see the harm. Conversely, we also are open to the incredible care, beauty, kindness, and love that is all around us.
“Being in reality helps us make wise decisions about jobs, relationships and lifestyle changes, as well as all the little decisions that pepper our lives. We feel an internal resonator instead of a critic and censor. Rather than being confused by thoughts such as, ‘I don’t deserve something so good,’ or ‘What will my parents think?’ we ask ‘Is this job realistic for me, does it fit with my relationships, my goals, desired lifestyle?’ It feels much simpler.”
Living in reality is also a positive force for loving relationships. Krishnamurti says that when we look at each other without the barriers and screens of our prejudices we come into true communion with each other -- heart, mind, and spirit.
If you want something new to happen in your life, look at life without the filters and accept what really is. Kasl says, “You can ignite the spark of fresh ideas and aliveness within your body when you step out of the shadow of the past. You take off a veil of tired old reactions and patterns and step into the reality of the moment. It might be to see unhappiness; it might be to see a new possibility or realize someone cares about you. It will definitely broaden your view and free you to experience awe and wonder at this incredible universe.”
Good things can have bad outcomes. Bad things can have good outcomes. Rather than panicking or rejoicing, wait and see.
When a man won the lottery, his wife decided her share of the windfall provided the money to leave him and start anew. Although the man was devastated, he ended up finding the love of his life and he and his first wife both had the means to be comfortable and happy.
A corporate officer attained a major promotion and a big raise, but her new responsibilities gave her ulcers and gray hair. She quit and decided money did not bring happiness. She's now a counselor to inner-city youth and feels no regrets.
Twelve years ago, a man contracted a severe form of arthritis. He was in bed for a year, but the disease strengthened his immune system and he recovered. Although he has been HIV-positive for ten years, his strong immune system has protected him from any T-cell decrease or the onset of AIDS. He is alive and loving life.
A woman who had a car accident met her husband while recovering in the hospital.
After spending most of his adult life working as an electronic specialist for a major corporation, a man lost his job when the company closed down. He moved to Prescott, Arizona and started a home-security alarm business. Today he makes a lot more money and prefers his life in the quiet, mountain town.
Don’t try to second-guess the Universe. Things often happen because they are destined to happen--to get us from here to there, so we can resolve our karma and fulfill our dharma--our earthly purpose.
An astrologer recently reviewed my chart, marveled at some of the planetary comings and goings, and said, “You’re being taught to live with uncertainty.”
“That sounds about right,” I said. “But aren’t we all living with uncertainty all the time?”
Pema Chodron is a very wise American Buddhist nun who lives in Nova Scotia. A few years ago I reviewed her book, “Comfortable With Uncertainty.” Here are some words that stood out:
“A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not-knowing is part of the adventure. It’s also what makes us afraid.”
She completes this short discourse with, “If we find ourselves in doubt that we’re up to being a warrior-in-training, we can contemplate this question: "Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?’”
Pema speaks of a warrior as a bodhisattva -- not one who kills but a “warrior of nonagression who hears the cries of the world.” The warrior’s sword of wisdom cuts through delusion.
I also looked up Osho’s words on the subject: “Life is basically insecure. That’s its intrinsic quality; it cannot be changed. Death is secure, absolutely secure. The moment you choose security, unknowingly you have chosen death.”
It follows that the moment you choose life, you choose uncertainty.
Continuing on the subject of security, Osho adds, “The moment things are secure you will feel bored because there is no possibility of any exploration.” (“Theologia Mystica”)
So no matter what the planets are up to, life is always moving from the known to the unknown. The crossing point from the known to the unknown is where uncertainty sets in. Looking to the positive, if we choose uncertainty and insecurity, at least we won’t be bored.
Dennis Genpo Merzel tells the story of a man named Mullah Nasrudin who frequently crossed the Turkey to Hungary border with only a donkey and pack on it’s back filled with hay. The guards at the border were sure the man was smuggling something, but they were never able to find a thing. Every time Mullah crossed the border, the guards searched more thoroughly. They sifted through the hay, looked down the donkey’s throat, but never found a thing.
“One day one of the old border guards, who had by now retired, walked into a bar and there was Mullah drinking and having a good time, so he decided to find out the answer to the mystery. He went up to Nasrudin and said, ‘For fifteen years you have had us bewildered. We know you have been smuggling. Now listen, I am no longer on the border patrol. I give you my word of honor that I will not turn you in, but for my peace of mind, you must tell me: what in the world were you smuggling?’ ‘Donkeys!’ Mullah replied.”
So often in life, the truth is the obvious thing, but it is so obvious we can’t see it.
We search for truth in an attempt to understand why we are experiencing emotional pain. We consult psychics and astrologers to learn the truth in the present and to tell us about the future. We want to know why our lovers and mates do what they do and not what we want them to do.
But knowing the truth won’t change a thing. Everything is just what it is. Mountains are mountains and trees are trees. People are who they are and they’re not going to be anything else.
THE TRUTH IS, WE CAN ACCEPT WHAT IS AND RELAX, OR WE CAN FIGHT WHAT IS AND MAKE OURSELVES MISERABLE. Remember, “It is your resistance to what is that causes your suffering.”
Merzel quotes Maezumi Roshi who once said, “I can’t believe all the suffering and frustration people go through only to realize that a table is a table, a chair is a chair.”
Or ... Mark your husband is just Mark and he is what he is ... or Mary your lover is just Mary and she is what she is.
(Dennis Genpo Merzel is the author of “The Eye Never Sleeps” (Shambhala) and a Zen teacher of Rinzai and Soto schools of Japanese Zen Buddhism. The donkey story is from that book.)
“Isn’t life interesting? All about choices and then what we learn from having made them,” my wife Roberta and I were discussing over breakfast.
Cause and effect. Karma ... simply stated.
Roberta and I talk a lot about love and destiny and free will. We either HAVE free will to make key choices in life ... or we HAD free will in spirit and before birth we decided how life was going to unfold. Roberta’s reference to “choices and what we learn from having made them” related to our many shared past-lifetimes and what has brought us back together again at this place and time in life.
Look back on your own life. Some of your simplest decisions led to a meeting, incident, accident, or opportunity ... and your life changed forever. The decision probably didn’t seem all that important at the time. Yet if you could pinpoint the moment it was made, and investigate it astrologically, you might find the puzzle pieces fit together perfectly.
Prior to meeting your mate or lover, you made decisions leading up to the fated encounter. You probably thought the decisions were yours alone.
In the book, “Everything Happens For A Reason,” author Suzane Northrop claims “vibratory synchronicity” is responsible for bringing people together when the time is right. “Souls with like energy find each other,” she says. And she goes on to substantiate her claim with thought-provoking examples and case histories.
What if we were to look ahead, see the outcome, and change directions to avoid the lesson? Would this be wisdom erasing karma? Or would it postpone a lesson our soul set out to learn through experience? If we could easily see the future, wouldn’t it take all the fun out of day-to-day discovery?
“I made a soul agreement to have six children in this life,” said Marian, a woman in her late thirties or early forties. She had just experienced the Pre-birth Planning session in one of my workshops.
She seemed troubled. I asked, “Is that a problem?”
“Yes,” she said. She looked like she was going to cry. “I have five children, ages three to seventeen. I really, really do not need anymore.” She looked down at the floor, up at the ceiling. “Do you think what I just experienced in that session is reality?”
“I don’t know,” I said. There was no way I could know for sure. But based upon my own experiences and those of hundreds of seminar and workshop participants, I would guess that Marian will have another child.
“Well, I thought we were smarter on the other side, in spirit,” Marian said. “Why would I make such a dumb decision?” She started to cry. Other participants tried to comfort her.
Consciously Marian does not want any more children, but on a soul level she is driven by the past. In a private session the following day, I had her explore a Back-to-the-Cause regression. She saw herself as a mother in war-torn China. The Japanese had killed her children before killing her. She died vowing to bring her six children back to her.
The year I worked with Marian, I had conducted workshops in several New Age expos and professional hypnosis conferences. Following a talk, I induced an altered-state of consciousness and directed a group regression back to a time in spirit when the group participants were planning their current incarnations.
I ask the hypnotized participants to explore intimate details about their plans for the life to come—questions about relationships, parents, children, career, health and spirituality. I also gave them time to ask their own questions of their Spirit Guides. Not everyone was happy with what they discovered.
Although the way participants perceive this experience varies to some degree, the following dialogue was typical. I was conducting a private regression many years that I wrote about, with a man named Matthew who came to me in an attempt to find out why his marriage was deteriorating. I directed him back to time in spirit when he was planning his life.
“Be receptive to all you perceive,” I said. “On the count of three you’ll be there. One, two, three. (pause) Can you speak up and tell me what you see and what you’re doing?”
“I’m sitting in a room with several other people.”
“Tell me about the room and how you’re dressed,” I said.
“The room is open ... arches ... outdoors and indoors meld together. The walls are a soft pink. There’s a warm breeze. And we’re dressed in robes. I’m sitting across a table from a mature woman. Two males are standing over there and another is sitting beside me.”
“What is being communicated?”
“I’ve plotted out my next incarnation, and now the elders are going over my plans,” Matthew said.
“Can you tell me how you worked out something so complicated on your own?”
“Everyone does it on their own. It is complicated, but you have all the time you need to do a proper job. You’d better do a proper job because you’re the one who has to live it.”
“Are you planning to get together again with the soul you currently know as Susan?”
“Yes. Yes, of course. We help each other grow,” he said.
After bringing Matthew back to the present time, but while he remained deep in the altered state, I said, “You and Susan are using your relationship to master a larger soul lesson. Each incarnation you’re attracted all over again, drawn together by unconscious forces to pick up where you left off. You don’t consciously remember your past lives, but intuitively you’re ready to take on the unlearned lessons. Until you’ve learned from your past, you’re destined to repeat your mistakes. Learning is a process of remembering the past.”
Although destined to be together in this life, Matthew and Susan divorced a few months later. They did take karma into consideration in parting, resolving their ties amicably. They had both accomplished all they could this time around. But I believe they will come back together in a future life. Each shared incarnation results in more evolution and deeper love. Love is the most powerful force in the Universe and whatever fear shuts out, love will eventually let in.
In Spirit we rest, work and prepare to reincarnate. Master teachers—highly evolved souls—will gather with an entity to plot needed lessons for their next incarnations. This includes the entity’s involvement with hundreds of other souls who will incarnate within the same time frame, and all the karmic interactions to generate learning opportunities. Astrology—the exact moment and place of birth—sets the soul on a path that will serve as a blueprint for the earth life.
This Pre-Birth Planning Session is part of the cycle of rebirth for most individuals. The Master teachers will not tell you what you are to encounter in the new life. They suggest, but you always have the free will to override the suggestions. And based upon 40 years of research, it seems to me that most people tend to be very brave in spirit. They believe that they’ve learned their lessons from the mistakes of prior lifetimes and are anxious to take on the mantle of a human body to balance their karma and test themselves once again.
Today most of my research is done through private practice, not seminars and workshops. My wife Roberta, who is an exceptional Medium, often joins me. We are currently working on a book that will share many new ideas we’ve discovered together these past seven years, which I hope to have published before the end of this year (2017).
Peace and Light,
In 1946, Glenn Clark wrote a book about author/sculptor Walter Russell, titled, “The Man Who Tapped the Secrets of the Universe.” It’s a small 60-page book, but it’s always been a favorite. Here is an inspiring excerpt in which Clark is interviewing Russell:
“Can you give me the secret of your life?” I asked.
He hesitated, then replied. “Yes. I believe sincerely that every man has consummate genius within him. Some appear to have it more than others only because they are aware of it more than others are, and the awareness or unawareness of it is what makes each one of them into masters or holds them down to mediocrity. I believe that mediocrity is self-inflicted and that genius is self bestowed. Every successful man I ever have known, and I have known a great many, carries with him the key which unlocks that awareness and lets in the universal power that has made him into a master.”
“What is that key?” I asked.
“That key is desire when it is released into the great eternal Energy of the universe.”
“Can you explain more fully what you mean by that?”
“I have found out that the real essentials of greatness in men are not written in books, nor can they be found in the schools. They are written into the inner consciousness of everyone who intensely searches for perfection in creative achievement and are understandable to such men only.
“Successful men of all the ages have learned to multiply themselves by gathering thought energy into a high potential and using it in the direction of the purpose intended. Every successful man or great genius has three particular qualities in common. The most conspicuous of these is that they all produce a prodigious amount of work. The second is that they never know fatigue, and the third is that their minds grow more brilliant as they grow older, instead of less brilliant. Great men’s lives begin at forty, where the mediocre man’s life ends. The genius remains an ever-flowing fountain of creative achievement until the very last breath he draws. The geniuses have learned how to gather thought energy together to use for transforming their conceptions into material forms. The thinking of creative and successful men is never exerted in any direction other than that intended. That is why great men produce a prodigious amount of work, seemingly without effort and without fatigue. The amount of work such men leave to posterity is amazing. When one considers such men of our times as Edison, Henry Ford or Theodore Roosevelt, one will find the three characteristics I have mentioned common to every one of them.”
Just about everyone I know is metaphysically-oriented, so I regularly hear a lot of powerful ideas. As a result, I’m always making mental and written notes.
A professional hypnotist coming out of a painful divorce recently said to me, “WHERE THERE IS NO FORGIVENESS, THERE IS A KARMIC TIE.” She continued to elaborate, saying, “I certainly don’t want to have to reincarnate and go through this again, so forgiveness is at the top of my priority list. If I can truly let him go with forgiveness, the next time around he’ll have to find someone else with a karmic configuration matching his own need of learning.” I agreed.
My questions to you: Is there anyone in your life you have not forgiven? Do you accept that if you do not forgive, you will come back together to work it out in a future life?
While recently enjoying a Sunday afternoon talking with several friends, one woman expressed how angry she was at someone we all knew. Another friend said, “Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis once said to a friend, ‘ONLY AMATEURS STAY MAD.’” That statement got the attention of everyone within listening distance and generated an enjoyable discussion.
My question to you: Who are you mad at?
A friend of ours told us about creating a line of products, which cost him his life savings. He was elated when a big company offered to buy his products but was depressed when their offer came in at $4000. “At least he got a lot of experience,” Roberta said.
I felt deserved more and said, “EXPERIENCE IS WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU DON’T GET WHAT YOU WANT.” I wish I could remember who said that so I could credit them properly. But all too often I’ve rationalized similar situations with that kind of line.
My question to you: Is there an area of your life where you’re not being compensated appropriately? If so, what can you do to get what you want?
“WE MOVE TOWARD PLEASURE AND AWAY FROM PAIN, THAT’S JUST WHAT IS,” said a therapist friend in a recent e-mail. We were exchanging ideas about handling an unpleasant situation.
My questions to you: Is there anything in your life you’re pulling away from? What are you moving towards? Is that where you really want to go?
“YOUR SOUL IS ALWAYS NUDGING YOU TOWARD GROWTH CHOICES,” said a friend over lunch. I laughed in response and agreed. The words “growth choice” or “growth opportunity” are New Age buzz words for coming face to face with a situation that will be challenging, which means you’re going to be tested. Your decision generates an opportunity and the outcome provides the lessons.
My question to you: Is your soul calling you to make any growth choices at this time?
I’ll leave you with this thought: GROWTH RESULTS FROM RISK, WHICH IS A MATTER OF COMMITTING TO ACTIONS YOU CAN’T CONTROL.