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Self-Help Techniques To Use

The important point being made is that although this core of life process within us is unconscious in a general way, it is still accessible to us if we approach it in the right way. Of course, this is not a new idea arrived at in our times. It is so important and universal that cultures in all periods explained it in their own way as sacred information. At times it was so revered that it was often a subject of worship or of religious belief, and has been given a multitude of names. Many ways of meeting it and being healed or guided through a fuller relationship with it have also been described by these different beliefs and cultures. So all I wish to do here is to remind you that in meeting the changes that you and I will be involved in during the coming years, remember you are not alone in the universe or on this earth. No matter what difficulties you face, when you get to the end of your own resources, reach sincerely into the larger realm of life and consciousness. It doesn’t matter whether you call that MORE of yourself the Core, the unconscious, God, Spirit, the Creator, Life. What matters is that your passions and need, your love and struggle to meet what is in front of you transcend your own limitations.

What matters is that you draw into your life and action the power of that wider wisdom, power and love of which you are an integral part. That also means other human beings who are struggling alongside you. Be of mutual support. We are all a part of the web of life. See:

Life’s Little Secrets - Martial Art of the Mind - Avoid Being Victims - Habits 

 

The Winged Mind

There is an old saying that life sleeps in the minerals, dreams in the plants, wakes in the animals, and knows itself in man.

Certainly we have arrived at self awareness, but few of us know ourselves as Life. Mostly we are sure our consciousness is inextricably linked, chained, welded onto our body. This is not a universal view. Many other cultural viewpoints are very different, but the Western rational mind or worldview is largely one of the body being the source of and container of personal awareness. From that point of view, at the death of the body the awareness we call self blinks out like a guttering candle. However, this is not how thousands of people worldwide who have met a near death experience see it. (See I Died – But I’m Alive; The Near Birth Experience; An Amazing Near Death Experience; Out Of Body Experience). From their experiences they know that consciousness exists without a living body. They know that they have a ‘winged mind’ that can enter into realms of experience unknown though our physical senses. They know that while our body has been a sort of mother and father to our personal awareness, we are not limited to life in the body. The human possibility is to grow beyond the limitations of the senses and gradually become inhabitants of dimensions beyond the narrow three dimensional world we grew up in.

To put it another way, unless we gradually penetrate the realms of consciousness lying beyond the senses, our race will be trapped in its own home town.

Start reaching beyond the frontier that is sleep. Even a remembered dream is a step beyond the boundaries of the physical senses. Reach beyond your own limitations. Just as you intend to stretch an arm when you reach out to open a door or touch someone, intend to reach out your imperishable body of mind and touch a friend, or stretch to receive knowledge beyond what you have read or seen with your eyes. Intend to fly with the winged mind.


Someone who loves you

Being in the company of someone who loves or cares for us is one of the greatest blessing life offers. To receive love is to receive the greatest medicine and healing. It doesn’t matter if you do not accept the New Testament as a historical account of a man called Jesus, the story of Christ healing others by touching them or being with them is an illustration of the power of love to change a person’s life and body.

Any relationship you are in, whether one of close intimacy, or one in which you deal with someone in passing through your work place, calls on you for love and understanding in some measure. And don’t think of this as something you give as a sort of charity to another person or creature. It is nothing of the kind. To give love is to experience love. To experience love is to be healed, moment by moment.

But sometimes the giving is hard. There are shadows in us that block the light, rocks that stop the flow. And so the giving of love and the receiving of love challenge us to deal with our shadows and bend our back to shift the rocks.

Yes, we all have shadows. Perhaps there was a time when someone you depended upon or trusted hurt or betrayed you. Those things hurt deep down. We recoil and things happen inside us that sometimes we are not fully aware of.

My story is that my mother did things to me that led me to pull back from her and sever any loving or trusting connection with her. I was only five at the time, but strong willed. Unfortunately for me, in severing any emotional connection with my mother, I cut the trust I had for any woman, and suffered years of being unable to get really close in a loving relationship. I was married, but not truly partnered, being what I called independent.

Of course that was a sort of lie. It really meant that I was scared of really loving in case I got hurt again – and when you are little, hurt is devastating. How much better it would have been to forgive my mother and express love. That would have wiped out all those years of living in shadows.

So learning to love is not a charitable giving of something to another person. It is a courageous facing of oneself in claiming the most wonderful gift you have. It takes guts to love. You have to become a full woman or a full man – and that doesn’t mean a macho strongman or a extreme feminist. It means you become a whole person and can meet other people face to face, body to body, love to love.

The standard to measure oneself by is to ask yourself if you can love unconditionally. And that simply means that you love the person for who they are and not for what you can get or need to get from them. It means accepting them as they are, and not forever wanting them to be someone or something different. It means being able to let go of them if they wish to let go of a close relationship with you. And that does not mean disinterest. Someone you love forever has a link with you, and you with them, despite where they go or who they go with. Lastly, unconditional love means we never own the person we love.

But of course we are not perfect human being. So unconditional love does not come easily. Also it does not mean complete acceptance of the crazy or hurtful things people do, or that you yourself do.

That may sound like a contradiction, but unconditional love is being presented here as a guide to your own ability to experience and give love. It is a handy guide, not an absolute measure.

For instance, if the person you love turns to another person and gives them more attention and time than they give to you, and this leads to you being deeply hurt and trying to hurt them, or to pester and try to control them, then the idea of unconditional love gives you a reminder of your own problems. It gives you a mirror to look in and see what shadows still haunt you, what pains are still in control of your life. It is not a command that you must still be a victim to the other person and their behaviour. But it is a way of finding your own healthy reactions to a changing world and relationships.

So unconditional love is not a moral issue. It is not about being ‘good’. It is a guide to help you begin to face up yourself when you start to feel you own someone, or try to control them through jealousy or through your own emotional pain, probably arising from childhood. It is a wonderful feeling to gradually drop those childhood urges and miseries away.

What happens if we do not blame somebody else for our own pains and jealousies, is that we begin to confront ourselves. We begin to own the pain as our own, and discover what a hold the pain or jealousy has on us. Like weeds, we can then begin the process of rooting them out of our life.

See:  Social Priorities; Healing Social Relationships; Enrich Your Relationship; Healing Relationships Through Primal Awareness; Ages of Love.

 

A new relationship with everyday life

Self Observation

Observing your own ebb and flow of thoughts and feelings, your own habits and responses to things, is one of the most powerful of tools to use in transforming your life. This also leads to a fuller connection with your intuitive connection with your core.

Much of our behaviour is largely or wholly unconscious. Becoming aware of something can by itself produce a change. If you are not aware of how you act or respond, there is less likelihood of satisfying change.

Such observation can begin anywhere and should be continued until it becomes a habit. Once you learn it in connection with one thing the skill can be used in any other direction in your life or in your own behaviour.

But before you start, remember that some things you do are not comfortable to become aware of. Personal growth is not a constant delight. There are growing pains occasionally.

Remember also that self observation is not aimed at correcting wrong behaviour. There are not a set of right things to do. But there are ways you can discover of satisfying yourself more fully, and there are ways of responding and living that have the opposite effect to producing satisfaction and peace.

Another important thing to remember is that most of what we do is habitual. It takes no thought or effort to do it. Habits feel right because they have been done for so long. Even emotional responses are often habitual. So when you change you are going to confront a habit. Practising the new thing is necessary. Practice until the new thing is itself a habit and easy.

How Do You Do That?

When I was a child a nurse came to the school I attended and examined every child’s feet. I was one of the children who was told that I had flat feet, and myself along with others were shown how to use our feet in a different way. In fact we were shown how to be aware of the way in which we walked. I made a habit of this until it became second nature. What I learned over 50 years ago is still a part of the pleasure I experience today in walking.

Becoming aware of how you walk can be an easy and pleasurable way to start self observation. It seldom confronts you with any great emotional hurdles to cross, but it can produce a real change in the way you feel about an everyday part of your life.

Approach it slowly. To start with, choose a time when you can spend perhaps 20 or 30 minutes playing with the process of observing yourself walking. It might be best to start off indoors, or where you cannot be seen. Then be aware of every movement, every motivation, that goes into the process of walking. Take a step, but do it slowly watching each movement.

At first this will feel very awkward. It is natural to feel that, so do not be concerned. As you make your slow moves, observing how you place your foot on the ground, how your body feels as your balance shifts, and notice how the rest of the body moves in the process of taking a step. This is rather like doing something in slow motion, and of course it feels strange. In fact it is strange. But the point of it is to notice exactly what you are doing with your body, especially your legs and feet.

If you take time with this there is an extraordinary amount to learn about yourself. You can learn not simply how you are walking, but what from your past has gone into walking the way you do. what attitude or fear is involved. So questions to consider as you observe yourself at this point are things like how am I using my feet? Am I placing them flat on the ground, or am I using the heel toe movement? If I were watching these movements on video would it look as if I am using my body well, or are my feet flying out at angles wasting energy? If so, see what it feels like to walk with your toes pointing forward instead of out to the side. Place your heel on the ground first then roll forward and push off with your toes.

Whatever you notice in the way you walk, see if you can bring about a sense of greater ease, motivation and pleasure or well-being in what you are doing. Experiment in this by using your legs and feet slightly differently. Watch the way the rest of your body feels and improve that too, perhaps by a slightly different posture or way of moving. But remember that what is habitual, even if it is posturally damaging, feels right. So any improvement in walking may feel strange at first.

If you have worn high heels for any period of time, you may have lost the natural heel toe movement, and need to relearn it. Whatever it is you carry into the improved and more pleasurable sense of walking, practice this until you can walk at a normal rate or speed still maintaining that sense of pleasure and well-being.

Once you have reached that point use your self observation at times in your everyday walking, to see what feelings, what posture or stance, even what motivation you are expressing in the way you walk. For instance sometimes we walk as if life is a great burden. Other times we might walk with real energy or pleasure. There are frequently attitudes we unconsciously express in the way we walk, and thereby in what we are expressing of ourselves to other people. Take time to see if you can create a different attitude that allows you to walk with a greater sense of life and fullness.

Renovating Your Living Space

All of us live in a world largely of our own making. Considering that when you are asleep or knocked unconscious there is no world, no people, no body, no taste, no sound that you are aware of, then your consciousness, your self-awareness IS the whole world. Nothing exists outside of your awareness.

The television picture you watch on a screen is translated from signals the TV set is sensitive to. The TV changes these signals into pictures, colour and sound. The signals are not in themselves images, colour or sound. Similarly your eyes and ears, nose and tongue, along with your nerve endings in your fingers, receive ‘signals’ that are not in themselves, images, sounds, sensations or smells. As with the TV, the world you feel so sure you are seeing and experiencing, is one your brain has created in order to enable you to deal with survival.

Considering that you only experience a virtual reality of the external world created by your brain – and that is itself limited to a tiny fraction of what is actually surrounding you – you cannot take seriously your perceptions of the world or people. There are so many radiations, energies, and depth upon depth of texture in the cosmos and objects around us, that in effect we are almost blind and deaf. So you do not know much of what is actually going on in the world anyway. Your eye, as a lens produces an upside down image of your surroundings, and this is ‘corrected’ to help you move around more easily.

You Are the Creator

So it is true to say that you live in a world, in conceptions of yourself and your surroundings that are a self-created virtual reality.

Even if you cannot accept this completely, it still means that much of what you experience is self-created and therefore in some measure capable of being transformed by self observation and developing a new relationship with yourself. This can be done, not in one great leap, but step-by-step. Just as you learned to speak word by word, so you can transform your being one bit at a time.

So here are some possible feelings for self observation that can bring very big changes.

1) Notice what you are editing or blocking in your thoughts and feelings. Much of the time we have blocks set up to stop ourselves thinking or feelings things. Sometimes this is because our cultural training has told us that certain things are not good or right to think about. We may also have had personal experiences that we do not wish to consider again. Unfortunately this means that we often close down the flow of energy and creativity that we allow ourselves to express. So observing what you allow yourself to think and feel, what you edit, can produce a revolutionary change.

Because we block much of who we are because of social training about right and wrong, good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable, we have hugely diminished ourselves. Becoming aware of how we are holding ourselves back is a massive step forward.

2) Notice how often you blame events or other people for problems or difficulties. Blaming someone else or outside influences leads to a loss of power and initiative. It means you take no action yourself to change things. You might argue that it is really true someone else was at fault. Nevertheless, as a general rule, transformation comes from taking responsibility and not blaming.

3) Observe how you deal with other people. For instance do you truly recognise that the person you are dealing with is a completely different person to yourself, with their own unique desires, dreams and needs? These may in no way match your own. But through negotiation and communication you may find ways of achieving a mutually satisfying relationship. See if, through observation, you can begin to recognise the other person’s uniqueness, what they want and seek, and who they are.

Listening to Your Intuition

Intuition is one of the greatest of life skills you can use in living a life that is creative and expressive of your own relationship with the directives arising from your core self and from observations of everyday life.

Some of us feel we do not have any intuition, but in fact we all use intuition – often called wisdom or experience – more than we do reasoning or thinking about things. This is because we seldom take time in daily life to analyse situations. Instead we act on what we feel, or on the impulses arising from within that comes from past experience. So intuition frequently arises as a strong feeling, or what people sometimes call a hunch or gut feeling. But if we have not learned to know the difference between intuition and anxiety, or hunches and feelings arising from anger, or ingrained patterns of behaviour, we can easily act on prejudices or fears. So the ability to use intuition consciously and well needs some training and practice. In many older cultures some people were trained in this way. Their intuitive faculties were then tested to see if they could receive accurate information and guidance.

Steps to Develop Intuition

Laura Day in her book Practical Intuition says there are seven steps to effective intuition.

Step One – Opening. Much of the time we are focussed on our physical impressions, and the sort of responses and memories associated with what we experience through our senses, and what we are involved in. This is a bit like running into a store to look for what we want and not finding it there and hurrying on. But if we ask the storekeeper if he has what we are looking for he can often find things that are not immediately on view.

We not only have a lot more memories and experiences than are immediately available to everyday thinking, but our mind at times reaches right beyond what we personally know.

Some years ago a friend of mine, Cliff, broke the neck of his guitar and couldn’t afford to get it mended because he was saving to get married, and the price at the local shop was high. I suggested he sit quietly for a while and imagine standing right in the center of a large round room, representing his mind, and say to himself that he was allowing all the doors of his mind to open, so he could access information that would solve his problem. When I saw him the next day he told me he sat and did what I suggested and nothing happened. Then he smiled and said, “But as soon as I gave up I remembered an old music shop near where I used to live. I knew this was the answer, so I drove there right away. I showed the owner the guitar and he said he could fix it for a fraction of the price asked at the other shop.”

Cliff created a situation in which he opened himself to a wider influx of memories or impressions than he usually allowed. There are many other methods of doing this than the one he used. See: Using Your Intuition; Arm-Circling Exercise; Seed Meditation.

Noticing.

Cliff took notice of what he received when he opened to his intuition. Also he tested it and found it to be correct. This is important because unless we take notice and observe what we receive in times of being open, we do not retain what arises. Testing it also helps to refine and develop the skill.

Pretending. Maybe this one could be called imagining or creativity. People with satisfying and productive lives take what resources they have and use them. They also try out new ways of using what they have. What you receive from your intuition is often of great value. It therefore needs to be used and built into your way of seeing things and living your life. Cliff is a good example again because what he saw immediately fired his imagination enough for him to go and test his information.

Trusting. This is a tricky one because until we have tested what we receive from our intuition we are not sure whether to trust it. Trust comes from learning to use this resource of intuitive insight and testing it enough times to develop trust. But often intuitive information may seem to lead you into untried directions, and so you might decide to pull back. But if you have reached trust, go beyond your usual boundaries and thereby discover new levels of yourself and your place in the world.

Reporting. In a sense, this should be linked with Noticing. When we have received something definite from our intuition we need to record it in a journal. This becomes an amazing resource. From it you can look back and check how correct or otherwise your intuition has been. You can also gain great strength from the wisdom already gained and the suggestions received about directions to take and work to do. So it is worth while to also note developments and observations connected with the original intuitive information and insights. See: Journalling.

Interpreting. Dreams and waking fantasies are powerful ways in which intuition presents itself. But in such cases the information may be expressed in symbols that need to be understood in everyday language. Symbols in dreams, fantasy or visions are like the icons on a computer desktop. Click the image and it connects with a mass of information or processes held deep in the computer. Similarly, approaching the image in the right way can open up a mass of information or feelings that were connected with it. See: Introduction to Exploring Dreams; Peer Dream Work; Stepping Into Your Dream.

Integrating.

To integrate what we have received intuitively means to live it, to let it penetrate into the way you naturally respond in your everyday life. That takes time, but by using your insights they gradually become habitual, just as learning to drive a car or bicycle becomes second nature after long practise.

See: Using Your Intuition; Intuition and Common Sense; Developing and Using Intuition; Using Your Intuition in Business; Using Intuition.

A creative relationship with your dreams

If certain things are seen clearly from the beginning, then you can understand your dreams in a practical and useful way.

Firstly, you as a person are a tiny spark of consciousness, a little bit of self awareness riding an incredibly ancient animal you call your body. Remember that your body has formed from cells and genetic information that has gradually developed over millions of years. It holds that information in itself unconsciously.

If you are unclear about that take time to recognise that as a personality you are almost totally unaware of what is taking place in your body right now. You are not aware as personal experience of the huge history of evolutionary changes your being has gone through in order to become you. You perhaps have little conscious insight into the massive background of social, religious and family influences that go together to enable you to function as an individual and a social entity. Your self consciousness may not include awareness of how your present personality was shaped out of those influences. Maybe you do not know what the major life lessons are that confront you, or what your innate genius and passions are.

In general you are barely awake to who you are! But that is not unusual, most of us are in the same boat. Only here and there does an individual wake up and shine with light, love and creativity.

If you can accept that you are barely aware of your body and all you carry within you, that is still only part of it. You also exist in the midst of an incredible universe, a universe that we know most intimately in the processes of nature in and on our planet Earth. And how much of that interrelationship that you have with this planet and the universe are you aware of?

I am not asking you about philosophical speculations or beautiful poetry of idealism. I am asking about your day to day relationship with all that is around you and of which you are an integral part.

Is This Relevant to You?

If you think that is not a relevant question – not relevant that is to your daily life as a mother, worker, lover, student, business person – then stop for a moment and realise that without the universe you do not exist. You have no existence outside of it. You only exist as a totally embedded part of it. If you have no awareness of a life giving and sustaining relationship with it, aren’t you missing something?

Perhaps you are also missing an awareness of the intricate web of language, ideas, perceptions and drives that have meshed into what you are as a person. In some ways this is like owning a wonderful car or computer, and not knowing how it functions or how to use it well.

Remember that without the bacteria in your gut you will not adequately digest your food. Without the constant flow of food, water and air you will not exist. That flow depends not on farmers and industrialists, but on the intricate web of bacteria, soil organisms, plant and animal life on this planet. And all that depends on the energy pouring from the sun as it dies. Like a love affair in progress, the sun and the earth together have given birth to us.

Okay, if you have come this far, let us take the next step. Sleep!

Your tiny spark of self awareness, existing as it does in the midst of this huge area of living processes that we call the universe, Earth, your body, the language and culture you express through, regularly slips back into its primal level of existence that we call sleep. In sleep we become completely unconscious – or at least, most of us do. Maybe at most we remember an occasional dream. Some people don’t even capture that. Their sleep is a period of total unconsciousness.

But for some that is not the case. They remember their dreams. Perhaps they even carry awareness into the world of sleep. In recent times this awareness of what is usually an unconscious world has been called lucidity, and if the lucidity occurs within a dream we call it lucid dreaming.

What remembering a dream and lucidity does is to extend your self awareness beyond the usual limitations and boundaries of waking life, and allow you to become more aware of the biological, sociological, racial and universal background, or underpinning, of your existence.

Take time with this because it is about something amazing that we all share. In dreaming or becoming lucid you are experiencing something of the usually hidden world of your body, of your mind, of your whole biological past, and life in you that lies beyond the frontier of your personal awareness.

Let us define that a little more.

The Starting Point – Your Body

Our most obvious fact is that we have a body relating to the physical world. Our body’s most immediate needs are air, water and food. This links us with the biological processes of our planet. And this biological aspect of us is quite wonderful. To state it briefly, over millions of years simple life forms emerged. These gradually developed into more complex forms, and these learned to work together in groups, and then as multicellular organisms, with different cells doing different jobs. In our body today we still carry these tiny life forms, trillions of them that we call our cells. But beneath that level of our being is another strata, the atomic and subatomic processes.

Those incredible levels of activity and process are the platform or foundation upon which your personal awareness is built and exists. In one way or another you are relating to them all the time, and sometimes that relationship is so bad that ill health occurs. To be more aware of what your relationship is with that deeply unconscious world would be of great help in remaining healthy and creative.
Breakthrough

Experiments in which people were stopped from dreaming led to them becoming desperately mentally unstable in a very short time. With animals doing the same thing, and carrying on the experiment past that critical point, all the animals died – just by stopping dreaming!!!!

Existing as an apparently integral part of your body is the self awareness that you give your personal name to. You only exist as Sheila or Dave, or whatever your name is, because you are awake, because you have consciousness. Without that self awareness you have no self, no identity or personality. But strangely enough, this sense of self also has levels.

Helen Keller, who became blind and deaf when very small, says in her autobiography that until she learned the deaf and dumb language she had no sense of herself. She was aware, perhaps as an animal is aware, but with no self, no personal identity. See Helen Keller – and Animal Children.

Today this sense of self is often called the psyche. In the past it has been called soul. A simple definition of it might be that your sense of self, of existing as a distinct person, comes about because you have memories and experiences that are distinctly your own. You exist in a body that is distinctly your own. So there is an area of awareness that is separated from everyone else. But as already suggested, this area of personal awareness is largely unconscious of what it exists in – the body and the environment that gives rise to the body. Also, what we can gather from the life of Helen Keller and children raised by animals, is that awareness can exist without having a psyche or self awareness. But self awareness cannot exist without language. So personal memories and a distinct body are not enough to bring about self awareness. You need the organising principle of language. Language is like a computer program that transforms the functioning of the body/brain/computer.

You are a Multilevel Being With Multiple Possibilities

So what we are arriving at is a multilevel view of what we are as a whole.

  1. The universe. We do not exist without it, so are an integral and un-separated part of it.
  2. The fundamental subatomic processes underlying atoms, molecules and cells. Without them we have no molecules, no cells, no body.
  3. The biological level consisting of molecules, cells and the organs and systems they give rise to.
  4. Awareness or sentience. Without self awareness this is experienced as a universal level of consciousness. This ties in with subatomic particles, because the latest concepts of reality all include consciousness as fundamental to the universe. See Levels of Awareness.
  5. Self awareness, with its personal memories and idiosyncrasies.

Coming back to dreams and remembering dreams, if you can agree that a memory of a dream is a glimpse into a world or worlds beyond the boundaries of your waking consciousness, then you have a clear but basic picture of their value and possibilities.

Prolonged studies and exploration suggest that dreams and lucid dreaming can allow you:

  • Greater insight into the functioning and health of your body’s organs and cells, along with insights into what is necessary to maintain or improve health and well-being.
  • Awareness of your forgotten journey from conception, through birth and childhood. This enables you the possibility of clearing any difficulties of development that occurred in that unfolding.
  • Gradual awareness of the incredible ancestral journey you are the end product of.
  • Recognition and entrance into the level of awareness or consciousness out of which your personal self awareness has emerged and is immersed in.
  • Beginning the journey along what has been called in the past the spiritual path. In plain words this means the slow entrance of your personal awareness into what exists beyond the frontier of sleep. Taking the focussed light of self awareness into the darkness of the unconscious world of sleep and the body. If you take this path, at some point you will confront the fundamental consciousness of the universe and recognise your existence in it.

So here, if you have the will to use it, is a master class on dreams. There is no financial cost. But there is something you need to give. It is your honest and persistent attempt to delve into that pool of wonder that your dreams provide. See Lucidity – The New Frontier.

The Mystery of Your Body

That mysterious and wonderful process of life that brought you to birth occurred quite without your conscious effort or participation. You share that journey from conception to birth in kinship with most other life forms that exist with you on this earth. But unlike most of the other creatures you developed self-awareness and can look back on your origins. Nevertheless, even though you have attained some level of self-awareness, the process that brought you into being still functions within you to continue your existence. Without it you would immediately cease to be. In fact most of the vital processes within you still occur without any conscious effort or participation on your part. Your ego, your conscious self, is a tiny and almost insignificant part of the process. However, what you do, what you think and what you feel can enhance or interfere with that core process.

Your body is far more than you perhaps generally consider it to be. Recently the National Geographic Magazine has started the Genographic Project. This involves a mapping of the development and journeys of the earliest of human beings to ourselves in the present. This mapping can be done because our DNA holds in it a full record of how life and then the human animal, evolved from the beginning of life on this planet.

Your own body, in your blood and in your cells, holds that record. You have in you the collected experience of life on this planet. Geneticists think of this only in terms of physiological, social and psychological development. But some explorers of human consciousness such as Stanislav Grof have found that we each hold not just physical memory in terms of our DNA, but we also can achieve a personal awareness of our long past. (See The Symbol and the Reality).

My work, over the past thirty years has been in helping people discover for themselves the wealth of history and of healing capacity they hold within their own body. I know from personal experience, and from working with many people, that your bodymind has little know abilities to heal and to unfold a wealth of its long history and wisdom to you. (See National Geographic Genographic Project; Rituals of Beauty and The Secret Power.

This becomes easier to understand if you think of yourself as a seed that has grown. This is not an act of imagination. You were a seed – the joined sperm and ovum – that was planted in a fertile womb and grew. As such, just like any growing thing your development took you through different stages as the potential within yourself as the seed unfolded. The most extraordinary and delicate shifts and changes occurred, all of it spontaneous. This process carried on its work after your birth, taking you through the wonderful odyssey of being a baby, through childhood, youth, and then into adulthood and perhaps old age. Strangely few people I have met give much thought to this incredibly amazing process of life within them. Few attempt to discover how it works in them now, here, today. Perhaps they even try to dull its sensitivity, or manipulate it with drugs and medicines. But few stand before it in awe and say to it – “Teach me. Unfold me still further.”

One of the wonderful and mysterious things I have found through helping people to listen to and cooperate with this mysterious life process within them, is that although its potential unfolded into who you are today, it still has what is perhaps an infinite potential still waiting to unfold. But to do so it needs your conscious willingness to go along with the process.

Let us backtrack a little. You are one of the life-forms on this planet. As such you are an expression of life. But life can be anything from a virus to a tree or an elephant. Life can be almost anything, take any shape, exist in almost any way. Sometimes people say to me that one needs oxygen to live, to be alive. Well, that is true at the moment, but in the earliest stages of life on this planet, 3000 million years ago, organisms formed that did not need oxygen. As time passed an organism formed called stromatolites that started pouring out oxygen. This led to an oxygen rich atmosphere that killed out nearly all the life that had previously existed. The surviving organisms were the start of the creatures from which we evolved.

But the point I am making is that life can take any shape. It has an infinite potential, and that potential is what lies behind your own growth and existence. But do you suppose that as a human being you have exhausted that potential? Do you feel you have even attained your own best? Have you reached a full flowering and fruition in your life?

Even if you have, there is still more, and cooperating with the process of life within you, learning how to let it unfold more of who you are, allows you to move toward allowing that mystery that is Life to know itself in you. That is an extraordinary possibility. It has happened to many people all over the world. It can happen to you. Like any plant that grew from seed, life in you reaches toward its fulfillment in flowering. In your case part of your flowering has been to become conscious. Further opening means to become conscious of yourself as life, as the mystery behind all life forms, as the most amazingly creative force.

Meeting your essence in this way means you will find the resources to face and deal with the social and world changes that appear to be arising. We must find our own personal transformation along with a new relationship with the processes of life on this planet. The very nearest planetary life processes to you is your own body. If you cannot become aware of the profound processes within your own body, you have little hope of relating in a meaningful way with other life processes.

So here is a Master Class on opening this doorway your bodymind provides. I have nothing to sell you. There is no trick in my giving this knowledge away to you. It is not because I do not value it. In fact I value it so highly that I cannot put a price on it. I do smile as I offer it though, as I know that some of the most precious things in life cannot be seen for what they are.

As I say, there are no tricks. In one sense life is extraordinarily simple. You were a seed. You grew from your own innate process of life. You can continue this growth if you consciously open to life again.

See Your Guru the Body.

The power of Imagination

One of the greatest of mental powers, and one often largely unused or overlooked is imagination.

Many people will claim they have little or no imagination, and yet are fantastically capable with it, but are using it unconsciously and often to their detriment.

Most of us have an experience of this at some time. We enter our home and see a stranger standing in the hall and our heart races and we feel scared. Then we realise suddenly that the stranger is a coat hanging in an unusual light.

Maybe it wasn’t a coat, but some other thing we mistook for something or someone and we experienced the racing heart or the surge of hope. The point is that we believed or imagined that what we saw was someone or something and it wasn’t. It illustrates that when we believe something strongly and with conviction our body acts upon it exactly as if it were true. In this sense there is no difference between conviction and fact; between imagination and reality.

Perhaps it is difficult to simply arouse that level of conviction from a cold start, but we can certainly find ways of getting our conviction level rising up the scale. And if you can, then use the power of imagination to improve your health, change self destructive energy into creative and satisfying behaviour, and create your own future.

Life energy is like electricity. The wires carrying the electrical supply to the house are not in themselves the electricity. The current is invisible, but it has great potential for good or harm. So we usually deal with it carefully, and have means of controlling it via insulation, fuses and switches.

When the electricity is wired into the house, its potential can be expressed in a huge variety of ways. It can manifest as heat, light, and power to move or do things, such as with a drill or vacuum cleaner. It can produce sound or images as with television, and can, via programs for the computer, manifest in almost magical ways, storing and retrieving huge amounts of information and manipulating it.

So the potential of electricity is limitless. A new apparatus connected to the supply will manifest a new function. But, like the psychobiological energy of our body, electricity is only latent potential until given an apparatus to express through.

The usefulness of this image of the house with its electricity is that you can use it as an analogy of energy in your life. Your potential can express as cellular activity, or physical movement. You can experience it as sexual drive and pleasure, as emotions, as sight, hearing, sensation, smell and taste. You can express it as thinking, and vocalising in speech or singing, or as the creation of a personal virtual reality, as you do in fantasy and dreams. As with electricity, your potential is probably limitless, and depends upon the state of body and mind you use to approach and express it.

However, all the time we are directing our energy, whether it is sexual or mental creativity, we are using what I have called imagination. To be clear about what I mean by that, supposing you have been invited to meet someone you really like, but you refuse because you feel inadequate, or believe you are looking too old, or no match for the person, then your imagination has been used against yourself. You have erected an imaginative picture of yourself that paints you as inadequate, or whatever the off-putting feeling was. So it is better to direct your imagination rather than be its victim. See Energy Sex Dreams.

Better still to remember that your life can never be summed up in one feeling or sense of yourself. So be suspicious whenever you label yourself or are labelled by anyone else. See Using Imagination; Use Imagination to Access Your Inner Guidance.

However, the great use of imagination, especially when it is spontaneous, is as a means of communicating with and staying in touch with ones core self. We see this so easily when we look at our dreams. Each night our creative imagination produces a new wonder of imagery and strangeness. Such imaginative scenes have not arisen from conscious intention. And if we accept that dreams show us something of our own inner world and life, then the images are forms of communication. A way to work with ones spontaneous imagination is given in The Arm Circling Exercise and Exploring Spontaneous Imagination.

In exploring your imagination in this ways you have to realise this allows the less focussed and conscious side of you to express. In a way it is like dreaming while awake, in that your body often acts out a theme or a mime. However, because you are witnessing this while awake, the theme can gradually emerge fully into words and direct insight. This needs help sometimes, and we need to think of the spontaneous fantasy or play as a communication in mime that you need to at and explore much as you would the game in which you guess a book name or play from a person acting out movements or facial expressions. Although this sounds a little like a poor form of communication, when become adept at it the process passes beyond just physical movement into subtle imagery and feelings that are often even more powerful communicative than words.

Reaching Beyond

I have recently been reading a book by Keith Reid called Nature’s Network. It is about the basics of ecology – (unfortunately out of print now, but available at Used Book Search). In the book Keith explains clearly how everything living is interwoven with every other living thing. Nothing can exist in isolation. Even the lowliest of microbes is necessary as part of the whole flow of living things. As explained in the section on A Creative Relationship with Your Dreams, our awareness as a person rests upon all the levels of nature that we see outside of us – from subatomic particles up to the air we breath, food we eat and water we drink. Within this scheme of things we have a personal awareness of our own memories and experiences, but the greatest area in which we exist lies beyond our personal memories and experiences.

In the section on The Core Experience on this website I examine this aspect of our total self quite thoroughly and call it the Core self. To quote a little of that:

That mysterious and wonderful process of life that brought you to birth occurred quite without your conscious effort or participation. You share that journey from conception to birth in kinship with all the other life forms that exist with you on this earth. But unlike most of the other creatures you developed self-awareness and can look back on your origins. Nevertheless, even though you have attained some level of self-awareness, the process that brought you into being still functions within you to continue your existence. Without it you would immediately cease to be. In fact most of the vital processes within you still occur without any conscious effort or participation on your part. Your ego, your conscious self, is a tiny and almost insignificant part of the process. However, what you do, what you think and what you feel can enhance or interfere with that core process.

 

The important point being made is that although this core of life process within us is unconscious in a general way, it is still accessible to us if we approach it in the right way. Of course, this is not a new idea arrived at in our times. It is so important and universal that cultures in all periods explained it in their own way as sacred information. At times it was so revered that it was often a subject of worship or of religious belief, and has been given a multitude of names. Many ways of meeting it and being healed or guided through a fuller relationship with it have also been described by these different beliefs and cultures. So all I wish to do here is to remind you that in meeting the changes that you and I will be involved in during the coming years, remember you are not alone in the universe or on this earth. No matter what difficulties you face, when you get to the end of your own resources, reach sincerely into the larger realm of life and consciousness. It doesn’t matter whether you call that MORE of yourself the Core, the unconscious, God, Spirit, the Creator, Life. What matters is that your passions and need, your love and struggle to meet what is in front of you transcend your own limitations. What matters is that you draw into your life and action the power of that wider wisdom, power and love of which you are an integral part. That also means other human beings who are struggling alongside you. Be of mutual support. We are all a part of the web of life.

See: Active Imagination – The Oracle Within; Fighting Porn Addiction: The Seed Meditation; Meeting Your Inner Child and Birth; The Power of Prayer; Probing the Power of Prayer

The Winged Mind

There is an old saying that life sleeps in the minerals, dreams in the plants, wakes in the animals, and knows itself in man.

Certainly we have arrived at self awareness, but few of us know ourselves as Life. Mostly we are sure our consciousness is inextricably linked, chained, welded onto our body. This is not a universal view. Many other cultural viewpoints are very different, but the Western rational mind or worldview is largely one of the body being the source of and container of personal awareness. From that point of view, at the death of the body the awareness we call self blinks out like a guttering candle. However, this is not how thousands of people worldwide who have met a near death experience see it. (See I Died – But I’m Alive; The Near Birth Experience; An Amazing Near Death Experience; Out Of Body Experience). From their experiences they know that consciousness exists without a living body. They know that they have a ‘winged mind’ that can enter into realms of experience unknown though our physical senses. They know that while our body has been a sort of mother and father to our personal awareness, we are not limited to life in the body. The human possibility is to grow beyond the limitations of the senses and gradually become inhabitants of dimensions beyond the narrow three dimensional world we grew up in.

To put it another way, unless we gradually penetrate the realms of consciousness lying beyond the senses, our race will be trapped in its own home town.

Start reaching beyond the frontier that is sleep. Even a remembered dream is a step beyond the boundaries of the physical senses. Reach beyond your own limitations. Just as you intend to stretch an arm when you reach out to open a door or touch someone, intend to reach out your imperishable body of mind and touch a friend, or stretch to receive knowledge beyond what you have read or seen with your eyes. Intend to fly with the winged mind.

Being with Someone You Love You

Being in the company of someone who loves or cares for us is one of the greatest blessing life offers. To receive love is to receive the greatest medicine and healing. It doesn’t matter if you do not accept the New Testament as a historical account of a man called Jesus, the story of Christ healing others by touching them or being with them is an illustration of the power of love to change a person’s life and body.

Any relationship you are in, whether one of close intimacy, or one in which you deal with someone in passing through your work place, calls on you for love and understanding in some measure. And don’t think of this as something you give as a sort of charity to another person or creature. It is nothing of the kind. To give love is to experience love. To experience love is to be healed, moment by moment.

But sometimes the giving is hard. There are shadows in us that block the light, rocks that stop the flow. And so the giving of love and the receiving of love challenge us to deal with our shadows and bend our back to shift the rocks.

Yes, we all have shadows. Perhaps there was a time when someone you depended upon or trusted hurt or betrayed you. Those things hurt deep down. We recoil and things happen inside us that sometimes we are not fully aware of.

My story is that my mother did things to me that led me to pull back from her and sever any loving or trusting connection with her. I was only five at the time, but strong willed. Unfortunately for me, in severing any emotional connection with my mother, I cut the trust I had for any woman, and suffered years of being unable to get really close in a loving relationship. I was married, but not truly partnered, being what I called independent.

Of course that was a sort of lie. It really meant that I was scared of really loving in case I got hurt again – and when you are little, hurt is devastating. How much better it would have been to forgive my mother and express love. That would have wiped out all those years of living in shadows.

So learning to love is not a charitable giving of something to another person. It is a courageous facing of oneself in claiming the most wonderful gift you have. It takes guts to love. You have to become a full woman or a full man – and that doesn’t mean a macho strongman or a extreme feminist. It means you become a whole person and can meet other people face to face, body to body, love to love.

The standard to measure oneself by is to ask yourself if you can love unconditionally. And that simply means that you love the person for who they are and not for what you can get or need to get from them. It means accepting them as they are, and not forever wanting them to be someone or something different. It means being able to let go of them if they wish to let go of a close relationship with you. And that does not mean disinterest. Someone you love forever has a link with you, and you with them, despite where they go or who they go with. Lastly, unconditional love means we never own the person we love.

But of course we are not perfect human being. So unconditional love does not come easily. Also it does not mean complete acceptance of the crazy or hurtful things people do, or that you yourself do.

That may sound like a contradiction, but unconditional love is being presented here as a guide to your own ability to experience and give love. It is a handy guide, not an absolute measure.

For instance, if the person you love turns to another person and gives them more attention and time than they give to you, and this leads to you being deeply hurt and trying to hurt them, or to pester and try to control them, then the idea of unconditional love gives you a reminder of your own problems. It gives you a mirror to look in and see what shadows still haunt you, what pains are still in control of your life. It is not a command that you must still be a victim to the other person and their behaviour. But it is a way of finding your own healthy reactions to a changing world and relationships.

So unconditional love is not a moral issue. It is not about being ‘good’. It is a guide to help you begin to face up yourself when you start to feel you own someone, or try to control them through jealousy or through your own emotional pain, probably arising from childhood. It is a wonderful feeling to gradually drop those childhood urges and miseries away.

What happens if we do not blame somebody else for our own pains and jealousies, is that we begin to confront ourselves. We begin to own the pain as our own, and discover what a hold the pain or jealousy has on us. Like weeds, we can then begin the process of rooting them out of our life.

See: Unconditional Love; Social Priorities; Healing Social Relationships; Enrich Your Relationship; Healing Relationships Through Primal Awareness; Ages of Love.

Parents provide the environment in which we make the long and often difficult journey toward emotional and physical independence. During those early years the most fundamental lessons of our life are learned. As a child we have a desperately felt need to be wanted, to have emotional and physical shelter in which we can survive, and to be given love and attention.

Being a parent, especially if you are the mother, is one of the most demanding, fulfilling, challenging and rewarding experiences any of us can meet. Unfortunately, northern European and American attitudes to parenthood have moved into a strange artificial condition for many people. Yet being parents is one of the most fundamental expressions of being alive. It extends and nurtures life. It is a doorway through which the future emerges. And it can also be a way of exploring one of the greatest mysteries of life – the emergence of a conscious personality from a tiny mammalian life form.

As explained elsewhere, the personality of a child is not innate in the physical body. Left alone without being cared for or spoken to, no personality would spontaneously bloom in the body of the child. (See Animal Children). Any personality that does develop is an amazing weaving of parental and social relationships, interlaced with the quality and hereditary traits carried in the body. Nature and nurture work together within the framework of infinite possibilities. (See The Nature Nurture Debate).

Parenting is like a work of art, and the canvas you work with, while not a complete blank has an incredible range of possibilities. As can been seen from studies of poor parenting, and nurturing parenting, you can raise a stunted criminal personality, or a gifted radiant person. Some parts of the art need much work, that involves some pain and struggle. But great art is never done without a full engagement of the artist. So bring to your creation all the skills you have. Use your wisdom and discernment. Do not let failures turn you from creating what can be a great painting.

Being a Parent is a Spiritual Path

But looking at parenting from the light of personal transformation, being a parent is a spiritual path.

Strangely I have never seen this mentioned in books on mysticism, yoga or the inner life. Nevertheless parenthood has all the disciplines of great spiritual endeavour. (See definition of the word spiritual). In the incredibly intimate relationship between mother and baby, or parents and baby, you meet the mystery of LIFE face to face. In various spiritual disciplines or belief systems this is stated in a variety of ways. In Christianity it appears as, “Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.” In other words you are dealing with an expression of the divine in dealing with your child. In helping your child to discover its own depths and potential, you are helping Life to discover itself.

Perhaps the greatest preparation for this approach to parenthood is for you to have opened your life to the influence of your own Core or Spiritual influence. This amounts to an attempt to live your life with fuller awareness of how who you are and what you do interacts with the depths and heights of life around you, within you, and beyond your present knowledge. See The Core Experience.

Love is a Strange Word

Love is a word that is often used in all sorts of crazy ways in songs and in general use. But love is at the base of our existence in a very obvious way. It is at the very foundation of being a parent. The physical foundation of parenthood is the moment the sperm and ovum meet. The base of your own physical existence is the coming together of the sperm and ovum that formed your body.

That moment when the sperm and ovum meet is a mysterious and magical moment of love. When the two different tiny beings meet they give up their separate lives completely and totally merge to form a new entity. That total dying to what they were is an act of love that underlies every person alive. That act of love is fundamental to life on earth. It is something few of us can live up to or even get near to. Our own acts of love are so self centered and withholding in comparison. But this level of love is how Life works. It gives itself totally.

The mystery that is behind the phenomena of the universe is seen to give itself totally when it loves. This is a fact of nature. Life feeds life. The sun is dying as it pours its energy into mother earth. And mother earth surrenders her mineral wealth to her children, the plants, trees and creatures that the sun energy, and the earth have brought forth. Parenthood is a pattern throughout the universe. Your own journey into parenthood links you with this cosmic mystery, and that’s why it is a spiritual path. See – Woman – The Greatest Love Story in the World.

As parents we do not simply help create a body for a being who has never existed before. We are a doorway for Life to enter on another stage of its eternal journey into discovering its own wonder and place in the scheme of things. If we are open to it, we may consciously take part in this. My own experience of this was when I dreamt that a being wanted to enter into my wife. It asked me to have sex with my wife to form a body for it. We did this and I then dreamt my wife was pregnant with a son. See Knowing the Baby Before it is Born .

There is a mass of wonderful information on the page Your Baby and its Birth.

 

Here are some useful links - Pregnancy Week by WeekResearch – Parenting; The National Childbirth Trust UK; Dad Cafe – For Dads New To Fatherhood; Parenting for a Better World; The Royal Child.

 

These books are worth looking at if you are a reader.

How to talk so kids will listen By Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Raising Cain by Dan Kindlon and others. Magical Parent, Magical Child by Michael Mendizza and others.

 

Spiritual -

Best understood if we approach it using the old definitions of human nature as being a body, soul and spirit. It can then be seen in context. In this sense the body is a living process of change that is born, matures and dies. It is subject to time and the physical limitations of space.

The soul is the experience of personal awareness and personal memories. Rudolph Steiner points out that while the body feeds on physical substance such as food and water, the soul feeds on the experiences gathered via the body. In this way it learns, and we are referring to the soul when we say something like, “Through that experience I learned something.” The ‘I’ being the soul.

The spirit is the polar opposite of the body. It is not born and does not die. It is your fundamental core beyond the limitations of time and space, with no beginning or end. It is probably the same as the core of the universe we exist as an integral part of. Just as our physical universe – according to the big bang theory – emerged from a condition prior to the existence of time and space, so the human being emerges from and is rooted in that same mystery.

I believe that the spirit can be seen as all the things we have never been able to define or understand about ourselves. For instance what are you? And do not come up with the time worn cliches, “I am a human being” or I am a woman, a man, a husband wife or mother, a worker of a director or my firm! They all are missing the point of what you are. We only give fragments of definition.

Also what is consciousness or life? Nobody, even the biologist as psychologist have been able to really say what it is. Yet consciousness and life are expressions of our spirit, which are therefore beyond definition.

We cannot put a form or colour on it, as it is formless and beyond our usual terms of thought, being being time and space.

So taking the ‘spiritual’ path would mean opening your personal ‘soul’ or self to the influence of the timeless that gave rise to your present life. See: The Core Experience.

Perhaps I can explain that through a conversation I witnessed. A man said to a woman he was confronting, “Religion! That’s surely a direction for failures and people who can’t really cope with facing reality?”

And the woman he is accusing of this inability to face reality said, “You poor man! Is your mind or awareness so tiny that you have never realised the forces and processes of your own body and mind are beyond anything you understand? Can’t you see that your very existence is brought about by things so far beyond your knowledge that it is only a statement of your impoverishment to suggest an awareness of God is an expression of some sort of smallness and failure? Have you never understood that? Have you not seen that religion is not only an acknowledgement of what we fail to understand and yet depend upon, but it is also an opening to it, a willingness to relate to it? It can also be something far more even than that. It can be an active loving relationship with what gives you life. And such love is an exchange, a sharing, a way of merging one with another.

Imagine that; a glorious love affair with the very spirit of life! A love affair with the invisible and forever indefinable. Is that something you are afraid of?”

Comments

-Tony Crisp 2012-03-11 10:48:45

James – As interesting as it is, we ban advertising on these pages.

Tony

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