Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Being authentic

I'd like to continue on the theme raised in my previous post, that of my concern that I almost lost my true nature forever due to the conditioning I received growing up. Over the last few months, life has been revealing more and more to me the importance of being true to who I really am.  This need has taken on a much more powerful significance of late and has come to some kind of critical point today which is why I am writing this post.  The tension I am feeling, the frustration, is telling me that I have to commit to a radical change in the way I project myself to others, or the way I feel about myself when I am with others, to be more precise . Now it is time to be authentic and to show my true self fearlessly and make how I feel about myself more important to me than caring what others think about me. Writing this blog has been a part of that process.

You see, throughout my life I have known that I am different to others, that I did not fit in and this has been a source of pain for me for a very long time. At school I was always on the edge of the group.  I didn't understand the other kids or how to make conversation with them. Their topics of conversation always seemed so silly and trivial and they in turn couldn't relate to me. Of course I had friends but never felt really close to any of them because I felt there was a part of me that I couldn't express when I was with them.  This was the spiritual part of me which for me is the essential part.  I could never talk about it because either they would laugh at me or tell me I was too serious. I suppose for other kids I was. Who wants to talk about philosophy when you're twelve or thirteen?  But I was always thinking in this way, asking questions - why, why, why? But I had a profound awareness that the life we were living was not reality but like a play and that we were like actors playing parts. For example, in a conflict situation such as an argument, I would argue for a little while but then I would smile and maybe start laughing because I knew it was just a game and not to take it too seriously.  But the other person didn't seem to know that and consequently became even angrier.

That was an unhappy realisation for me that others didn't get it, didn't understand that it's just a game. But one night when this knowing served me well was when I was mugged in my hometown of Bristol.  A friend and I were taking a short cut through some garages when two young men with knives appeared and asked us for money. I remember this feeling of calm wash over me and, despite being a little drunk, I suddenly felt really lucid and clear-headed.  I knew that the money was not important but that our safety was.  I could see that the men were on drugs and really nervous so I spoke to the one who seemed to be in charge in a really soothing voice and asked him to stay calm. In fact, I spoke to him lovingly.  It was so strange because I would never have imagined behaving in that way but, in that moment, it was as though the veil lifted and I felt the deep connection that existed between me and this man. He visibly calmed, handed my purse back to me and asked me to give him the money inside it. He seemed almost ashamed. I gave him some and he and his accomplice disappeared. I wonder to this day that if I had gone into fear things might have gone differently. Later on that evening I got angry and indignant like anyone would but at the time it was like I was fully present in my body with absolutely no fear and instead this feeling of deep empathy for everyone including my attackers.

Growing up with this knowing and the fact that I couldn't speak to anyone about any of it meant that I was always looking out for something externally that would validate what I was feeling.  I was attracted to anything to do with the supernatural on the television but I was always left angry and frustrated when the "experts" gave their rational explanation for any kind of psychic phenomena because I felt we were being lied to.  I gravitated towards anything that would help me answer the hundreds of questions I had that were barely addressed by the archaic education system. Consequently, I was disengaged and somewhat rebellious when I was at school. I sincerely regret not choosing physics as one of my options at the age of twelve but on reflection all the physics textbooks needed rewriting even then (according to Amit Goswami, author of Quantum Mechanics). Later on, I became interested in astrology through a friend of my parents and psychology through our lodger and these provided some answers that gave my analytical side a framework for understanding other people.

As I said in my previous post, I have since read many books and seen on the internet that there are many people who think in a similar way to me and that makes me feel less alone and less weird than I used to. But I don't tend to meet them in my personal life. Perhaps we're a rare breed, although I'm sure that is changing.  Perhaps the other people I meet are pretending too.  The fear of rejection and ridicule is a powerful reason for staying inauthentic and hiding one's true nature. But a new realisation has come to me based upon the spiritual truth of as within so without.  That one's outer reality is a reflection of the inner landscape of their mind and their belief system. Perhaps it is me that is rejecting me. The rational, conservative side of my personality rejecting the emotional, intuitive side.  Perhaps if I balance and integrate the two I will find peace and my outer world will reflect that back to me. Only time will tell but I'm willing to give it try.



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

For the dreamers

If you are dreamer like me, you are probably used to people telling you that you need to come down to earth, to put your feet on the ground and to face reality. They say, "dreaming is great but you have to live in the real world and accept that life doesn't usually work out the way it does in your dreams." In fact, I heard truths like that so many times, I almost stopped believing that my dreams could ever come true and I feared they would remain in my head, beautiful images and exquisite feelings that would never find expression in the real world. But fortunately, before I had lost my true nature forever and become a realist or, as I would call it, a disillusioned pessimist, I discovered information that resonated deeply with what I had always known instinctively inside. Some of this information I'd like to share with you now.


Firstly, I'm going to tell you about a scientific experiment that, when I was told about it by a physics student in 1990, made me feel happier than I'd felt in a long time because it seemed to be offering me the proof I had been seeking for a long-held belief that what we can see and touch is not the extent of our reality and that there is more, much more that we cannot see. You may have already heard of it. It's called the double-slit experiment. The experiment consists of the firing of electrons through two vertical slits in one screen onto a second screen. Since electrons are particles of matter, the scientists expected the electrons to create two vertical bands when they hit the second screen.  However, they were very surprised to find that the electrons left an interference pattern like a wave. They couldn't understand how particles could behave like a wave, but their theory was that the electrons must be bouncing off each other to create the interference pattern. So they decided to fire the electrons through one at a time to avoid this problem.  But incredibly, even one at a time, the electrons continued to leave an interference pattern instead of the expected two vertical bands.  The next  thing the scientists decided to do was to put a measuring device by one slit to see what was happening.  But what happened then confused the scientists even more. When they were being measured, the electrons went back to behaving like particles and produced two vertical bands on the second screen instead of the interference pattern of a wave. The understandable conclusion then was that the act of measuring, essentially of observing, caused the collapse of the wave into particles.


So what does this mean? It means that the substance of which everything in our world is composed, including us, is basically a potential until it is observed. It implies that the act of looking at something causes it to become matter, solid, manifest or real. It is as though nothing can exist unless we are there to observe it and our observation causes it to take physical form.  In my case, learning about this experiment began a journey of discovery of how our individual consciousness is not an objective observer but is a participant in the creation of the reality we experience. In 1992 someone gave me a book by Shakti Gawain called Creative Visualisation in which she explains how to use your imagination to visualise your life in the way you would like it to be. I found her ideas and philosophy very inspirational and used some of her techniques to help myself to cure the headaches I was getting at the time. But although I thought it was really fascinating, I suppose I didn't really understand how significant and how life-changing it could be.  Since then I have read  many more books by different authors that support this philosophy.  Although written from many different perspectives including alternative health, science, philosophy and spirituality, all agree on the basic premise that our thoughts create our reality.


Since the release of the film, The Secret, in 2006, there has been an explosion in the number of books, films and courses teaching the principles of the law of attraction. The film presented this ideology, that we can use our minds to create the life of our dreams, in a step-by-step way which has had mass appeal and made these principles accessible to an audience that might not normally read such books. It explains that we need to ask for what we want, then believe it will come, and then be open to receiving it in whatever way it comes into our lives. The film also explains some of the physics behind the law of attraction and that everything is energy and that the energy you emit attracts to you events and experiences of the same energetic vibration.  For example, if you put out a vibration of anger and irritation, you will attract more things to be angry or irritated about like bad drivers and incompetent people, or other irritated people. Equally, if you emit a vibration of love and acceptance, you will attract experiences and people who reflect that back to you such as finding parking spaces easily and having fun or loving interactions with others.


The Secret is a relatively new film but the principles of the law of attraction have been around a lot longer. I believe that this knowledge has been passed down through the ages by word of mouth and, although written about in some texts and even hinted at in the Bible - ask and you shall receive - most of us hadn't realised until now that the practical application of these principles could be possible. Two people who have been trying to get the message out for many years since 1987 are Esther and Gerry Hicks. Esther is a channel of a consciousness that goes by the name of Abraham. Whether you believe that Esther is channelling information from another dimension or not doesn't really matter. It's the information itself that counts and the information contained in their books and taught at their seminars is very practical. They explain exactly how to tune your vibration so that you can attract people and circumstances into your life that light you up. What they tell us is that the law of attraction is a natural law like the law of gravity and that, like gravity, it is always working, whether we are conscious of it or not. So rather than live life unconscious of this law and attract events and circumstances by default, wouldn't it be better (and more fun) to learn how to use the law consciously and attract what we desire?


So if, like me, you've been asking all your life for a better understanding of who we are and of the underlying mysteries of life, you might be interested in how you can go about creating your own reality. Well, in principle it's very simple.  You decide what you want, visualise it as though it's already done and then just relax and allow it to come to you. With the visualisation process you are like a painter or a filmaker and the more detailed and vivid your images, the more powerful your creating will be. The mind begins the process but the real manifesting power comes from the emotions. For example, if you stop for a moment and think about something or someone you love, notice the emotions that thought gives you. That warm, happy feeling is the creative energy that attracts similar experiences into your life.  On the other hand, if you were to focus on something unpleasant, the negative emotions tell you that you are attracting that too.  Of course, it is not instantaneous and we have to focus on a particular thing for some time consistently to manifest it in our lives and so we don't need to worry about having the occasional negative thought. The idea is to let it go and not focus on it. As Abraham explains through Esther Hicks, we live in an inclusion based universe. This means that you cannot push anything away from you by focusing on it. If you think about it, you are drawing it to you.  The only way to avoid something is to deactivate the thought of it by thinking about something else.  


Now you might be asking, does it work? From my experience, yes it does. But for most of us, it is a process of learning and retraining because we've been brought up to believe the world works in a very different way. I feel like I have one foot in the old paradigm and one in the new. Some days I'm clear and focused and other days I slip back into old habits of negative expectation and blaming external circumstances when things don't work out the way I want them to. But that's okay, I'm just learning! My life has changed in more ways than I ever imagined and I know I have more wonderful experiences ahead of me.  


So to you dreamers I would say that everything we have in our world originated in a thought, all the great discoveries and inventions. If it weren't for the idealists, the visionaries, nothing would ever change. There would be no progress. Our elders have told us that life is a struggle and that we should expect to suffer and make sacrifices for what we want. We have been taught not to expect too much of anything in life - too much money, too much love, too much happiness. But if we get what we believe we will, what if we started believing we can have something better?  Isn't the pursuit of your desire in its pure form more honest and real than always accepting less than you really want? If it's true that we create our own reality, it's time to reevaluate these truths we have been given and decide if they really serve us. It is up to us as individuals to decide what we are going to believe and in this process we can be guided by our intuition. If a belief makes us feel good, it is good. As more of us realise our own power and choose a better reality for ourselves, we will positively affect everyone and everything around us.


I used to think the world had to change before I could be happy, but now I know if I make myself happy the world will change (my experience of it :)




Links:
Dr Quantum double slit experiment
Abraham Hicks Law of Attraction (plus hundreds of videos on youtube)







Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Falling slowly



This song is from the 2007 film, Once. It tells the story of two people who meet by chance on the streets of Dublin and develop a close friendship in which they share their talent and love for music and inspire each other to follow their dreams. The music is written and performed by Glenn Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who also play the characters in the film and this song won an Academy Award for best original song.