Transcend Your Thoughts
Take a look at all of the things that are important to you, starting with your loved ones. Can you understand that the only way you can ever experience them in the moment is through your mind? You can’t do it any other way. You can’t get behind their eyeballs and be them.
Now, take all of the things that you want to accumulate. You’ll see that they just exist in thought as well. You can’t be a diamond or a new house. You can experience it, but you can’t ever actually have it or own it. It is only in your mind that you can do something with it.
In other words, anything that you can think, you can achieve. A thought is something that if you get it properly in your mind and start living with it, then eventually what you are imaging for yourself has to come about.
In the process of awakening, you begin to see everyone and everything in the universe from this place of no limits. You look at everything that you used to get really hung up on wanting to own, and you say to yourself, If it’s in my life, it’s fine; if it’s not, that’s okay too.
There Is Only Now
Even though everything that’s ever happened to you up until this moment is in the realm of thought, it is very real for you. It’s critical to understand this point: The whole experience of your past up until this very second is all in thought—and nothing more. How much sense does it make to regret, be miserable, or feel guilty about something that is pure thought?
If someone says to you, “Let’s feel guilty about the outcome of the Peloponnesian War. Let’s you and I feel some guilt.” You’d laugh and say, “That happened almost three thousand years ago, what are you doing?”
Then he says, “Well, look at how the Spartans were treated—it wasn’t nice. The Athenians shouldn’t have done that. It was simply awful. Could we change it by feeling guilty?”. You’d probably reply, “Of course not! It’s over and done with.”
In reality, this morning is just as over as the Peloponnesian War. And as Einstein taught us, there’s no time in a linear frame at all. That concept of time is merely something we invented.
As for everything that’s going to happen to you from this second on, understand that it is also nothing more than pure thought: You can’t touch tomorrow. You can’t grab on to your goals. You can’t take tomorrow’s BMW and drive it. It’s all thought. Yet you can also have the experience, within your form, through thought. If your whole past and your whole future are all thought, then all that leaves you with is now. So why would you elect to use up this moment with something like guilt or by ruminating on things that have already happened?
You Don’t Need to Deal With Everything
You want to be able to say, “It happened. It’s over. I’ve resolved it”. However, a lot of therapists might then reply, “That’s unhealthy because you’re not really dealing with it.”
The truth is you don’t have to deal with things all the time in order to prove that you’re healthy! Imagine there’s a great big pile of cow manure in the street. Now, there are some people who’d say, “Hey, I can deal with that—I’m going to walk right through it.” To me, that’s pretty crazy. A healthy person would say, “No, I don’t have to deal with that. I’ll walk around it.” And that’s what they’d do.
You’ve got to go around a lot of stuff in your life, including your own thinking, when it doesn’t serve you. How do you do this? Well, you just do. Don’t think like that anymore.
The Last Day of Your Life
Life itself is an unfinished-ness. It’s not like you’re going to get it all organized into the right place, and then check out. No. No one tells you in the morning, “You’ll be checking out about 11:30 P.M. You will be joining me tonight.”
Consider getting into the habit of telling yourself every morning, “This is the last day I’ve got.” Because all of us, at some time or another, have got to face a last day. Nobody’s leaving here alive. And when you tell yourself, “This is the last day of my life,” you get a whole new perspective on the worlds of form and non-form. You know death is merely another transition rather than anything to be feared.
Let’s say you’re in a traffic jam on your way to work. If you know that this is the last traffic jam you’re ever going to get, you’re going to enjoy the hell out of it. If this is your last bridge crossing, you’ll be checking that bridge out carefully. You’ll introduce yourself to everybody in line there: “Excuse me, my name is ____. I’ll be leaving tonight, but I wanted to tell you how much I like that bridge there. Boy, is that nice.”
4 Keys to Higher Self-Awareness
The four keys to higher awareness all fit together, with one leading to the next.
Key #1 Banish the doubt
If what we think about is that we can’t do something, or there’s even the slightest amount of doubt that it’s possible for us to do it, then that is what we will act upon. As Ralph Waldo Emerson noted long ago, “We know that the ancestor of every action is a thought,” so if that thought is one of doubt, then that’s what we will act upon. That doubt will keep us from being able to create heightened spiritual awareness, or whatever it is that we want to create for ourselves. Here are a few suggestions for banishing the doubt.
- Try an affirmation, which is a positive statement that you repeat to yourself to affirm and create what you want in your life.
- Make a decision that you’re going to meet the invisible God within, so that you will come to know this loving presence rather than know about it.
- Practice dreaming while awake. You did it when you were a child. You allowed yourself the free-floating excitement of being able to fly, soar, swim, create, write poetry, or whatever it is that you wanted.
Key #2 Cultivate the witness
Once you learn to banish the doubt, then you can cultivate the witness. You can’t do it before. The witness is that part of us where we are placing our attention. Where we place our attention mandates what we will see manifesting from the world of the formless.
When we cultivate the witness, we’ll understand the mechanics of creation. Quantum physics tells us that there are particles so small that no one has ever seen them—the only reason we know that they exist is that they leave traces in what are called particle accelerators. When we observe them, they’re there; when we take our attention off them, they disappear. The very mechanics of creation state that whatever we keep our attention and focus on will manifest.
Key #3 Shut down the inner chatter
Again, this flows from a pattern: First you learn to banish the doubt. Then, as the doubt begins to dissipate, you have the opportunity to cultivate the witness, which can only be there with an absence of doubt. As you get good at cultivating the witness, you find that the best way to be the witness is in silence. Silence is what you have to learn as you shut down the inner dialogue.
The inner dialogue is nothing more than your inventory of beliefs, which have been handed to you from well-meaning people all your life, and are loaded with doubt. It is a constant reiteration of all these things that have been handed to you that keep you from reaching a sense of purpose or from knowing your higher self. It is your ego at work.
Understand that in order to get to a higher place, you need to come to know God, or this loving presence that is with you at all times. You cannot do it when you are constantly at the beck and call of your inner dialogue.
Key #4 Tame Your Ego
The ego works really hard at keeping you from awakening, making you believe that there is nothing of value to you in silence. We’ll learn some more about the ego, so we can clearly understand that which we need to tame. First, let’s see the seven characteristics of an ego:
- The ego is your false self. Your ego tries to convince you that you’re something you’re not. It wants you to believe that you are this body, so you have to make it better than other people’s bodies, and you have to have more wealth and so on. This is false because your real self—which is eternal, changeless, and formless—doesn’t care about any of those things.
- It teaches separateness. Your ego says that you are distinct in all the world, and that uniqueness and separateness must be nurtured and protected at all times. You’re constantly comparing yourself to other people or defending yourself from them. Your real self, however, knows that we are all one.
- It convinces you of your specialness. The ego says you are not only separate from others, you are special too—you are better than others because of who you are and your background
- It’s always ready to be offended. The ego convinces you that anything that isn’t the way you think it ought to be is a reason for you to be offended. It reinforces the belief that you are better than those people who are doing the offending and that God is doing work that you have to correct somehow
- It is cowardly. The ego operates on fear and cowardice. It’s terrified of your getting to know the higher part of yourself, and it will do everything that it can to keep you from facing directly inward and tuning in to that power within
- It thrives on consumption. The false self continually bombards you with the idea that you must have more in order to be happy. It pushes you toward comparing yourself to other people, to looking at all your acquisitions and saying, “I am better than others and more special because I have a newer car, a bigger house, nicer clothes, and a more attractive partner.
- And finally, the ego is insane. One of the definitions of insanity is “when someone believes themselves to be something they’re not.” Well, the ego always wants you to believe that you are this false self, which is separate and distinct in all ways, rather than something that is connected to and a part of a Divinity that it fears more than anything.
There Is No Separation Nor Specialty
Despite what your ego insists, you are not separate from anyone. You do not have to be better than anyone, nor are you more special than anyone else in the world. You are that which is eternal and changeless.
This is not to say you need to conquer the ego. There’s no fighting here; this is not a war. Rather, you have to tame it by understanding what you are not. You are not your body, you are not your name, you are not your occupation, you are not any of those things that you have come to identify as who you are. When you come to know and believe in your true self rather than the idea of yourself, you learn to trust in the very wisdom that created you.
It can be helpful to think of the ego like a shadow: When you go out into the light, you cast a shadow. The shadow, like your ego, is not real. You can’t get hold of it. It’s an illusion. Your higher self, of course, is what is real. It’s wonderful to know your real self because then you don’t live with the illusory shadow, which is always changing.