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What’s the Real Cause of Our Problems?

Marilyn Gordon, BCH, CI

     When I was in college, I once sat in my biology lab with a Petri dish on the table in front of me, and I spoke to my lab-coated professor, asking him this question: “How do you know this world we’re looking at is real?” He looked at me as if I were out of my mind, rolled his eyes, and told me to just get busy and apply the scientific method and learn the categories of the various types of microbes. I, myself, wondered a bit what had prompted me to ask him this question, and I continued to learn what was considered to be the truth by any professor – or any person in his “right mind” at all. I learned what I was told to learn. Later, I had other teachers of a different nature who embodied the ancient wisdom – that there really is a different reality and that the reality of matter is actually illusory. This seemed valuable to me, but I often wondered how to apply it to a world in which what you see is what you get.

     When I began to learn how to assist people to make changes in their lives, I studied various paradigms for doing that. In one graduate program I attended, I was taught that you had to analyze peoples’ issues ad infinitum, maybe even for ten or fifteen years and find out what their mothers or fathers did to create the problems – or what types of dysfunctions they had that made them act in particular ways. Later, I saw people look for causes of current issues in traumas or difficult experiences – and that is very valid work, given the particular paradigm in which you're working. Most people who do the work of “change” consider that they need to find the cause of a situation in order to heal and transform it. Again, given a particular viewpoint, this may indeed be the case.

Other Alternatives and Paradigms

     Still, there are other alternatives for healing your life. The greatest alternative is that you can leap into an entirely different paradigm or state of consciousness – and the transformation will take place without your needing to find any causation for the problem at all. Actually, the truth is that the very fact that you’re not connected with the expanded view in the first place is the real cause of the problem. There is talk of the ISE, the Initial Stimulating Event. And it’s seductive to seem to find it. We can become overjoyed if we find an early trauma that’s the apparent “cause” of cancer or a problem in the right knee or a difficulty with a mate. Yet someone once pointed out that the ISE is really the “Initial Separation Event,” not the “Stimulating Event,” the separation from our true nature, which you can call the separation from God, the universe, the Oneness, which is the real cause of every limitation or difficulty.

     The “cure” then would be to reconnect ourselves with this expanded state of awareness. That’s the explanation of why many affirmations, especially those that begin with “I AM” can bring us back to the place of wholeness. These may sound like: “I AM the light of the universe” or “ I AM the power of healing now and always.” It’s this awareness of the expanded self that ultimately unites us once again with the true power of transformation.

Is the World an Illusion?

     All the great texts, sutras, and mystical teachings (including A Course in Miracles) say that the world is an illusion and that there is an underlying and overriding reality that you can call the Self or the Essence or the All That Is. So when we get caught up in the illusion, then the problems and challenges come. When we return to the expanded truth of the Essence, then we come back to the real understanding of what is taking place. Ordinarily, we don’t necessarily see things the way they really are, and so we get mired in the illusion of suffering. We can stay in the suffering and do what we can to “cure” it within that framework, but the real next step is to leap out of the paradigm and move into states of consciousness in which the suffering is transformed. First we allow ourselves time and space to experience the suffering. We look at it and describe it, and then we release it. But then we bring ourselves to a view of the possibilities of a transformed existence. We go to new states of consciousness, to love, peace, light and wisdom, and these shift the very ground of being of the problems in the first place.

     Still, as I mentioned, it’s often interesting to play in the arena of the apparent “cause” of the situation, to think that because you may have had a significant trauma, for example, that the trauma itself is a cause of your apparent dysfunction. It may be an “antecedent," and it may appear to be a profound connection to the issue at hand – but there’s a bigger truth: that you’re playing a role in a smaller paradigm and that making a leap into a larger one is the solution.

     This larger paradigm is that there is a deep and high reality that supersedes and infuses all of matter and form. This is the Field, the Force, the Eternal Energy, God, and All That Is. Many of the greatest sages tell us that the reason we came to this earth is to once again remember this Force. As we live life, issues present themselves to us, and if we get the messages in them, that it’s time to come home to a deeper reality, then we can move on and become more enlightened beings. So many adepts and wise ones say to us that we’re here to remember who we are and what our true nature really is. So if you believe that you’re ugly or misshapen or poor or downtrodden, you’re playing into the illusion and reinforcing it with the power of intent, which is a power of your mind. The moment you make the shift and remember that you’re a part of a great reality, that you’re beautiful because you’re made of the Essence, that you’re a part of Infinite Abundance, that you have a profound power inside - then you’ve made the leap into a timeless reality.

     This is why spiritual or transformational healing is important – because its purpose is to return you time after time to the truth, to undo the illusions of life, and to return you once again to the reality of wholeness and oneness.

Is Even the Subconscious Mind an Illusion?

     In this case, even the subconscious mind is an illusion because it is a library or a catalog of limited reality, and it in itself cannot get you to the truth. That’s why we fortunately have within us the Superconscious mind, the Supreme Consciousness, that is made of love, light, wisdom, and peace. It is the true cure for what ails us. Getting in touch with it returns us to wholeness and is the basis of prayer, meditation, transformational understanding, and ultimate healing. It is ultimately practical, as it consistently reminds us of the wholeness that is at the core of our being and that we can consistently return to for comfort and peace.

Yogis and sages have said:

I AM not my body,
Not my mind.
Immortal Self I AM.

     This means I’m not wretched or poor or dysfunctional or ugly. In truth, I AM something more, and when I understand this, I can move myself out of anxiety and fear, doubt, seeming failure and limitation. I can remember that I’m a radiant being of the universe, graced with an innate power that is who I really am.

     How fascinating the stories of lack and limitation are – and how compellingly they attract our attention. The stories entertain us and fascinate our minds. And yet if we want to live an enlightened life, we can return to expanded awareness and do our best to find the ultimate truth of our deeper nature, that we are always connected with the Ultimate Reality and that all else is simply a set of stories that cast themselves on the screen of perception.

The poet, Keats, said

Life is like a dome of many-colored glass
That stains the white radiance of eternity.
The One remains,
The many change and pass.

Our Reality Influences Our Work

     All of this profoundly influences the kind of work we do to assist in the growth of others – and in our own growth as well. We can “hang around” in the problems till the cows come home – or we can leap into the solution, the connection. On a practical level, we can consistently help ourselves and others to move into more advanced states of consciousness where the remembrance of the infinite reality exists. You can help yourself and others to remember that:

You are Infinitely Abundant.
You are beautiful.
You are loved and loving.
You are graced with gifts and talents.
You are calm and filled with happiness.

     First you take the time to explore the limited reality, the apparent problem. Then you release it (through breathing, energy therapies and other methods that we talk about elsewhere). Then you move into the expanded states where everything is whole and well.

Transforming a Challenging Life

     One woman named Sandra was dealing with a very difficult relationship. When she went inside and found her deepest self, she saw a very different scene. She went within herself and paid attention to her difficulty. She felt strain going through her entire body and released some tears that she’d been holding in. She described herself as deeply sad, like thick, gray and dismal storm clouds. She breathed into her experience and exhaled, and then her Wise Mind began to speak to her:

“Underneath your sadness is a landscape of you, a blanket of peace. There are rolling hills, carpets of green grass, breathtaking flowers, and you can come here to rest your soul anytime you like. Underneath your sadness, it’s airy, light and sunny. Come here at any time, and you’ll resolve all the troubles in your life.”

     The healing phrase she was given to remember was “deep peace.” Sandra said that this was the most positive experience she’d ever had. It pointed the way for her to go to a sanctuary in her own soul. In this central core of peace within, difficulties don’t appear the same any longer. Here in this core, you listen or feel or watch, and healing comes through. You’re given the opportunity to be more peaceful about any issues – finances, health, or relationships – even the state of the world. As one Zen monk wrote, “Over a cup of tea, I stopped the war.”

Any Reality You Like

     There are many states of reality, and you have the option to play in any that you choose. For the most lasting results, the greatest connection and the ability to transform the “Initial Separation Event,” you can bring wholeness, health and healing by remembering the ultimate knowledge of the true nature of the Self.

©2006 Marilyn Gordon, BCH, CI
1 (800) 398-0034