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 were 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
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 youre 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 its seductive to seem to find it. We
can become overjoyed if we find an early trauma thats
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.
Thats 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.
Its 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 dont 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, its 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
theres a bigger truth: that youre 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 its 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 were here to remember who we are
and what our true nature really is. So if you believe
that youre ugly or misshapen or poor or downtrodden,
youre 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
youre a part of a great reality, that youre
beautiful because youre made of the Essence, that
youre a part of Infinite Abundance, that you have
a profound power inside - then youve 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. Thats
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 Im 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
Im 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
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 shed 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, its airy, light and sunny. Come
here at any time, and youll 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 shed 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 dont appear
the same any longer. Here in this core, you listen or
feel or watch, and healing comes through. Youre
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.