Goldfish and Trout

[Excerpt from forthcoming revision of Native Soul.]

Some, having come to realize that their consciousness is structured around misleading senses-based information, con­clude that the surface identity they show the world, the personality, represents a barrier between where they are in their current spiritual understanding and where they need to be. Because the majority of our perceived restrictions do indeed have their origins at this surface level, we’ve come to regard the personality and the soul almost as polar oppo­sites. The soul is good and in need of development while the personality is a thing to be overcome, perhaps even discarded.

In her classic work What Are You? author Imelda Octavia Shanklin explains why living strictly from the personal level is so unsatisfying:

When you identify yourself solely with the personal you are not satisfied. There is a lack for which you cannot account, but which is very real to you. If you should voice your feeling you perhaps would say, “I want something. I do not know what it is that I want, but when I receive what I want I shall be satisfied.” Knowing the personal, only, you have but superficial knowledge of yourself. Beneath the surface the rich deeps of life summon you with overmastering appeal. Not knowing how to respond, you have a sense of confusion and restless­ness.

The personality does indeed become a restricting factor when we see it as the defining essence of our being. A goldfish raised in a small fishbowl, for example, is perfectly content with its limited envi­ronment, for it knows nothing different. Place a wild trout in that same glass bowl and it will jump out. The trout knows a world beyond that glass boundary and it will not adapt to this confinement.

Our soul is the wild trout that we’re attempting to stuff in the fishbowl of personality. In our quest for finding satisfaction within the artificial confines of this bowl, we adorn it with a pretty ceramic castle, colored pebbles and some plastic greenery. This works for a time, but soon the frustration returns. So we buy a prettier castle, adorn our bowl with designer pebbles and decorate it with living greenery. It’s perfect—if you happen to be a goldfish.

Though we wander far into the distractions of maintaining the surface self-image, we never forget who we are at the soul level. The soul constantly asserts itself as an intuitive whisper of discontent, a still small voice[1] that never fully endorses the artificial trappings of the fishbowl.

Our cultural training suggests this dissatisfaction is a personality or character issue, so we engage in a determined effort for self-improvement. Improving the personality, however, isn’t the answer, as the personality is not the problem. The personality an effect. It simply echoes our own self-definition. The problem is that we carry the self-image of a goldfish when we’re really a trout. We’re trying to stuff our soul into a fishbowl personality that just doesn’t fit.

As we turn our attention to the gentle radiance of the soul, we return to the figurative wild stream, the most fitting personality of our natural being.

[1] 1 Kings 19:12

Your Creative Imagination

[Note: My book, Native Soul, first published by Unity House, went out of print some time ago so I’m in the process of republishing it. As I read the chapter on Your Creative Imagination, I thought it would make a good post. It’s a bit long so I included subject headings so you can easily return to your stopping points. JDB]

The aim of meditation is to gain understanding of your spir­itual source through direct exposure to your core being. Because God as the Creative Life Force is not physically observ­able, you must learn to experience God through nonphysical means. “God is spirit, and those who worship him must wor­ship in spirit and truth” (Jn. 4:24). Jesus rightfully compared the Divine Presence to the wind that blows where it chooses. You hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes (Jn. 3:8). The Creative Life Force, though invisible to the eye, is just as real as the wind that sighs through the leaves or pushes the sailboat across the sea.

When you think of the faculty that enables you to perceive God, you may, like most, think of intuition rather than imagina­tion. After all, intuitive knowledge is defined as that which is directly perceived without the use of the senses. The imagina­tion, on the other hand, is generally depicted as the creative, image-generating and objectifying faculty of mind. The faculty of imagination actually performs both functions. In its intuitive function, it is the inlet, a direct pipeline to the pure essence of Being. In its image-generating function, it converts the pure energy of Spirit into the vision that becomes the basis for the life you project in the material world. Charles Fillmore explained it this way:

In the communication of God with man, the imag­ining power of the mind plays an important part. It receives divine ideas and reflects their character to the consciousness.

The receiving aspect of your imagination is your intuitive ability, a portal capable of opening directly to the universal forces of the spiritual dimension. All living things possess this intuitive aspect of the imagination. In Nature we see the essen­tial characteristics of Being—life, power, intelligence and love— manifested as a balanced, perfectly integrated symphony orchestra with every section, while playing different parts, complementing the whole. What is absent or at least greatly restricted in the natural world is the visioning aspect of the imagination. Possession of this ability to visualize sets the human species apart from all others. This visioning aspect, which is an important part of the intellect, allows us to develop a personal rather than a generic vision of ourselves and our life, an ability that has placed our species in a very unique position in Nature.

We have, to a great extent, shut down the portal of intuition and drawn our guiding information from the wide open gates of sensory input. The imagination has fallen under the direction of the senses-driven intellect that insists the facts presented by external appearances represent ultimate reality. We are elated or traumatized according to this steady input that has little in common with the unchanging reality that can only be perceived intuitively. It is as if we are riding in a glass bottom boat gliding over warm waters rich in aquatic wonders, but a carpet covers the glass. We are essentially cut off from the stabilizing serenity and beauty that exists beneath our ever-changing surface life.

The Digital Camera

To understand how these intuitive and reflective aspects of the imagination are intended to work as a single creative func­tion, we can turn to the digital camera for an illustration. The beauty of digital cameras, particularly the point-and-shoot models, is their simplicity. Point the camera at your subject—a person, a landscape or a flower—and press the shutter button. The camera, automatically sensing light conditions, presents you with an impressive replica of the image you see in the camera’s viewfinder.

Simplicity at the user end does not mean there is anything simple about the camera’s process. The instant you snap the shutter, a series of small miracles of science occurs. Light reflected from your subject passes through the lens to the camera’s image sensor. The light is first converted into an elec­trical signal that is then translated into digital information through the camera’s processor. Once the image becomes digi­tized, you can email it around the world, project it onto a screen or print it to paper as a photograph. The camera plays the dual role of receiving the universal energy of light and combining it with a personal choice of imagery.

Most digital cameras are equipped with a small liquid crystal display (LCD) that allows you to see (compose) your image before you actually snap the shot. Think of this viewfinder as equivalent to the mental screen of your imagina­tion. To capture the image that you see on your viewfinder, you introduce a burst of light onto the image sensor by snapping the shutter button. With this simple act, you combine the universal energy of light with your personal choice of imagery. Your camera’s computer then translates this combination of energy and imagery into the digital information that you share with the world as a photograph. Here you have a perfect illustration of how universal energy (light) is combined with personal choice (the image in your viewfinder) to create a specific condi­tion (your photograph).

Now think of the intuitive side of your imagination as your camera’s shutter. Through the intuition flows the universal energy of life, power, love and intelligence. This energy com­bines with the picture-forming aspect of your imagination (your mental viewfinder) to produce a state of consciousness (equivalent to the digital platform) that serves as the basis for your material conditions. These states of consciousness com­prise the unique photo gallery that you call your life. It is within the imagination that the personal and the universal are brought together to form the unique basis of your external life condi­tions. Rather than generating digital information that a com­puter understands, you generate states of consciousness that serve as the basis for your unique material conditions.

For many, this blending of the universal and the personal is a random and unconscious process, like snapping photos all day long at nothing in particular. At the end of the day they review these photos and discover they have no meaning. They are not getting what they want from life because of their hap­hazard employment of their imagination.

To further the analogy, consider the difference in image quality taken in artificial and natural light. The average flash photo is often harsh and washed out while natural sunlight, at the right time of the day, is soft and warm. Professional photog­raphers love those 20-minute windows of light that occur just after dawn and again just before dusk. In this natural light even an amateur photographer can obtain impressive results. Fact-based, intellectual knowledge is harsh and washed out in com­parison to the warmth of light that rises through the intuitive portal of the soul.

Uniquely Human

The evolution of the visioning, personalizing aspect of the imagination has placed the human family in a unique position in nature. Unlike the plant and animal kingdoms, there appears to be no natural limits to the effects we can produce through the creative application of our imagination. Its usage is a subject that warrants careful consideration.

Thomas Troward, English author and lecturer who had a significant impact on the early development of mental science, made the profoundly simple observation that the human being is the only creature capable of producing ideas that do not occur spontaneously in nature. Place a lump of iron in water, he noted, and the iron sinks, an effect governed by natural law, or, as Troward called it, generic law. Fabricate that same iron into the hull of a ship and the iron will float. The iron hull, like countless other examples we could name, is a product of the human imagination, a unique combination of universal energy and personal imagery.

Though plants and animals display varying levels of intelli­gence and personality, they are restricted by a natural barrier in their creative ability. Troward attributed this to the animal’s inability to express anything more than generic law. Think of generic law as the expression of the Creative Life Force without any elaboration of human imagination. The lump of iron, gov­erned by generic law, sinks in water. Introduce the influence of human imagination and the iron is able to float. Nature as a whole is an example of generic law in expression.

People often ask whether animals have souls. Using Troward’s model, the answer would be yes, but it is a generic soul, an archetypal set of parameters that limit the expression of intelligence and, therefore, the creative capacity of a given species. The key limiting element in the generic soul of all living things (though it is present in nearly all species in limited degrees) is the visualizing aspect of imagination.

For survival and reproductive purposes, animals depend on a preprogrammed set of responses we know as instinct. Yes, there are cases where chimpanzees fish termites from their mounds with sticks and certain birds break open ostrich eggs by bombarding them with stones. These, however, can hardly be thought of as anything more than examples of intelligence still bridled by a rudimentary imagination.

If you own a dog, you know it as an intelligent animal with a unique personality. Personable and intelligent as your dog may be, however, you can safely assume it will never be cred­ited with a medical breakthrough, never send other dogs to Mars or develop a faster, more efficient Internet. The intelli­gence level of the brightest dog on the planet (yours no doubt) is primitive in comparison to that of even a below-average human. This may seem unflattering to those who insist on ele­vating their dogs to near-human status, but experts in canine behavior know the key to successful interaction between dog and human is to get the human to start thinking like a dog. The dog, they know, can never think like the human. The dog simply does not possess the imaginative capacity of the human.

The Generic Cap

This concept of a generic soul can explain why, in contrast to the sometimes chaotic experience we see at the human level, the natural world exists in such balance and harmony. Nature has no choice. It is a material representation of the Creative Life Force capped by a generic imagination. Plants and animals get creative when it comes to snaring food, reproducing and even shelter-building. But if you observe a herd of 100,000 wilde­beests, you see that each one leads a very similar life. Their choices of food, habitat and behavior are nearly identical throughout the herd. Roll back the clock a million years and you are likely to see the same basic wildebeest behavior.

By contrast, visit any town of 100,000 people and you will see countless economic, cultural, political, religious and lifestyle distinctions. The evolution of the faculty of imagina­tion, the ability to combine universal energy with personal imagery, has lifted the human species beyond the creative restrictions of basic instinct. The Lascaux cave paintings in southern France, dating back 16,000 years, clearly illustrate the emerging artistic tendency in our race. In Utah, I visited a site containing ancient rock art of a scene depicting a shaman assisting in hunting success. This scene contains all the ele­ments you find in a modern vision board and illustrates that people have long understood the role and importance of the visualizing aspect of imagination.

Our modern cultures have invented an entirely new world full of houses with beautifully landscaped yards, glistening high-rise cities, bustling shopping malls, countless educational opportunities, grocery stores with foods from around the world, sophisticated transportation systems, instant global communications, trade and manufacturing that has literally altered the landscape of the planet. Roll back the clock a million years and, unlike the wildebeest, you will see a humanity that scarcely resembles the modern version.

Like animals, we, too, have a generic soul, but our tur­bocharged faculty of imagination has allowed us to take giant creative leaps far beyond the circumscribed boundaries that inhibit the creativity of other species. Your dog loves you unconditionally, and you would like to think it is because he lives on a higher level of awareness. In truth, he is forgiving because he simply cannot read anything into the fact that you forgot to feed him yesterday. He takes the food you give him today as if you are the most wonderful, thoughtful provider on earth. He cannot curse you for the discomfort you may have caused, nor can he attribute your forgetfulness to one of your unresolved childhood issues. He wags his tail in loving grati­tude that he is finally eating again. He is hardwired to love and trust you, his pack leader, and he cannot engage in behavior that is inconsistent with his generic soul.

It may seem that animal vitality and the ability to be fully present can be attributed to the animal having attained a supe­rior level of awareness. This ability, however, is better explained as the animal’s inability to conceive of the abstract concepts of future or past. Nearly all their faculties are programmed to address their present needs. They function from a model of suc­cess that is limited to the threefold aim of filling their bellies, finding shelter and reproducing offspring. Animals may be content with this basic agenda, but the spiritually awakening human, who has no apparent inventive restrictions, is not.

From Simplicity to Complexity

Your life feels incomplete when you project from the perception that you are separated from your spiritual foundation, your soul. Your soul is a concentration of life, love, power and intelligence inherent in the Creative Life Force. Your faculty of imagination allows you to personalize these elements to produce all the various aspects of your life. As I pointed out with the camera illustration, you do this by first establishing centers of thought that become states of consciousness, and these, in turn, serve as centers from which specific things and conditions evolve.

It may seem an oversimplification to say that our life, as it is expressed, is derived from varying combinations of four basic elements. Consider that, from a computer standpoint, each letter in our English alphabet is created from binary code. Letters are a unique combination of two digits, 0 and 1, put together in a string of eight. For example, you see the capital letter “L,” but the computer sees 01001100. You see the word love (in lower case), and the computer sees 1101100010011110111011001100101. When you consider the range of ideas that are communicated by varying combinations of these two digits, you see how complexity can grow out of simplicity. Depending on the human imagination to which they are subjected, two digits can convey everything from the obscene to the divine. Complicating the code by adding a third or fourth digit would not change the nature of ideas individuals wish to convey. Two digits are sufficient to convey any idea that can be put into language.

From this perspective, you can see that asking God to give you something that will make you feel more complete is asking the impossible. All of God’s attributes, like a spiritual binary code, are present and are being perpetually imparted to every person and to every living thing. Your feeling of incomplete­ness is based on the illusion that your soul is undeveloped, sep­arate from its source or lacking crucial information. As you awaken to your unity with the Infinite, you begin to under­stand that your very existence is an activity of the Creative Life Force, and that your desire for a fuller, more expanded life is nothing less than the inner stirring of your complete soul. When you start with the awareness that all creative forces are concentrated within you and are therefore available for your use, you begin to apprehend and project from your wholeness into your external affairs and you begin to get what you want from life.

The Example of Three Artists

Imagine three artists being given identical palettes con­taining six colors of paint each—violet, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. At this stage these unused colors are in a uni­versal state or, using Troward’s term, generic state. The paints, equally available to all three artists, have not been combined into any specific image. The artists begin mixing their colors and applying brush strokes according to their individual pref­erences and understanding. Though they have drawn from the same universal set of colors, the final work produced by each is as unique in color combination and form as the personalities of the artists themselves. They transform these colors into some­thing truly their own. Their results are profoundly different.

In the same way the full range of colors is available to each artist, so the full range of divine attributes is available to every person. How you combine and express these attributes is com­pletely up to you. You might be tempted to think that getting what you want from life requires you to ask God, “What picture do you want me to paint?” God can no more answer this ques­tion than can the palette of paint tell the artist what kind of pic­ture he or she should create. God supplies you with the palette and the faculty of imagination and says, “The picture you paint is up to you.” The combination of your understanding, your vision and your skill as a painter determines the nature and quality of your results.

You, like the painter, are accessing and utilizing divine qual­ities in the way that is translating into your material life. You are drawing from the universal palette of color, and you are painting your life based on the beliefs you hold. If you are unhappy with what you see on your canvas, it is useless to ask God to guide you to a different palette of colors or to expect God to fix your painting. There is no other palette and the Creative Life Force cannot magically change your circum­stances. Outside of you, this divine force can only act generi­cally. It cannot act creatively, at least not in the specific ways you need or desire. The specifics of how it is expressed in your life depend on how you employ your executive faculties, specifically the visioning aspect of your imagination.

You Are Directing God

In a very real sense, and this may come as a surprise, your life is the result of the directives you are giving to God. To return again to our earlier example, you are composing images in your viewfinder and bringing in universal energy to create the photo album that is your life. Be assured, you have a very willing partner who has given you unconditional support in bringing forth the exact world you envision. God does not say, “Are you sure you want this or that picture?” Without you the Creative Life Force performs generically, producing beautiful and endless combinations of life, love, intelligence and power, but with no ability to deviate from the inherent constraints of each expression’s generic parameters. With you in the picture, the same creative process is at work but without constraints. You add to the creative process the expanded influence of your executive faculties that you employ in accordance to your understanding. The life you know and live is the result.

Though there are times when it may appear to do so, the Creative Life Force does not impart specific solutions to your needs, at least not in the way you may think. It imparts its full range of characteristics always. Scripture tells us that “God is light” (1 Jn. 1:5), and indeed light provides yet another excellent way to illustrate this point. Place a prism anywhere there is a beam of sunlight and you will, without exception, see the entire visible spectrum of color. If you said to a beam of sunlight, “I need more blue,” it would not give you blue only; it would give you the entire spectrum. It cannot do otherwise. You can use a filter that allows only the blue frequency to pass, but the full spectrum is still always present.

In the same way the full spectrum of colors is present in the beam of sunlight, so all the qualities that constitute the Creative Life Force are present everyplace equally at once. Most impor­tant, they are always present in and as you. So how do you find solutions to specific problems? Consider how a single sunset can inspire countless expressions of music, poetry, photog­raphy, paintings and other forms of artistic expression. Peering directly into the Creative Life Force charges the visual aspect of your imagination with endless ideas that can be combined into an infinite range of states of consciousness that are as unique as you, the individual projecting them. Solutions to specific prob­lems unfold with this influx of pure inspiration. New life sparks enthusiasm. Divine power stirs unbounded strength to move forward. Intelligence kindles the flame of wisdom, and love deepens and opens the understanding. As the author of Job so eloquently put it:

It is the spirit in a mortal, the breath of the Almighty, that makes for understanding. (Job 32:8)

As your mind expands with new inspiration, you compose in the viewfinder of your imagination ideas and actions that are natural to you and address constructively and precisely the issues involved with your particular situation. Your soul is as unique as your fingerprint. Given the chance, it will present you with an equally unique opportunity to transform your seeming problem into a creatively exciting endeavor.

Spiritual Mastery

YouTube: Spiritual Mastery

Audio: Spiritual Mastery

Gems of Truth: Spiritual Wisdom from the Words of Jesus

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:1-3).

As we look for gems of Truth found in the words attributed to Jesus, we come across this intriguing incident. It’s intriguing because it challenges the highly popularized law of attraction. According to advocates of this law, the man or his parents must have done something to attract this condition of blindness. Jesus, however, puts this notion aside and initiates a new cause.

We too can get caught in this trap of self-blame for unwanted conditions. Far from being the spiritual master we hope to one day become, we struggle with the consequences of the “sin” of negative thinking and low visioning. The question, “Who sinned?” does not resolve the issue, it only places blame.

Here’s a suggestion: Rather than chiding yourself for failing to be a spiritual master, try practicing some spiritual mastery in your present situation. Take the truth you know and apply it to the condition that is bothering you. In your highest moments, what do you affirm about God? What do you affirm about yourself? God is absolute good. You are an expression of God. Appearances are passing. The deeper reality of God is now shining forth.

A spiritual master is one who spiritually masters the moment. What happened in the past is not happening in the present. The present is your opportunity to display the works of God. Pull your attention from the appearance and center it in the truth. Bring all your studies to bear on the situation at hand. It does not matter where the situation came from, it only matters what you do with it now.

 

 

 

Prayer and Manifestation

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).

Spiritual teachers of all time have made a distinction between the realms of spirit and matter. The author of Hebrews wrote, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” (11:3). Eastern tradition states that God is complete unity, while the realm of matter operates under the law of maya (illusion), the principle of relativity and duality. Likewise, Thomas Troward made the distinction between differentiated and undifferentiated spirit.

There is agreement that spirit and matter are one substance (energy) expressing at different levels and, therefore, operating under a different set of laws. We see a similar analogy with water, which can express as gas (humidity), liquid (rain), and ice (hail), three different expressions of a single substance, each subject to different laws.

When we speak of the illusion of time and how the now moment is the only reality, we should take care to understand that we’re speaking of the realm of spirit, not matter. The material realm is subject to time and space. You can instantly imagine yourself being in a distant location, for example, but to get your body to that location, you must travel through time and space. I don’t believe Jesus was suggesting that if you want to be in a distant location, you simply close your eyes and believe you are there. When you open your eyes, you will be there. Your mind is obviously not subject to time and space, but your body is.

Thomas Troward dealt extensively with this subject throughout his many writings. In my book, Native Soul, I included a summary of what I believe to be a practical application of the principle Jesus was referring to. I hope you find this a useful reminder.

Step 1: Form a clear picture of your desire with the understanding that, by so doing, you create a prototype that is impressed upon the creative life force.

Step 2: Understand that you are working with spiritual law. With calm expectation of a corresponding result, know that all necessary conditions are coming about in proper order.

Step 3: Enter your daily routine with the assurance that conditions are either present already or will soon present themselves. If you do not see evidence at once, know that the spiritual prototype (your desire) is already in existence.

Step 4: Wait until some circumstance pointing in the desired direction begins to show itself. It may be small, but it is the type and not the magnitude of the circumstance that is important. This is the first sprouting of the seed.

Step 5: Do whatever the circumstance seems to require. This action leads to the further unfolding of other circumstances in the same direction. By addressing each one as it appears, you move step by step toward the accomplishment of your desire.

 

The Resurrection Principle

YouTube: The Resurrection Principle

Audio: The Resurrection Principle

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).

According to Matthew’s version of the resurrection, when “Mary Mag’dalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulcher,” they found it empty. An angel was there to tell them Jesus had risen from the dead. The Easter story presents the defining principle for both mainstream and alternative Christianity. In both cases, Easter illustrates that life, not death, is the truth behind all appearances to the contrary. We celebrate Easter in the Spring because all around us we see the resurrection of new life from the dry stalks and branches of apparent death, and we marvel at the tenacity and the proliferation of this mysterious, living energy. Traditional Christianity draws its meaning of Easter from the past, projecting its fulfillment as a glorious and everlasting future. In metaphysical Christianity, we invoke the principle of resurrection in our current affairs by letting go of the old and affirming the new. Life is always creating new channels through which to express itself. Our work is to make ourselves as open as possible to the renewing energy of this resurrecting force so that every point of our experience may expand and flourish. Are you sealed in a tomb of fear and negation, worried about your future, uncertain about the outcome of some current situation? Then begin to release this fear and affirm that the resurrecting power of life is now lifting you beyond all restrictions, all uncertainty, all inhibitions, and that your life is full of new possibilities, and those possibilities are unfolding now, like the spring buds bursting all around you. Open your mind to God’s resurrecting life right now, right where you are, and enjoy the blessings of a transformed experience.

Life’s Single Lesson

YouTube: Life’s Single Lesson

Audio: Life’s Single Lesson

“You say the earth is a school and we’ve come here to learn

If we don’t get it now then we’ll have to return

Another lifetime – O how many more?

But what if we came because we’re already free

We want to share our light so that others can see

They have a purpose – a cause to live for”

(I Can’t Hide – JDB)

 

I think it’s fair to say that most who have embraced the spiritual alternative to the mainstream concepts of heaven and hell are comfortable with the notion that earth is a school and we’ve come to learn. The lessons we’re here to learn are not necessarily directed toward enhancing the intellect, but in advancing the soul. I think it’s a good idea to question this premise.

If you own a cat or a dog, would you say the same is true of them? Do you assume they have much to learn in terms of soul advancement? Don’t we respond to our pets because of the unconditional love and devotion they give to us? We may not like that they threaten the UPS man, chase cars, intentionally knock trinkets off the mantel, or shred the couch as part of their routine workout, but we see in them an irresistible purity that would be difficult to improve upon. Would it even cross our mind that they have come to earth to correct some soul deficit? We’re more likely to think they’ve come to help us with ours.

From a spiritual perspective, I suggest there is but a single lesson to learn: I am a soul who has taken on this body as the interfacing vehicle that allows me to experience the material plane. So-called spiritual learning is simply soul recollection –the act of reawakening to what I am at the deepest level. The lessons to learn have less to do with soul development and more to do with conducting life successfully through this temporary physical interface of the body. I believe we are here because we want to be, not because our perceived undeveloped soul needs more schooling.

Focus on this single truth: My soul is complete, and I have taken on a body to experience this earthly plane. Don’t get lost in why you may have made this choice. Focus only on the truth that you are a soul that is already complete, already free. As you get a solid understanding of this, you begin directing your body and your environment to conform to your reason for coming.

 

Listen to Yourself

[From, A Practical Guide to Prosperous Living]

Typically, each one of us receives a significant amount of input from friends and family members as to how we should go about improving our lives. These well-meaning people may even suggest that you study and practice the ideas in a book like this to get what you want. In an attempt to honor a friendship or show respect to a family member, you may find yourself acting on ideas that are not genuinely yours.

If it is not your idea, if you are doing a thing to please or appease another, you will not put your heart into it. You have to know the value of the course of action you take or you will abandon it. Yes, you will get good ideas from others, but these ideas must become yours if you are to ignite them with the fire of enthusiasm required to bring them into full manifestation.

The same holds true with your own attitude. You may say to yourself, “I’m supposed to be positive, so I should be able to do anything.” If this is your approach, you do not yet own the attitude it suggests. You simply can’t make the kinds of internal and external changes that are required because you think you are supposed to, or because you are trying to be positive. You can only make these kinds of changes when you, in your own way, come to know the value of doing it.

Consider all input, but remain centered in what your deepest, most natural inclinations are telling you. It is better to be slow to act than it is to attempt to make changes in your life based on inspiration that is not genuinely your own.