Consciousness…The Last Frontier?

Long ago Captain Kirk, skipper of the Enterprise, an intergalactic vessel, said, “We boldly go where no man has gone before…”. The Enterprise explored outer space – that vastness that has seduced man since he first lifted his eyes heavenward.

There is another vastness that seduces man, one that is equally mysterious and in many ways unknowable. That vastness is consciousness. That aspect of ourselves that scientists call the hard question.

It’s called the hard question because it can’t quite be pinned down. Whenever consciousness is discussed or questioned, the topic quickly becomes a dissertation of the attributes of consciousness, i.e., mind or thought.

Some equate consciousness with mind; some with thought. Quantum physicist Amit Goswami says that consciousness is the ground of being – that which is original and self-contained; the constitute of all things. In other words, everything has derived from consciousness; it is the originator, the creator, and form of everything.

Consciousness is our state of awareness; it is the capacity of the mind to know. Physicist Peter Russell says that consciousness is the quality of self-awareness, being aware of an external object or something within oneself. Called mental substance or mindstuff, consciousness has the potential to take on the form of every possible experience. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi called consciousness the field of all possibilities.

Philosopher Ernest Holmes defined consciousness as mental awareness that is both objective and subjective. As objective, it is the state of awareness that can reason and make choices and is aware of itself. As subjective, it cannot reason, only react. It is creative, but cannot decide what it will create. The subjective aspect of consciousness accepts what the objective consciousness directs.

There are four aspects of consciousness:1) the field of consciousness or awareness; 2) objects of consciousness: thoughts and feelings; 3) the subject of consciousness: experiences and the experience the ground of everything and that which it manifests.

So what, you say? What does this mumbo-jumbo have to do with me, with my life, with my pile of bills? What do I care about consciousness; why should I care?

I’m so glad you asked! Here’s why: As the ground of being, consciousness is the field of potentiality that we all have access to and are part of. When we become aware of (conscious of) this field of potentiality, we realize that we can direct our consciousness into the path that we prefer.

Consciousness is a mental state, thoughts and feelings. Though it may be a mystery because it’s like the chicken or the egg – which came first – mind or consciousness – to scientists, if we take the simple definition – consciousness is a mental state, it’s our thoughts and feelings, we can begin to understand why it’s important for us to know about it. When we look at consciousness as our thoughts and feelings, we begin to understand why we should care.

As a mental state, our thoughts and feelings, consciousness creates what we experience. At the same time, it is all of our experience. Consciousness is both the creator of our experiences and the experiences themselves.

If you are aware of what you’re thinking or doing, you can re-direct your thoughts. You can choose which thoughts you want to think, which feelings you want to feel.

Most of us think we can’t control our thoughts or our feelings, but we can. Sophie was an insipid young woman whose way of life was to take the path of least resistance, even when her intuition was screaming at her. She let her ego – in this case, a very fragile ego in need of much support from other people – run her life. She didn’t have the will to stand up for herself, until one day fate, in the form of the death of a great-aunt she didn’t know about, stepped in. She woke up to the fact that she was living a life she didn’t like. Early in her life she let a careless remark from someone get her off track from what she really wanted. When she became conscious of how she was letting her life drift away, she began to take back control of her life. She began consciously, deliberately, to create the life she wanted.

When we’re living consciously, we can choose how we feel, how we think, and we can choose the direction of our lives. This is why we should know about consciousness. It’s the foundation of our very lives. With our consciousness, we can build the life of our dreams.

Wake up! Be the person you were born to be! Become conscious of your thoughts and your feelings and direct them in the direction of your dreams.

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The Hidden Treasure

I walked the Silver Strand last week. The Silver Strand is a low, narrow, sandy area 7 miles long in San Diego County, California, on Coronado Island. The ocean side of the strand features 2.5 miles (4.0 km) of coastline trimmed with silver shells, which is why it’s named the Silver Strand.

I was excited; I found a sand dollar.  It was intact, but in just a few minutes, it broke.  They are very fragile.  Few minutes later, though, I found another.  It was almost intact.  I was very careful with it and put in a special box when I got back to my car.

Why was I excited to find a sand dollar?  I’ve walked a lot of beaches the past 20 years, and only found four sand dollars, all on the Silver Strand.  It’s rare, at least I’ve found it to be so, to find a sand dollar. Especially one intact.  

But I want to tell you about a treasure that’s almost as difficult to find. Yet it is not rare. Nor is it delicate. That treasure is a Power…your Power. Philosopher Ernest Holmes said, “There is a power for good in the universe and we can use it.”

It is the same Power that created the universe; the same Power that created you and me.  That Power is hidden within each of us…hidden in plain sight. How do you find that power?  You don’t have to hunt for it. Unlike sand dollars, It isn’t rare, nor is It delicate. It’s the strongest force in the universe.  To create the universe it would have to be strong!  It’s easily and instantly accessible, once you know the way. It isn’t even a secret, nor does it require a password.

All you have to do is know you have the Power.  You were born with it; you were born knowing you had it, but you forgot.   I’m here to remind  you.  You are a powerful being and it’s time to step into your power!

How? By turning your attention to it. Just focus on the Source of all and you discover the Power you were born with.  Know you are a powerful person with the ability to speak your word and see it manifest.

Many of us are afraid of how powerful we are.  We’re like Peter Parker when he first discovered he was Spider Man.  He didn’t want the responsibility.  He discovered that “…with great power there must also come great responsibility…”—and he, as many of us, was afraid of that responsibility. “What if I make a mistake?” “What if I choose the wrong thing (or person)?” “What if….” on and on we think, afraid of so many things.

Like George in the movie, Phenomenon, you can learn to use your Power for good. George learned that it’s a partnership – you enter into an agreement with the Power and if you do your part, you can create beyond your wildest imaginations. George learned he could lift the pages of the books he was reading without touching the pages. His hand just hovered over the page and it lifted. He could pull objects to himself by just pointing his fingers. He could learn a new language by flipping through the pages of a book. He learned how to grow bigger and better produce. He learned how to use this Power for the good of humankind.

The movie and George are fictitious, but the concept isn’t. There is that Power and each of us has access to it. But it’s a gentle Power; It doesn’t intrude until we’re ready. We have to invite it to be a vital part of our lives.

How do we enter into a partnership with the Power? How do we use it for good…ours and humankind? Philosopher Ernest Holmes said we have to enter the closet. We have to shut out the world, for just a while, and enter into the Presence of the Source of the universe. We have to get quiet, get away from the noise of life and learn to just be. We have to train ourselves to be quiet and to focus. We have to train our minds to focus on what we want, not what’s going on around us. The more we learn to get quiet and access the Power within, focus on that Power and what we want, the more powerful we are, the more powerful…in the direction we want…our thoughts are. We can move mountains, if we train our minds to focus on what we want, not what’s going on around us.

You are a powerful person. Don’t let your fears keep you from assuming your power!  Don’t let your fears keep you from the life you were born to live!

The Object of My Affection

There’s an old song that goes, “the object of my affection can turn my complexion from white to rosy pink…”. The truth is, the object of my affection can color my world just about any color…rosy pink or ash gray, depending on how the object of my affection makes me feel.

We usually think the word “affection” means a feeling stronger than like, but not exactly love. There’s another meaning, which is: feeling, an aspect of consciousness. In other words, affection is the thoughts and feelings that dominate your consciousness…your awareness. The objects of your affection are the thoughts and emotions that you pay attention to the most…the thoughts and emotions that dominate your awareness.

I watched a horse race today that could have been history in the making…a little known horse was the odds favorite to win the Triple Crown, the first in 36 years. Unhappily, he didn’t win. I think the reason he did not win is that there was a lot of negativity surrounding his possible win: how difficult the race is, how tired he was because this was his third big race in five weeks, how much longer the race was. I think, regardless of how hard we try, negativity filters through the best of our defenses.  I think the negativity of the press filtered in to his jockey’s mind and became the dominate thought, regardless of how ready he thought he and the horse were.

The thoughts that dominate our minds, direct our lives. How? Thoughts create feelings, which create beliefs. Our beliefs create our lives. The race horse was a dark horse and not many people believed he could win. They hoped, but there was a deep belief that he really couldn’t win the Triple Crown.

Everything is energy. Everything. Our world, our bodies, are all made up of energy. There is an outer energy and an inner. The inner energy is subtle and flows through our inner bodies, unless we stop it. Movement in the energy field creates mental and emotional patterns. We all know about outer energy. We talk about it all the time. “Look at that child! I wish I had his energy!”. Or…”Oh, I have no energy today.”

The subtle energy is lesser known. Many of us aren’t acquainted with it. Yet, when our subtle energy is flowing, we feel good. When and where it is stuck, we feel bad. We feel stuck! We are stuck because our inner energy is stuck.

The greatest hindrance to a smooth flow of energy is fear…any fear. Our minds and our energy don’t know the difference between physical and psychological fear. Our minds, our brains, and our bodies are hard wired for fight or flight: fear creates a physical response in our bodies…an adrenaline rush…and a psychological response in our psyche. Because we don’t live in the wild and most of our fears are psychological, our brains and our bodies and our psyches don’t get the release of fight or flight. We live, often, with unresolved fear…fear that, more often than not we haven’t addressed.

You can change the energy pattern that causes you distress by changing your focus, changing the object on which you concentrate the most. How? Just being aware of your thoughts, knowing you are not your thoughts. There’s a part of you that just observes…some call it the Witness. Knowing the real you is observing and not judging your thoughts starts you on the road to freedom. Once you are aware that you are just witnessing your thoughts and know that you have the power to stop those thoughts, to change your thoughts to those that make you feel good, then you will begin to experience freedom.

This is the way to freedom. When asked what they really want, most people answer, “freedom”. I want to be free. Changing your thoughts to those that make you feel good gives you that freedom. Change your thoughts. It’s the freedom from the tyranny of the runaway mind.

When you discover you have the power to control your mind, you have real freedom.

Try this exercise:

Close your eyes. What happens? If you’re like me, all kinds of thoughts pop in. Thoughts of what I need to do. What I want to do. Thoughts about something someone said that made me mad, or hurt me. Around and around they go, and I go with them.

Recognize the thoughts. Don’t engage with them. Don’t get caught up in their scenario. Recognize them and let them float on by. Every thought that pops in your mind, recognize it: “Oh that’s just a thought.”. Let it pass on by.

Don’t try to push your thoughts away, even the fearful thoughts. Let them pass.

In time, with practice, you’ll be able to choose which thoughts you’ll let in. In time, with practice, you’ll be able to have thoughts that don’t disturb you.

This is true freedom.  Yes, you can, change your thoughts.  And changing your thoughts changes your life.  I guarantee it!

 

May the Force Ever Be With You!

 A few blogs back I talked about the virtual realm and the relevance for our life…why connecting with the virtual realm is important. Everything begins in the virtual realm; it’s the seat of all knowledge and creativity. When we tap into that knowledge we can create anything we want. The virtual realm is the energy that created the universe; it’s the source of my energy…and yours.

Some call this realm the Force (remember Star Wars?). Some call it the mind of God. Some call it the organizing force. Some just call it the Source. There are many names for the Energy of the universe. I call it God.

Why am I talking about God in a blog about living a life without limits? Because until we tap into that Source, that virtual realm, that energy, that knowledge, we won’t be living fully a limitless life. Oh, we may see some “miracles”, some manifestations of our dreams, but to live consistently, completely, an unlimited life, aligning with Source is the only way.

I grew up in the Bible Belt, fearing God. For most of my life, I alternately ran from and sought after God. Then one day I learned about God, the Energy, the Source, of the universe, and I stopped running. I wanted to know more about this Source, this Intelligence. Little by little, my fear of God subsided and I found myself embracing this new concept of God.

I began to learn that, by tuning into, listening to, this Source, I could change my life. I learned that I didn’t need to fear God, because He/She/It created me, just for the sheer delight of creation! I’m a creative person, so I understand the joy of creating and loving what I’ve created. When I learned this, I felt like dancing! Here was a God, a Creator, I could understand! The more I learned, the more I wanted to know this Source. What I’ve learned is: Source/God is the foundation of everything. When I stay focused on connecting with Source, my life runs smoothly, easily. When I take my focus off Source, all hell breaks loose!

How do I stay focused on Source? With my feelings. It’s so simple, but I make it difficult. All I have to do is focus on feeling good, look at something beautiful, turn my attention to being grateful for all I have. In the feeling good, being grateful, and looking at the beauty in the world, I’m connecting to Source. When I’m connected, life goes my way.

Sounds easy. Should be, but “life” often gets in the way. Something someone says that I perceive as a slight, or some other bump on the road, for example, an unexpected expense when the bank account is low, someone cuts me off while I’m driving…almost anything can cause me to take my focus off Source and there I am, in the middle of “woe is me, why doesn’t life go my way?”

A long time ago, a man named Henry Wood discovered a philosophy called New Thought. This philosophy taught that by changing how you think, you could change your life. Henry Wood took that concept further by adding that by changing how you feel, you could change your life. He developed something he called a mental gymnasium…by repeating certain words – love, beauty, peace, joy – several times a day, he could change how he felt, and in doing so, he began to see changes in his life…his health and his finances.

In the 100 years since Henry Wood wrote about his mental gymnasium, psychologists and neuroscientists are beginning to advocate the same. By staying focused on being positive, we tap into that Source of all and when we do, we begin to see miracles happen in our lives!

Just try it…practice the mental gymnasium…repeat the words, love, joy, peace, over and over. At first you’ll think, this is silly! I don’t feel peaceful! Keep at it; soon you will. You’re tapping into that Creative Energy and you’ll begin to feel it flow. I guarantee it!

May you ever be connected to the Force!