God vs. Goals, part two (#916)

If you missed part one of this tip, you can read it here.

In 2007, in the midst of my exploring the relative benefits of an inner-directed life versus one spent in pursuit of outer success. I stumbled across a field of study generically known as “the Three Principles”. It was based on the work of an enlightened Scottish welder named Syd Banks. who pointed out that there were three fundamental elements, or principles, that made up every aspect of our experience of life.

  • Thought – the formless energy out of which all forms are created
  • Consciousness – our capacity to experience and understand life – i.e. “the gift of awareness”
  • Mind – the animating intelligence and energy that brings our experience to life

In other words, what we think of as our lives are created by thought, brought to life by mind, and experienced in consciousness.

I quickly saw that this inside-out understanding of life was a game-changer in my “God vs. goals” dilemma. If our experience of life is created by the same principles that create the “stuff” of life, the traditional notion of goal setting as a key to having a wonderful life made no sense. Changing our “stuff” to change our lives is like a child drawing a picture of food to feed a picture of a hungry fox. They’re both made out of crayon, so the real source of nourishment is not on the page but in the hands of whatever wields the crayon.

This reinforced my growing sense that following my inner compass would lead me to a more fulfilling life than any vision, mission, or map ever could. I had less of an idea of where I was going than at any point in my life, but equally I had more confidence in myself and enthusiasm for whatever was to come than ever before.

Had I been content to live my life as a wandering sage, that would have been the end of my dilemma. But I was very aware that I had no intention or “inner prompting” to abandon my home and family and wander the streets dispensing wisdom to random strangers. Which meant that I still had work to do, bills to pay, and obligations to fulfill.

And this is where the “God vs. goals” dilemma stopped looking like such a dilemma to me. If there is an underlying oneness to life, as everything in both science and spirituality points to, then this oneness must be as much in the form as the formless. If there is a deeper spiritual nature to life, God must be as present in a gummy bear as a koala bear and as much inside my heart as in the woman I love.

As Syd Banks wrote:

“All life is divine energy, whether in form or formless. When this energy takes form, we call it nature. Both the form and the formless together create the whole, the oneness of life, that which we call God. Nothing can possibly be greater or separate from the whole. Only the ego suffers such delusions.”

So if everything is made of the same formless energy, to devalue any form or raise it above another is to mistake the relative beauty of the created for the infinite beauty of creation. I may well have a personal preference for a Picasso over a Rembrandt, but they’re both created with the same raw materials, as is the picture of a mermaid by my daughter which hangs in my office and has more value and meaning to me than either of them.

I’ve reconciled myself to, as the poet Mary Oliver said, “let the soft animal of my body love what it loves” instead of worrying about whether or not the judgmental “god” who lives in my head approves. I would never go back to trying to create a meaningful life through goal setting, but when I want something specific in my world, I’m perfectly willing to do what I know to do to create it.

And with the intelligence behind life on my success team, I can create results with greater ease and ride the waves of change with more grace than ever before…

Have fun, learn heaps, and may all your success be fun

With all my love,

Michael Facebook  Twitter  More...


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