Going Deeper, part two of three (#941)

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

Last week, we talked about the importance of “grounding” – our moment to moment level of understanding of who we are, what life is, and how it works. This understanding is the foundation on top of which we build our lives, and the more solid the ground in which we place our foundations, the higher and wider we can go with our lives.

I also shared an analogy for why understanding who and what we really are is one of three key elements that nurture the soil in which we grow. This week, I’d like to share another element of our grounding – one which I think is so important I wrote a whole book about it…

2. The only thing you need to know

Imagine for a moment you had a dull, throbbing pain in your head. Now imagine it’s been a part of your life (on and off) for as long as you can remember.

You ask your friends about it and they all say “I know, me too! It sucks, doesn’t it? Try ______”, and they give you their best recommendation based on what’s worked for them or what they read about in the latest magazine article or Facebook link.

Medicine helps sometimes but not others; “harder” drugs and alcohol provide more relief but you can’t deal with the consequences of never quite getting the dosage right.
Eating can make it go away for a while, but then it often comes back worse than ever; lifestyle changes do seem to really help but they’re virtually impossible to sustain.

Finally, one day you go to see a doctor who you’ve heard can really help. He was a minor celebrity as a young child – pointed out that the emperor was naked and saved him a fortune in dry cleaning bills – but the rumors are that he’s peddling a new headache cure which couldn’t possibly work because there isn’t enough research to back it up.

But let’s face it – you’ve tried pretty much everything else and you don’t really have anything left to lose. So you go to him and you tell him about your headache, and to your disappointment, he says “I know, me too! It sucks, doesn’t it?”

“If you relax your eyes and quiet your mind'” he explains, “this mirror will show you a true reflection of what’s going on in the invisible world around you.”

If you relax your eyes and quiet your mind, he explains, this mirror will show you a true reflection of what’s going on in the invisible world around you.

Intrigued at where this is going, you do your best to relax your eyes, quiet your mind, and look deeply into the mirror. And to your surprise, you see an invisible fist, pounding on your head in the exact location of that dull, throbbing, oh so familiar ache.

In the shock and suspicion and amazement of that glimpse of a deeper reality, the mirror empties and you once again see things as they usually appear.

“What was that?” you ask the doctor.

“That was Thought,” he replies.  “It’s invisible to us most of the time, but it’s always present, and it makes up every experience you’ve ever had. What form did it take in the mirror?”

“A giant fist,” you reply.  “Was it my fist? Can I control it? Can I make it stop?”

“Well,” says the doctor, “yes and no. It certainly is your fist – when I first looked in the mirror I saw a hammer, and others see a drill, or a drumstick, or even another person causing the pain they feel. But we don’t really control it. Sometimes you can make it go away by concentrating on it; other times it goes away when you stop paying it any attention.”

“The thing is,” he continues, “now that you’ve seen it once, you’ll start to notice it at work everywhere. It’s creating 100% of your experience, 100% of the time. And you’ll come to see that you don’t have to be afraid of it because it has no life of its own. As one of my teachers once told me, “the life of a thought is only as long as you think it.”

“So is it like living in a dream?” you ask.

“Exactly,” the doctor replies. “You can’t think your way out of a nightmare. You can only wake up. And waking up is natural.”

You sit with this idea for a few minutes, and then a new thought comes to mind.

“But isn’t falling asleep natural too?”

The doctor smiles.

“Yes, it is. And that’s why I still get the headache too, from time to time. But it rarely seems to me as though I need to do anything about it. And consequently, it tends to disappear as suddenly as it arrived.”

For the first time in a long time, you smile too. Not a polite smile, but a Cheshire cat grin that spreads from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and feels so good you wonder if you’re going to disappear. You know that while nothing’s changed, everything is different. And you’ll never see life in quite the same way again…

For those of you who like your explanations a little less metaphoric, here’s how I wrote about it in The Inside-Out Revolution:

The moment you catch even a glimpse of the illusory nature of the world of form, the game of life changes completely and irrevocably. No matter how scary or oppressive or insecure your experience of life may be, once you realize that it’s only your own thinking that you’re experiencing, that thinking loses much of its hold over you. You may still feel uncomfortable feelings, but because you know that what’s causing them isn’t outside you, you don’t feel compelled to change the world in order to change the way you feel, any more than you would go to your television set to try and convince the characters on your favorite soap opera to change their foolish ways.

What Syd Banks saw when he had his enlightenment experience was that we live in a world of thought. Not a world influenced by thought, where positive outperforms negative and gives us a ‘competitive advantage in the marketplace,’ but a world that is actually created from thought. And the moment we stop fighting with ourselves and others about what to think and instead focus on the miracle that we are thinking, the details of life begin to work themselves out, all by themselves.

The simple truth is this:

Our experience of life is created from the inside out via the principles of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought. We’re living in the feeling of our thinking, not the feeling of the world.

We’re simply not designed to experience an outside world in any other way. We can’t see, hear, or feel without thought informing our senses, and we have no way of checking whether or not our thoughts are telling us about something that’s really happening or simply projecting false data which we then interpret as true. That’s why one moment we can be sure that everything’s going to be fine and the next we can be equally sure that it isn’t – without anything actually changing in the world.

I always think of this conversation as being a bit like the instructions for the old board game ‘Othello” – “Minutes to learn, a lifetime to master”. And in my experience, the more we throw ourselves into the game of life, the more fun it is to be alive and the more the world benefits from our deepening grounding and growing mastery…

With all my love,


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