To print this page, select "Print"
The Mystic's Life Lesson #5
Do You Like Your Life Today?
More pertinently, do you like yourself? Happy with what you've become? Do you think you have developed some very important qualities? On the other hand, are there some extremely self-destructive attitudes or behaviors which you wish you didn't have — which you would very much like to change this minute?
Your reading The Mystic is a private experience. No one is watching your thoughts. You can be as honest with yourself as you want to be. There will be no test scores — the quality of your life is the only true test, after all. In this private and personal study you can create a better life, becoming the person you yearn to be through practice of the techniques and concepts revealed in this website.
However, a kind and unpretentious honesty is a necessary foundation. In many ways, it's fun to be honest. Abraham Lincoln, and other sages, said it's better to speak the truth because then you won't have to keep all your lies straight. Sincerity with yourself is the beginning of sincerity with other people! It is the bedrock of good will and mutual respect. If you can't be honest with yourself, you will find it very difficult to improve your life in any lasting way. All movement toward higher consciousness involves facing problems, shortcomings, and then being willing to make changes.
Of course it's difficult to be honest with ourselves. It's so easy to be self-deluded into thinking we are always in the right, we are always the offended party or hero from the "good side."
Nevertheless, being as honest as you can be, in a calm state of good will for yourself and others, you can start a process that more and more clearly reveals how wonderfully you have been created and how pleasantly old, self-limiting ways can be tossed into the garbage. Level with yourself. Accept yourself as you are and be willing to grow. Your kind honesty will assure an end to the inner conflicts and subtle self-hate which always sabotage your heartfelt desires from becoming realities. Ending the campaign of self-deception, which so many people wage on their world, makes it possible for you to discover tremendous inner knowledge and power — great aids to your future achievements.
Again, are you happy with your life? Are you happy with yourself? What would you like to change? What would make your world and personal esteem significantly greater? Take the time now. Think about these questions until you have created two lists:
Then, when you've thoughtfully completed both lists, read them out loud, if you're alone. Be sure you feel happy with both lists, that they are more than satisfactory. Check to see that your lists reflect your most sincere try. Likely, writing these two lists has unburdened your heart and you feel calm, with an attitude that important change has already begun.
Are You An Exile?
How many exiles live in our world today? An exile is one who lives away from his home for a long time, often wandering aimlessly. Do you feel far away from a sense of home?
Even if you've lived in the same neighborhood for thirty years, do your activities there seem meaningless — like an aimless wandering of your mind and heart?
According to sociologists, vast numbers of people living in cities feel they're exiles. The shrill bustle of life, the distances involved in commuting, absorption in the job and desire for anonymity, while living in such close quarters with other apartment and condominium dwellers, create a sense of being alien to others. It's common now to live without a sense of community, separate from the acceptance and the understanding of other people. Rats in laboratories, placed in quarters modeled after human city life, became neurotic and strange. They displayed anger and frustration. They hurt one another and showed little sense of community.
People often look the other way when they pass on the streets. Oftentimes, less than half the registered voters take the trouble to exercise a privilege which was fought for at the cost of many lives throughout history. People rush through yellow lights, not being concerned how those turning left are ever expected to make their turn. Not getting involved, not wanting to be responsible, not lending a helping hand has become the philosophy for millions. Many are afraid to report a crime lest they be hurt by the same viciousness that they are witnessing.
Certainly these characteristics are not true of everyone. However, these behaviors are commonplace in our cities and in increasing numbers in small communities throughout the land. Simply paging through newspapers or watching television yields fresh statistics about the high cost of these antisocial attitudes. These are the attitudes of exiles — those who feel they do not belong, who are not at home here, who feel they cannot make a difference.
The seeker of higher consciousness begins a new life by ending his or her exile and becoming much more conscious. He becomes more conscious of the vital components of his life. He also becomes very much more aware of other people. Higher consciousness requires an expansion of awareness, requires the joy of "coming home" to a sense of relationship, to a sharing of life with other people. Higher consciousness bestows a universal perspective through which it is not only thrilling to look at the world, but this expanded vision also grants optimism and personal strength.
The Need To Be Conscious
Let's first look at the word consciousness. It would be good to share the same definitions. These are not specialized definitions but come from a number of modern dictionaries. Consciousness, according to Webster's New World Dictionary, is:
Let's also look at the word conscious:
When the word conscious is used in this website, it means being able to feel and think in the normal waking state. It means being aware of ourselves as thinking beings, knowing what we are doing and why. Certainly in being conscious we are aware of what we are thinking, feeling, and doing. Mental illness generally occurs when one enters a habit of not being aware of what one is thinking, feeling, or doing; or when one is not aware of why he or she is doing that particular thing. When you enter a rage you lose most of your control and mental capacity. Your knowledge of what you are doing, and why, is temporarily suspended due to the intensity of your emotional outpouring.
Also, when — from any cause — you are not fully conscious, you become dangerous to yourself and others. History is full of cases where people of diminished consciousness have made tremendous errors. Not all accidents, of course, are caused by neglect, but how many might be avoided if people were simply mentally present? How important it is to be conscious.
The heroes of our world are usually especially conscious. Whether it's a halfback rescuing a touchdown pass while surrounded by opponents, or a surgeon deftly removing a cancer, humanity applauds intensely conscious people. Isn't it true that whenever a matter is truly important, you shy away from those who seem to be less conscious? Instead, you hire or prefer to work only with people who are able to be particularly aware.
A surgeon at work is a particularly vivid example of near superhuman conscious activity. So, too, is the splendid focus of a symphony conductor or jet pilot. Or, a fine editor facing a deadline, a lawyer in research, a craftsman at his bench. Where would we be without conscious people — those who are clearly, energetically aware of their thoughts, feelings, actions, and the world around them? Could civilization exist without conscious activity? Intense conscious activity is so prized that many people leave their homes and travel to large halls which they have dedicatedly built with their taxes in order to hear a hundred musicians express their consciousness of tone and tempo so precisely that it seems all hundred are one great instrument. Also, a hundred thousand football devotees dress up warm and trek out in the winter winds so they can watch thousands of acts of intense consciousness in the course of one game.
In fact, audiences themselves must be keenly aware of what they are experiencing or the whole endeavor is ruined. Imagine a symphony or play or ballet being performed where members of the audience felt free to talk, laugh, and detract from the special purpose of those gathered together. And, isn't it agonizing to attend a sporting event where audience members disturb the game or pay no attention?
Have you noticed also that when people gather together to enjoy a concert, play, ballgame, or other special event of intensified consciousness that many barriers of hostility and prejudice melt away in the enjoyment of musicians, actors, and athletes intensely exploring their human potential?
Further, in sports there are extraordinarily precious times when rivalries are put aside. Often the crowd exclaims in enchanted delight at the amazing skill and courage of some opponent from a distant city. Such events are remembered for years. They are often played back on television programs around the world.
Whether on the gridiron or the keyboard, these moments show all people more of what a person can be. We gain a glimpse of something new within us which inspires our own efforts and standards. We try harder, reach farther. In all fields, acts of superb awareness join men and women, black and white, young and old, together in the pageant of life. We unite in marveling at human consciousness.
So, by the words conscious person we mean someone who is aware of his thoughts, feelings, and actions. He knows, reasonably well, what he is doing and why he is doing it — even if his knowledge of what and why is short-term and merely expedient.
Then what on earth do we mean by higher consciousness? Are we simply referring to regular consciousness applied with great vigor? No. By higher consciousness we are implying a realm of awareness beyond regular consciousness. Higher consciousness is awareness at the source of our thinking, feeling, and acting. Higher consciousness is that dynamic awareness which enables ordinary consciousness. Higher consciousness enables you to think, enables your feeling nature to work. It enables you to act wisely and well. Higher consciousness is the essential intelligence, energy, and power that enables breathing and brain function, that enables sensations to enter us through our sense organs.
This incredible consciousness can do far more for you than merely maintain your blood flow. However astonishingly profound its abilities in maintaining your faculties and existence, your higher consciousness will enable you to have greater ability in all areas of your life — mentally, emotionally, spiritually, as well as materially.
Higher consciousness is not lofty thought. Thoughts are too slow to enter into this incomparable realm. Similarly, ordinary emotions are not subtle enough to contact or comprehend it. Your higher consciousness is the creative power of your existence itself, that which enables you to be. Is this clear?
Perhaps some analogies will help. An electric motor may have ingenious coils within itself and extremely fine engineering, but it will not be able to do anything at all unless it is plugged into some source of energy. In this case, a wall socket gives the motor a contact with the energy which allows it to function.
Another example, our body is made up of various chemicals and lots of water — we are approximately seventy percent water. (Water, of course, is chemical in nature too — combined hydrogen and oxygen.) These chemicals of our being could be put in various envelopes and little boxes. We could take a medium-sized barrel and empty all the envelopes and cartons into that barrel, add water, and we would still not have a person. We would not have a thinking, feeling, and acting being, would we? Of course not. The higher consciousness is that which can take the various chemicals of the earth, along with the watery constituents and, because of its presence, because of its potency and ability, enable you to think, feel, and act as no barrel of chemicals can.
Your Rediscovered Home
It cannot be overemphasized that you can experience and become a delighted partner of your own higher consciousness, that you can intimately know the awareness which enables life and sustains regular consciousness. This higher consciousness is the source, and sustainer, of your ability to think, feel, act, and to be sensitive to your outer world.
Because higher consciousness is the source of your normal awareness, you will feel invigorated and revitalized whenever you succeed in turning your thoughts, feelings, and actions inward. In directing your attention toward the sustaining consciousness you will, with patient practice, discover how to unleash your inner potentials for fulfillment. Simply, seek to know the source of your regular consciousness. Ask:
"What enables me to think these thoughts? What empowers my heart to beat? What enables me to feel happiness or surprise?"
When your body is calm and your thoughts and feelings successfully turn toward the awareness which sustains them, beautiful, heavenly experiences will occur. It does take practice. At first it is difficult to turn the direction of your thoughts, feelings, and actions from the outer world to this higher world, but beautiful experiences do begin to occur as soon as your attention is truly redirected. As mentioned in earlier in Are You Aware Of Your Higher Consciousness, the redirection of your thoughts, feelings, and actions toward the higher consciousness creates a transcendental awareness. This heightened awareness is so profound and pleasant that you will relish it a great deal.
In your rediscovered home beyond normal thought or feeling, you will find priceless insight, sublime security, peace, and joy, along with a marvelous inner power. All of these are beyond the reach of normal consciousness and they immeasurably enrich each day. As the experiencer of higher consciousness, such depth and extended dimensions are added to your life that you will know, in a universal or cosmic view, who you really are, what you are doing and why.