That same ol' BS

The more complex society becomes, the more rules and laws we have to obey.

But in spite of our indoctrination about following the rules, we ignore life’s most basic law — belief.

Beliefs shape who we are and we often dance to a tune buried so deeply we forget it’s there.

We have strong opinions, but don’t question why we have them or how we got them.

We rarely ask what we believe about ourselves, but our reactions to life’s circumstances reveal who we’ve become.

We check our car and house insurance to make sure they’re up to date, but don’t examine our belief system and ask that age-old question Dr. Phil has made famous, “and how’s that working for you?”

Mythologist Joseph Campbell overheard an argument in a restaurant between an husband and wife in which the man angrily proclaimed he already knew himself better than he wanted to.

If we want to know ourselves, some mental house cleaning is needed to get rid of fear, anxiety, self-doubt and depression. It’s a daunting task, but starting is much like having a family or going on a diet — if we wait until we’re ready, it’ll never happen.

We start by figuring out who we are and where we are going, then plot how to get there. We have to admit that it isn’t our spouse, our children, our mother-in-law or our parents stopping us from reaching our potential.

There is no shortage of excuses for not being the best we can be, but not one good reason.

Our external life is a symbol of the internal, the mess is the message. We’re not going to fix it by taking time-management courses or going on a cruise; we have to strengthen the spiritual skeleton on which we hang our external life.

With the same BS, the same basic story, we get the same life. Circumstances may change, but the plot doesn’t. We can’t transform our lives until we overhaul our beliefs.

We have to concentrate on the positive and wash away the residue left by an education system that pointed out weaknesses rather than strengths.

“I don’t care how little money you have, I don’t care how sick you feel,” said Kenn Gordon, spiritual leader of Centers for Spiritual Living and co-pastor of the Kelowna Centre for Positive Living.

“What you know about yourself is not the truth. There is a bigger ideal. It is sitting there wrapped in light and it is absolutely unlimited.

"Within it resides the solution to any challenge or any problem you have if only you’re prepared to say ‘I don’t know what the answer is and I’m open to hear one.’ That within will tell you what it is and it will guide you, it will direct you, it will pick you up, it will carry you.”

We suffer from the Jonah Complex, a phrase coined by psychologist Abraham Maslow to describe people who are afraid that reaching their potential will lead to situations where they won’t be able to cope.

Our internal conflict arises when we can’t fool ourselves any more — the mortgage has been paid down, the kids have finished their apprenticeships and we admit we really don’t like the job we’ve poured our heart into for 25 years.

We need a bigger idea. That big idea is that we can be anything we want, have anything we want. “It comes rushing, streaming, pouring into us as we stand silent,” said Plotinus, the founder of Neo-Platonism.

Silence is important. We have to turn off, not only the TV and the car radio, but the mind chatter and find that perfect place where we can touch the universe.

We can find that silence through meditation, contemplation, a run or a walk, watching the quail in the backyard or a hawk dancing on the wind.

In that silence, when we touch the infinite, we can accept that we can have anything. We just have to believe it, enlarge our circle of consciousness to accept that we are part of something grand. We make it so by thinking it so and by not seeking the answers to our problems outside us.

We don’t need to ask teachers, pastors or counsellors for directions.

“In my heart I know the answer,” sings Amanda Marshall, “the things I looked so hard to find were right here all along.”

Right here is the soul, the collective unconscious, the super-conscious, the over-mind or whatever word we use to describe something that is indescribable.

All we need is contained within, just as everything our physical body needs to grow is in our genes when we show up.

Great scientists, inventors and artists recognize that their discoveries came from some deep inner well beyond the conscious mind. Picasso left his ego at the door when he went into his studio.

“All the puzzles of life have an answer in the subconscious mind,” Stuart Wilde writes in Infinite Mind.

“It takes a while for us to reach in there and pick it out, but the process of looking unravels the knots and complications that have built up over the years.”

We don’t have to strive and strain until we finally reach that oh-the-hell-with-it point and take the advice of the Fab Four philosophers from Liverpool and simply Let It Be.

Religions, philosophies and 12-step programs recommend that we surrender and flow with life.

When we give up, there is what 12-Step programs call divine intervention and we are baptized with a new idea; we move beyond the little mind into something bigger.

 “Your miracles are an inside job,” said author Wayne Dyer. “Go there to create the magic you seek in your life.”

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Ross Freake, a former managing editor of The Daily Courier, has worked at 11 newspapers from St. John's to Kamloops. He is the author of three books and the editor and ghost writer of many others.

He can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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