Week 22a – “To Thine Own Self Be True…”

I read Emerson’s essay on Self Reliance during week 22a. It was challenging, but rewarding and worth the effort…the Dictionary App on my iPhone was working overtime!

I am several weeks behind in my blog posts and as we near the end of this amazing journey I am determined to finish strong and complete all of my blog posts…not because it is an MKMMA requirement…but, because I want to.

Something Mark said in one of our recent Sunday classes resonated with me…I think that my desire to NOT have this experience come to an end has my subconscious working behind the scenes to postpone the writing of my weekly blog in an effort to delay the inevitable…but, “time and tide wait for no man.” – Geoffrey Chaucer

So, as the subject of this weeks blog, I re-read “Self Reliance” tonight. The second time through in as many weeks was easier…I still needed to reference my Dictionary App, but less often.  And, more importantly, I was able to enjoy the amazing beauty and clarity with which Emerson expresses his thoughts with words.

So I’d like to share some of my favorite passages from “Self Reliance” that I felt a strong connection with and relationship to my own Master Key Experience…maybe they will with you as well…

“To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost…”

“A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament of bards and sages.”

“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is  ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his  portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can  come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.”

“Infancy conforms to nobody: all conform to it, so that one babe commonly makes four or  five out of the adults who prattle and play to it.”

“Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.  Society is a joint-­stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of  his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue  in most request is conformity.  Self-­reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.”

“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally  arduous in actual  and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between  greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think  they know what is your duty better than you know it.  It is easy in the world to live after the  world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in  the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and  philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may  as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard  words, and tomorrow speak what  tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it  contradict everything you said today. — ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ —  Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood?  Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and  wise spirit that ever took flesh.  To be great is to be misunderstood.”

“Time and space are but physiological colors which the eye makes, but the soul is light;  where it is, is day; where it was, is night; and history is an  impertinence and an injury,  if it  be anything more than a cheerful apologue or parable of my being and becoming.”

“If we live truly, we shall see truly.  It is as easy for the strong man to be strong, as it is for  the weak to be weak.  When we have new perception, we shall gladly disburden the  memory of its hoarded treasures as old rubbish.  When a man lives with God, his voice  shall be as sweet as the murmur of the brook and the rustle of the corn.”

“Another sort of false prayers are our regrets.  Discontent is the want of self-­reliance: it is  infirmity of will.  Regret calamities, if you can thereby help the sufferer; if not, attend your  own work, and already the evil  begins to be repaired. Our sympathy is just as base.  We  come to them who weep foolishly, and sit down and cry for company, instead of imparting  to them truth and health in rough electric shocks, putting  them once more in  communication with their own reason.”

“Traveling is a fool’s paradise.  Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places.  At home I  dream that at Naples, at Rome, I can be intoxicated with beauty, and lose my  sadness.  I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in  Naples, and there beside me is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled  from.  I seek the Vatican, and the palaces.  I affect to be  intoxicated with sights and  suggestions, but I am not intoxicated.  My giant goes with me wherever I go.”

“Insist on yourself; never imitate.  Your own gift you can present every moment with the  cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have  only an extemporaneous, half possession.  That which each can do best, none but his  Maker can teach him.”

“He who knows that power is inborn, that he is weak because he has looked for good out of  him and elsewhere, and so perceiving, throws himself unhesitatingly on his thought,  instantly rights himself, stands in the erect position, commands his limbs, works miracles;  just as a man who stands on his feet is stronger than a man who stands on his head.”

“So use all that is called Fortune.  Most men gamble with her, and gain all, and lose all, as  her wheel rolls.  But do thou leave as unlawful these winnings, and deal with Cause and Effect, the chancellors of God.  In the Will work and acquire, and thou hast chained the  wheel of Chance, and shalt sit hereafter out of fear from her rotations.  A political victory, a rise of rents, the recovery of your sick, or the return of your absent friend, or some other  favorable event, raises your spirits, and you think good days are preparing for you.  Do not  believe it.  Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.  Nothing can bring you peace but   the triumph of principles.”

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Week 22 – “When We Change the Way We look at Things…”

“When we change the way we look at things…the things we look at change.”

A couple of weeks ago we were assigned a riddle of sorts – “Think about how we, as observers, can use these five feelings – fear; guilt; unworthiness; hurt feelings; and anger – which typically are the culprits for keeping us safely ensconced in our comfort zones, as tools to actually accomplish the exact opposite…expand our comfort zones.”

Like most riddles, at least for me, the answer is typically so obvious when I hear it I ask myself – “Why didn’t I think of that?!”

So when Davene covered this topic in our weekly class Sunday, that’s exactly the thought that went through my mind…like having a glass of cold water thrown in my face!

I think everyone has experienced these feelings to varying degrees at one time or another…and everyone realizes that these feelings tend to stop us from moving forward, from taking that first tenuous step in the direction of our dreams or leaping from the precipice into the abyss of the unknown.

And now, to understand that we have the power, by simply changing the way we think about these feelings to actually use them as powerful tools to help us move forward, get unstuck, take that first step over the threshold and expand our comfort zone, even if only by the smallest of margins…this was truly revelational for me!

FEAR – A powerful emotion that brings intense energy, focus and concentration…and by simply channeling that energy, focus and concentration toward our DMP, mountains can be moved!

HURT FEELINGS – Do we curl up in a fetal position and whine about how cruel the world is?…OR, do we embrace those feelings as acknowledgement that we are a caring, compassionate and loving being?

ANGER –  Feelings of anger release MASSIVE ENERGY…by applying the Laws of Substitution and Dual Thought we can redirect this energy into MASSIVE PRODUCTIVITY…what and awesome way to look at anger!

GUILT – Leads to feelings of sadness, regret, unworthiness, a negative self-image…none of which are conducive to moving forward and seeking our higher selves…But, what if we see our guilt as validation that our moral compass is functioning properly, that we indeed KNOW what is right and what is wrong…that guilt is a confirmation of our honesty – “good people feel bad, bad people feel good” – then we can use guilt as a tool to advance our DMP rather than berating ourselves.

UNWORTHINESS – This was the best one of all the tools…understanding that “we can have anything we want, we just can’t have EVERYTHING we want…at the same time!” What a cool concept.  We live in a world of instant gratification…and when ALL of our desires are not instantly fulfilled it is a natural tendency to feel that maybe we are not worthy of all the things we desire.  But, as Davene beautifully explained, it has nothing to do with worthiness…it’s about timing…”all good things come to those who wait”…We can use our feelings of unworthiness to develop the virtue of patience and an understanding that we truly are worthy of anything we desire…we simply need to use the unworthiness tool to sharpen our patience.

Week 21 – “BIG THOUGHTS…little thoughts…”

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

I ended my Week 3 blog with this quote…and I think it’s appropriate to start this week’s with it.

In Master Key – Part Twenty-One, Haanel says – “you will find that one of the secrets of success, one of the methods of organizing victory, one of the accomplishments of the Master Mind is to think big thoughts.” – “Your playing small does not serve the world.”

Haanel further instructs that “the real secret of power is consciousness of power…as soon as we become conscious of the inexhaustible power in the world within, we begin to draw on this power and apply and develop the greater possibilities which this discernment has realized.” – “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is out light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

And, as we gain a deeper awareness of our connection with the the Universal Mind and a greater ability to control our thoughts, “that the transcendent force of spirit or mind of the Cosmos is within each individual”, we realize that it is our right, our obligation even to maximize our full potential. – “We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.”

“Large ideas have a tendency to eliminate all smaller ideas so that it is well to hold ideas large enough to counteract and destroy all small or undesirable tendencies,” Haanel says, making us “conscious of a larger world of thought” and putting us in position to “accomplish something of value.” – “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

Believe in your unlimited potential…think BIG…dream BIG…and empower others to do the same!

 

Week 20 – “Fear…Friend or Foe?

One of our assignments this week was to think and mastermind about how “we can use Fear, Hurt Feelings, Anger, Guilt and/or Unworthiness to expand our comfort zone.”

I wrote about my thoughts on what fear is in last weeks blog and this week I’d like to expand a bit more on those thoughts. I do believe that of those five emotions, fear is the number one cause of keeping us locked safely inside our comfort zones, out of harms way and the dangers of the unknown world outside.

Furthermore, of those five negative feelings or emotions, fear is the one thing we have the least control over. After all, fear is a very powerful, genetically programmed response to a “perceived harmful event, attack or threat to our survival.” In this regard, fear would be considered our friend…there are times when our very lives depend on the this automatic response mechanism.

The physiological and hormonal changes that fear triggers are amazing – acceleration of our heart rate and breathing; inhibition of our digestive processes to the point of actually stopping; constriction of blood vessels to our internal organs and increased blood flow to our muscular extremities; loss of hearing and peripheral vision; etc. – these physical changes are activated in order to increase our body strength and speed in anticipation of fighting or fleeing the perceived danger, thus increasing our chances of survival.  Without fear, it is fair to say that the human species may have become extinct eons ago. Clearly, fear is a friend we would all be wise to keep close!

So, how can this “friendly” emotion actually do an about face and become our enemy? I think the answer lies in the dichotomy between our conscious and subconscious, between our inner and outer worlds.

If fear is triggered to protect us from real and/or perceived threats to our survival that originate in our conscious outer world, this is good.  But what about fear that originates from perceived threats to our survival or potential sources of emotional pain and hurt, that originate in our subconscious inner world?  This is when fear becomes our enemy by holding us back from stepping out of our comfort zones to experience expansion and growth. The fear response is being triggered by our thoughts, not by any real physical threat.  But, as we’ve all learned…our subconscious makes no value judgments, it neither forms , nor holds any opinions…it is a creature of habit.  And even though consciously we know that the change we desire and the growth we require is good for us, fear will interfere to keep us where we are, because where we are is what we know and everything else, everything we don’t know that exists outside of our comfort zones, the great unknown, is fraught with danger, risk, hurt, pain and guilt.

So fear is both friend and foe. And as the ancient Chinese saying goes, “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer” holds a clue as to how we can use fear to expand our comfort zones.  By embracing our fears, keeping them close to our chests, we can fool our subconscious into believing that the changes we seek, the new adventures that await us outside of our comfort zones, our Hero’s Journey, poses no threats to our survival.  In fact, quite the opposite is true…our greatest chance for survival, growth and expansion exists outside of what we know.  Only by embracing our fear will we be able to move past it, one small step at a time. As we take each step and our subconscious realizes that no harm has resulted, our fear is lessoned and we are able to take the next step, and then the next step. And soon we become free from fear and can move confidently in the direction of our higher dreams!

 

Week 19 – “What is Fear?…”

We’ve all heard of the acronym: F.E.A.R. or False Evidence Appearing Real. Haanel gives us the information in Part Nineteen to more fully understand the #1 Dream Killer and how to overcome it.

In Part Nineteen of “The Master Key”, Haanel states –

“Fear is a powerful form of thought. It paralyzes the nerve centers, thus affecting the circulation of the blood.

This, in turn, paralyzes the muscular system, so that fear affects the entire being, body, brain and nerve, physical, mental, and muscular.

Of course the way to overcome fear is to become conscious of power. What is this mysterious vital force which we call power? We do not know, but then, neither do we know what electricity is.”

He goes on to say –

“Although we do not know what it is, and possibly may never know, we do know that it is a primary force which manifests through living bodies, and that by complying with the laws and principles by which it is governed, we can open ourselves to a more abundant inflow of this vital energy, and thus express the highest possible degree of mental, moral, and spiritual efficiency.”

So we know fear is a powerful and paralyzing thought…it triggers our fight or flight responses. Sometimes for good reason…oftentimes for false reasons. And the way to overcome it is to become conscious of power.

He continues in the lesson to describe “innumerable contrasts” in the physical, mental, moral and spiritual worlds…

– North Pole vs. South Pole…opposite extremes, but still parts of the whole

– Black vs. White…the absence of all color and the presence of all color

– Knowledge vs. Ignorance…ignorance is merely a word describing a lack of knowledge, when knowledge shows up, ignorance disappears

– Good vs. Evil…evil merely being the lack of good, but evil has no substance and will always be destroyed when good shows up, good always trumps evil

– Light vs. Darkness…darkness merely being the absence of light, darkness is nothingness, when light appears, darkness is destroyed

– Mind vs. Matter…while it appears that these are “two separate entities”, Haanel states that “it is evident that there is but one operative principle and that is Mind. Mind is the real and the eternal. Matter is forever changing…”

While all these words appear to describe separate and complete entities, in reality they merely describe different aspects of the same thing…the Yin and the Yang. Haanel instructs us to concentrate during our daily sit “on the fact that appearances are deceptive”…F.E.A.R.?

So, what IS fear? Fear is merely the lack of courage…it has no principle, no life and no vitality…when courage shows up, fear is destroyed…it is just a word to describe the lack of courage. But, as with all other opposites, we cannot have one without the other…they are part of the whole.

And how do we summon our courage?  By a conscious and complete awareness of our unity with the all knowing, all present and all powerful Divine Mind.

Week 18 – “Finding Joe…The Hero’s Journey”

One of our assignments this week was to watch a movie.  I watched “Finding Joe”…the documentary film on Joseph Campbell, American scholar, lecturer and mythologist, whose “monomyth” concept, that sees all mythical stories as sharing a common structure regardless of the era or location of their origination, has had a profound influence on modern day screen writers, film makers and story tellers.

Commonly referred to as “The Hero’s Journey”, Campbell’s theory speaks to a universally shared human experience, that transcends time, space and culture and confirms the oneness of all life…

Creative thought originates in the Universal Mind, as Haanel instructs, and is manifested through the individual…it makes total sense that all myths, all stories, of all times would have a common structure and express a common experience…they all arise from the One Source.

The unlimited variations on the fundamental theme are merely a reflection of the unlimited variations of the individuals through which the Universal Mind speaks…”a part must be the same in kind and quality as the whole.”

I was fascinated by the film on Campbell. It inspired me to delve deeper into his life and works, and in particular to gain a more complete understanding of the twelve stages of the “Hero’s Journey” and how they apply to my own life…

I came to the realization, epiphany if you will, that my own, current Hero’s Journey (is it possible to have more than one HJ in a lifetime?) began back in 2006.  I can precisely pinpoint every stage of my journey…when the “call to adventure” came…My “refusal of the call”…the “meeting with my mentors”…the “crossing of the threshold”…My “allies-tests-enemies”…”approaching the cave” building my plans…the “Ordeal”, the “Reward”, and the “Road Back”…

I thought, four and a half months ago, that embarking on the MKMMA experience was the start of My Hero’s Journey…I was wrong.  I see this course now as part of a larger picture. It is actually the 11th stage of the journey I reluctantly began back in September of 2006…it is the “Resurrection”…the hero’s final meeting with death before he experiences his rebirth.

I now know that I am near the end of my Hero’s Journey…I know the answer to the question we have all been contemplating every day…”What am I pretending not to know?”

I must let go of the person I was…in order to be the person I intend to become…I’ve experienced denial, anger and grief the past several weeks and months…I am now ready to accept death in order to embrace my future self…I am ready for the final stage of my journey…to make my return with the elixir!

 

Week 17a – “Arriving at the Crossroads…Refuse the Call or Answer the Herald?”

This weeks lesson was revelational to me…

For several weeks now I’ve been a bundle of conflicting and competing emotions tugging my soul in opposite directions…

At times I’ve felt anger, frustration and resentment…filled with self doubt and disbelief…Why isn’t this working?  Why is he asking us to do this or do that exercise?  I don’t have the time to do all that he is asking us to do…How do I know my efforts will be worth my investment in time in this course?

Then, at other times, I’ve felt happy and harmonious…I do kind things unconsciously, for my family and total strangers as well.  I’ve handled difficult and challenging situations in my businesses with a calm, self assured and confident manner, that I was never able to do before. My businesses, both my construction company and my network marketing business, are beginning to take off…then, it really is working?

But why the self-doubt, the anger and frustration?

I am in denial…the evidence is irrefutable…I’m guilty of all the things Mark & Davene spoke about in class.  My anger is directed at myself for not keeping my promises and being in harmony with the class.

I realized the answer to this question during this weeks class…my old associative memory based self is tugging and pulling me back from the precipice…danger and death await me at the bottom of the abyss…safety, comfort and mediocrity await me if I turn back and return to the known.

But I’ve seen flashes and glimpses of what I could be…my truer, higher and authentic self, and I love what I see…can I summon the courage to step off the precipice and plummet to my death…is my faith and belief in my ability to be reborn strong enough to overcome my fear of the unknown?

There is no turning back now…