The microcosm that you are is a singular unit of an infinite universe. Within you is an infinite world of cellular microcosms. The eternal wheel of providence keeps spinning waiting for the moment of your awakening.

SHAPE YOUR REALITY. PART 2
UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM

Before you are let on to the the mystery of conscious existence, you will first need to understand the big question of “WHY”. Why with all the earths’ abundance why is there so much need? Why is man living in constant fear? Why isn’t he ever fulfilled? For only by understanding the root of your problem can you arrive to the great truths. Read this chapter meditatively and look at how it affects your life. Then you will be ready. Here we go…..

It is common to hear phrases like, “you create your own reality”. Just “think positive,” and you’ll get yourself a new car, a great job, the perfect partner and lots of money. A popular interpretation of this is that the act of observation affects physical reality, “freezing” it into a certain state. Hence the claim that you create your own reality, and the importance of holding a positive vision of a desired outcome.

The original formulation, however, put forward by Nobel Prize-winner Werner Heisenberg, states that it is your knowledge of the system that collapses. Nothing in the real world actually changes; the only thing that changes is the uncertainty in your knowledge.

Nevertheless, there is a sense in which you do create your own reality: You create your own experience of reality. Take, for example, your ability to see. Light enters the eye, triggering nerve impulses that travel to the brain. There, these impulses are analyzed and put together into an image.

You think you see the world, but what you’re seeing is a reconstruction of the world. The same applies to all your senses: You hear your own listening, et cetera. In this way, you’re creating your own perception of reality.

How you perceive reality depends in a large part on your attitude. A positive attitude is clearly a good starting point and may in part explain why things sometimes turn out the way you want.

I have discovered, for instance, that when I’m rested, centred and clear, things work out well. But I don’t believe this is because I am “creating” the world around me. It happens because I have put myself into a good state of mind to pick up opportunities.

Yet almost all the great spiritual teachers through time have said that whether you are happy ultimately depends on how you feel about yourself on the inside, not whether you have a nicer car or a betterpaying job than someone else.

Telling people they can achieve happiness by acquiring more things just reinforces the mindset that’s leading us to extract more and more out of the planet and that will ultimately drive our culture to extinction.

A change in consciousness is a change in perception—a change in how we see things. The real secret—and it’s only a secret because we keep forgetting it—is that we always have a choice in how we see, experience and interpret reality. That is what determines whether or not you’ll be happy and find peace. Let me repeat this again, we always have a choice in how we see, experience and interpret reality.

Every day we have the opportunity to learn a little more about ourselves, to let go a little more of attitudes that no longer serve us, to step back and be a little less attached to desires.

In every unexpected situation when the world fails to match our expectations, when what is happening is not what we think should be happening, we can remind ourselves that we have a choice.

We can either see the situation through the eyes of fear – all the ways in which it could lead us to suffer. Or we can choose to see it through the eyes of love – as an opportunity for learning, growth and greater understanding.

This shift in perception is a foundation stone of spiritual work. If we practice this in every situation in which we find ourselves, with every person we meet, then we can move from being the victim of our thoughts and feelings to being the master of them. And through that help ourselves and each other to become happier, healthier, and more caring people.

Most of us have become so focused on what it is we think we want, we have forgotten what it is we are really seeking. We seldom ask ourselves “What is it we really want?” When we go deeply into this question we find a common theme behind all our desires.

We want to feel better. We may give this inner feeling various different names — joy, happiness, inner peace, satisfaction, fulfillment, bliss, contentment, ease, well-being — but however we describe the quality of mind we seek, the underlying motivation is the same. We are looking to avoid pain and suffering, and find a more enjoyable state of consciousness.

This is completely natural, and is as true for every other sentient being on this planet as it is for us. It is the organism’s way of monitoring how it is doing in life. If there is something amiss — if we need food, for instance — we feel hungry, which is usually an uncomfortable experience. We don’t feel good and so, quite naturally, we look for something will relieve our suffering — in this case food. Having eaten we feel better; our lives are in balance again.

This is one thing that unites us all; we all want to reduce our suffering and find a more comfortable, satisfying state of mind.

Today, however, we need to spend very little time and energy fulfilling these physical needs. If we are hungry or thirsty we simply go to the refrigerator, or we can get in our car and drive down to the supermarket — in the middle of night in many cities.

We have insulated ourselves from most of the dangers we are likely encounter in the wild, and provided ourselves with shelters whose level of comfort is way beyond that enjoyed by kings and queens two hundred years ago.

If we are still not happy it is not because we lack some physical need; it is almost certainly because of some inner hunger. We are lacking for approval, security, status, power, affection, or some other psychological need.

This where the memes come into play. We have been conditioned since birth with the belief that satisfaction of these inner needs comes through our interaction with the world. We seek inner fulfillment through what we have or what we do, through the experiences the world provides, and through the way others behave towards us.

This is the meme that governs so much of our thinking and behavior; the meme that says whether or not we are content with life depends upon what we have and what we do. .

Prevalent as this meme may be, it seldom provides any lasting satisfaction. A person may gather a great deal of wealth, but is he really more secure? More than likely he will soon find new sources of insecurity. Are my investments safe? Will the stock-market crash? Can I trust my friends? Should I employ “security” companies to protect my possessions?

Someone else, seeking fulfillment through sensory stimulation, may find a restaurant with the most exquisite cooking. Does that satisfy her? Or come the next day is she wondering when she might repeat the experience?

Another may seek fame in order to be approved and accepted. Is he then happy? Or is he upset at having lost the love of his family, or no longer deriving any satisfaction from his work?

Others may believe that if only they could find the right relationship they would be fulfilled. They continually look around for the perfect person, the person who satisfies their expectations; the person who will satisfy their inner needs and so make them happy. Yet such fulfillment can be short-lived. It usually is not be long before we start finding imperfections in even the most perfect person.

Part of the problem is that we are looking for fulfillment in a world that is constantly changing — and changing ever more rapidly. Stock-markets go up and down, cars get damaged, fashions come and go, friends change their minds. Consequently, any satisfaction we do gain is likely to be impermanent.

There is, however, a more fundamental reason why this approach does not work. We are responding to our mental needs as if they were bodily needs — as if their cause lay in the world around us. While our bodily needs are a symptom of some physical lack — a lack of food or heat, perhaps — the same is not true of our psychological needs.

Most of the time the cause is in our minds. We feel insecure because we imagine misfortunes that might befall us in the future. Or we feel low self-esteem because we tell ourselves that we are not able to live up to some ideal that we have set ourselves.

There may well be physical causes for our concern — events may not turn out as we would wish, we may not be achieving our goals but the reason that we feel insecure, unworthy, or whatever, is as much a result of how we interpret and judge events as it is a result of the events themselves.

There is nothing wrong with self-interest as such. We need to take care of our biological selves, make sure we have adequate food, water and shelter, avoid danger, take rest and ensure our other basic needs are met. Without this basic level of self-interest none of us would survive for very long.

This in most cases rarely gives us peace of mind. Once our physical hunger is fulfilled the deeper spiritual needs remain gaping like a joke in our souls.

Our society to these ends has caught itself in a vicious circle. Most of us go through life on the assumption that psychological contentment comes from what we have or do, and that is the message we teach each other.

If we see somebody suffering, we are more likely than not to suggest ways they can change the situation so as to feel better. When we want to persuade someone to buy something or other, we tell them how much happier it will make them.

And when our best-laid plans fail to give us what we seek, we encourage each other to try again. One of the most damaging consequences of looking to the world to satisfy our inner needs is that it results in a competitive mode of consciousness.

Perceiving that our surroundings are limited in what they can provide, we compete for the things we believe will bring us happiness — fame, success, friends, promotion, power, attention, and money. Such competition is wasteful.

-It leads us to produce things that no one really needs.

-It encourages short cuts in the name of financial expediency.

-It promotes blinkered thinking and short-sightedness.

-It causes us to care less for the Earth than we do for our own well-being.

-It puts us in competition with Nature herself — insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides keep other species at bay so that we can more easily, and more profitably, accomplish our own ends.

This basic operating principle also results in an exploitative mode of consciousness. We use — or perhaps one should say “abuse” — our surroundings, other people, and even our own bodies in our quest for greater satisfaction.

This is the root of our exploitation of the world: the attitudes and values that come from believing that inner well-being is dependent upon what we have or do. Money, power, and the other things that people often blame are not the root cause; they are simply symptoms of a deeper underlying error in our thinking.

Most of the time we forget that our inner needs have an inner cause. We perceive other people or external circumstance to be the root of our discomfort, and respond as we would to a physical lack — by making adjustments to the physical world. But this only deals with part of the problem. The inner lack continues, and soon reappears in some other guise.

Looking to the material world for the satisfaction of our inner needs is the source of much fear. We fear any changes in our circumstances that suggest the world may not the way we think it ought to be for us to be at peace.

We may fear losing our jobs because of the loss of income, and the possibility that our lives may not be so comfortable. We may fear failure for the disapproval it might bring or for the loss of self-esteem. We may fear having nothing to do because we might get bored. We may fear telling the truth because others might not like us for it. We fear the unknown for the dangers it may contain. We fear uncertainty, not knowing whether or not we will find what we are after.

Here lies a sad irony. In the final analysis what we are all after is a more satisfying state of mind. We want to be happy, at peace within ourselves. Our fears stem from the possibility that the future may bring us greater suffering rather than happiness. Yet the very nature of fear makes us more anxious in the present. And a mind that is anxious cannot, by definition, be a mind that is at peace.

Our concern to avoid suffering in the future, keeps us suffering in the present. We have lost the very thing we seek.

We love work for what it brings — security, self-esteem, comforts, human contact, challenge. On the other hand we resent it for what it demands of us — the time we have to spend at it, the energy and freedom it seems to take from us. How many of us, if given the money we now receive from work, would still choose to spend our time in an office, a truck, a store, a print-shop or a coal-mine? The majority want what work gives, not the work itself.

We fear unemployment not because we fear the loss of work itself, but because we fear insecurity, uncertainty, loss of self-esteem, material discomfort and possibly hunger — all things that work has helped us avoid. In addition, since our economies are based on the input of human labor (human time is the principal component of any price, the natural resources being intrinsically free), wide-scale unemployment can spell disaster for a nation’s economic well-being.

The question we should be asking is not how to maintain employment, but how to create an economic system that can distribute resources and enhance our well-being, while at the same time fulfilling our age-old wish to be free from unwanted toil.

To be truly free we need to move beyond our cultural conditioning. We need to release ourselves from our attachments; from our concern for past and future times. We need to be free of our illusions. Free from unnecessary fear. The freedom we now need is the inner freedom that allows us to think more intelligently. The freedom to draw more deeply upon our creativity and use it in ways that are in our true best interests. The freedom to follow our vision, and find that which we truly seek.

This is the opportunity that our many physical freedoms are opening us to — self-liberation. The freeing of our minds so that we may be our true, authentic selves.

This new freedom requires a new kind of work — work on ourselves. In this respect we have not reached the end of work at all. There has merely been a shift in the arena of work from outer to inner. A shift to the next phase in human evolution.

Our difficulties are largely due to confused ideas and ignorance of our true interests. The great task is to discover the laws of nature to which we are to adjust ourselves. Clear thinking and moral insight are, therefore, of incalculable value. All processes, even those of thought, rest on solid foundations.

The powers, uses, and possibilities of the mind under the new interpretations are incomparably more wonderful that the most extravagant accomplishment, or even dreams of material progress.

Thought is energy. Active thought is active energy; concentrated thought is a concentrated energy. Thought concentrated on a definite purpose becomes power. This is the power which is being used by those who do not believe in the virtue of poverty, or the beauty of self-denial. They perceive that this is the talk of weaklings.

The ability to receive and manifest this power depends upon the ability to recognize the Infinite Energy ever-dwelling in man, constantly creating and recreating his body and mind, and ready at any moment to manifest through him in any needful manner. In exact proportion to the recognition of this truth will be the manifestation in the outer life of the individual.

Some men seem to attract success, power, wealth, attainment, with very little conscious effort; others conquer with great difficulty; still others fail altogether to reach their ambitions, desires and ideals. Why is this so: Why should some men realize their ambitions easily, others with difficulty, and still others not at all? The cause cannot be physical, else the most perfect men, physically, would be the most successful. The difference, therefore, must be mental – must be in the mind; hence mind must be the creative force, must constitute the sole difference between men. It is mind, therefore, which overcomes environment and every other obstacle in the path of men.

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