Hierarchy of Needs?

I’m sticking my neck out this week to take issue with one of the most common ‘understandings’ about human psychology.

I’m not a qualified psychologist and I don’t know all the answers, but this just doesn’t make sense from my point of view.

Abraham Maslow in 1943 came up with a ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ which is often (perhaps too often) referred to in personal development programmes as it is said to lay out what motivates us.

The theory is there are 5 levels of needs, usually illustrated as a pyramid, consisting of basic, psychological and self-fulfilment needs we are ‘automatically’ motivated to fulfil.

These ‘needs are (from the bottom of the diagram):

Physiological – Safety – Belongingness – Esteem – Self actualisation

According to Maslow the Basic and Psychological needs (the lower four levels) are ‘Deficiency’ needs and the motivation to fulfil them decreases as they are satisfied.

The top level he describes as a ‘Being’ or growth need where motivation increases as the elements in it are met.

Now here’s the thing. Back in 1943 Maslow was adamant that all the needs in the lower levels starting with the physiological needs must be satisfied (in full) before an individual can progress to the next level.

This is the understanding of most people who’ve been ‘taught’ psychology at lower levels of education and also what comes across in many personal development programmes.

According to this tenet, you or I cannot reach self fulfilment until everything else is in place.

In my opinion this idea is just ‘wrong’ – and Maslow did admit in 1987 he had given “the false impression that a need must be satisfied 100 percent before the next need emerges” and the satisfaction of the needs he outlines is not an “all or none” phenomenon.

I would go further than that.

Whilst all of the needs identified, and more, are valid, they are not, in my opinion and experience hierarchically dependent.

It’s quite possible for example, to satisfy some or all of the ‘belongingness’ (or relationship) needs, without having satisfied, even partly, all, or any, of the ‘lower level’ needs.

Then as far as the ‘higher’ need of ‘self-actualisation’ is concerned, I would equate this with self-fulfilment, self determination or finding one’s personal freedom.

Maslow places these at the ‘top’ of the pyramid with the implication that none of them can even be started on until everything else is ‘done’ – which makes them more or less unattainable for most people.

We know this is not true. You and I can be free, we can be fulfilled, we can be ‘self-actualised’ (or our true selves) without satisfying, even partly, all the ‘lower level’ needs identified.

Further it’s counter productive in terms of our self-development to completely satisfy any of these needs, as long as the measure we have in our own mind for them is for each to be ‘fit for purpose’, that is, fit for our purposes rather than any measure imposed or suggested by anyone else.

I would turn all this on its head and start with the idea we are who we are.

Marisa Peer says we are born ‘perfect’ – we start off with pour own self actualisation at the ‘base’ level and then develop and maintain it as we become aware and ‘grow up’ in the world.

You and I define our own needs, our own individual needs which we wish to satisfy on our journey. We may not require all those things shown in Maslow’s triangle.

It’s up to you and it’s up to me to decide who we are, what we wish for, and how we achieve it. There are no preconditions to be satisfied other than those we seek.

Sod’s Law!

“If anything can go wrong, it will!”

So states the legendary ‘Sod’s Law’ of life.

But what does it mean? What do you and I understand by something ‘going wrong’?

Something unexpected happens

Something stops ‘working’

Things just don’t go ‘according to plan’

And so on . . .

But as you and I know only too well, things don’t ‘just happen’ – or not happen as the case may be.

There’s another saying – “Everything happens for a reason”

But this skips a step because things, although they seem to sometimes, don’t just ‘happen’ ‘out of the blue’ – there is a cause behind every ‘happening’.

You could say everything is caused for a reason

The thing is, and most people have no understanding of this, these ‘happenings’ aren’t caused by some third party, some other person or some higher power.

Whatever ‘happens’ to you and I is caused by you and I.

Maybe not consciously and maybe not directly, but always as a result of something you or I thought or did.

Some of the things which ‘go wrong’ may be the result of an action we carried out at some time having a ‘ripple down’ effect on something else – which then ‘went wrong’

They may also be the result of a thought, perhaps inadvertent, recently or some time ago.

I know I say this a lot but we must be really careful what we wish for and what we’re thinking about on a daily basis.

The mind, in particular the subconscious mind, always carries out the orders we give it – whether we really intend them not – and it does exactly what it thinks we want it to do.

The thing is, it does it in it’s own timeframe, which can itself contribute to something ‘going wrong’.

Why is this?

There’s massive amount of data stored in the subconscious, everything we’ve ever done, thought, heard, seen, tasted and so on – and it structures all this into our personal set of beliefs, stories and experiences and feeds it back to our conscious mind in ‘easy to consume’ packages which influence our day to day behaviour.

Inevitably this causes unexpected mishaps – anything can go wrong, and it does.

It would seem perhaps you and I don’t stand a chance when it comes to coping with our subconscious carrying out the instructions it ‘thought’ we gave it but it’s only following the ‘rules’ we’ve created.

These rules come out of the beliefs, data and memories we’ve stored over the years, regardless of their usefulness to us.

What can we do about this?

How can we at least minimise the rate of ‘things going wrong’ we have to cope with?

On my computer I have emails that go back around 15 years. Compare that with all the ‘memories’ or date held in your subconscious since you were born or even before.

It would be impossible to go through and ‘delete’ everything you don’t need any more but there is a way you and I can ‘clean up’ all this stuff both generally and if necessary, specifically.

You and I need to be free of this accumulated garbage and as a practitioner in both Ho’oponopono and Soul Realignment I spend time doing this with and for my clients.

I’ll not go into the details of how these modalities work and what they do except to say Ho’oponopono deals with the general ‘cleaning’ and Soul Realignment with the specifics.

But there is one thing you and I can do without employing these techniques

We have to be really clear in our conscious minds about our intentions.

Intentions arise from the inspiration we receive to do something to realise some result – the ‘thoughts into things’ process

We receive lots of inspiration but not all of it becomes an intention.

Intention is the ‘starter’ for the process of turning an inspiration into a result – we create the intention to turn the thought into the thing.

Provided the intention is really clear then the likelihood of ‘Sod’s Law’ (the result of all the ‘stuff’ in your subconscious) coming into play is much reduced.

Result!

You and I set goals, as do many people.

Much thought and agonising goes into the activity of setting goals.

Goals are classified in to ‘SMART’ and not SMART, A, B and C goals and so on.

We talk about being specific, we talk about goals being achievable – or ‘stretch’.

We set goals we know we can ‘do’ without really thinking too much about them because we already know what to do and how to do it.

We set goals we don’t have the first idea of what we need to make happen for them to be achieved.

We write them down, we read them out aloud, we get accountability partners to keep us on track.

We set targets (or not), we ‘miss’ them, we reset them, we change the nature of our goals . . .

And so it goes on.

And on . . .

Why do we devote so much effort to doing this? What is the purpose for setting and having goals?

Because the ‘goal’ isn’t what we really want.

We don’t receive inspiration and set our intention for a ‘goal’.

What we’re looking for is a result!

Everything is created twice – the thought and then the thing.

Of course, many things are only created once, never getting past the form of thought.

That’s where goals come in.

Goals are part of the process of getting from thought in the mind to thing in reality.

When we’re inspired to create something and set an intention to do it it’s not the end of the story. The ‘thing’ won’t manifest all by itself out of the blue (even though sometimes it seems like that) you or I have to do something.

We discover the actions we need to take and how to take them.

We create a plan with a series of goals we need to achieve on our journey towards the ‘thing’ we have thought of – the result we desire

A former colleague of mine, Philip Collings, Head of Systems at Railtrack, once described goals as a series of ‘gates’ we need to pass through, and in effect, they are.

Goals are an essential part of the process as long as we see them in this way.

In sport, teams score goals, as many as possible, but it’s only at the end of the game when the goals add up to the result. Even if only one goal is scored it’s still not the result until the final whistle blows.

The goals lead to the result, they aren’t in themselves the result.

And remember it is the result we want. You and I can ‘score’ or achieve as many goals as we like but if they don’t give us the result we want what’s the point.

Maybe they were the wrong goals, not aligned with or relevant to the result we are looking for.

Maybe we need to ‘re-think’ the whole ‘Goal setting’ thing.

Start with the inspiration and intention. The intention is always to create a result (the ‘thing’ we ‘thought’ of in the first place).

Certainly the ‘goal’ is to achieve that result, to make it come true, to turn it into reality and so on, but we must be really clear the ‘goal’ we have set and are so attached to is not the result.

And when we pass through the gates along the way, when we achieve the goals we’ve set, we have to ask “is this leading me to the result I seek?”

If so, carry on, if not we’re off track and must adjust our direction.

The ‘Holy Grail’ we’re seeking isn’t our ‘big goal’ or ‘dream’ or ‘big vision’ – it’s the result we get when we reach it.

The result is tied to the inspiration we received and the intention we set in the first place. Goals are part of the outcome, the process we go through to fulfil the intention and when you and I are ‘setting goals’ we need to keep the intention and the result clearly in mind.

It will help us set the ‘right’ goals to receive the result.

Set your ‘Results’ before you set your goals.

The Secret of Success

Much emphasis is placed in the academic, business and personal development ‘worlds’ to name just a few, on the concept of ‘success’.

Being, aspiring to be, or becoming ‘a success’ are often cited as the reason many people do what they do in life.

It’s difficult to fond a definition of ‘success’ as there’s more than one meaning.

You or I can achieve success in a specific enterprise, but it doesn’t necessarily make either of us ‘a success’, especially if the ‘success’ was only to get out of bed in the morning!

Having ‘successfully’ completed any particular mission only means we have achieved a specific goal; it doesn’t make us a ‘success’ just as not achieving it doesn’t make us a ‘failure’.

Then again, someone can be a success in a specific field or occupation, but what makes them a ‘success’ – or not – from a holistic view?

Many famous people are cited as ‘successes’ often by people such as journalists who really don’t know much about them.

They use criteria such as wealth or sporting prowess, even their ‘visibility’ in the media, but how does one measure success, if indeed it is possible to do so?

There are many books and programmes on some variant of ‘How to Become a Success’. Most of these use wealth as the measure but as we have seen that’s not the whole story.

One could suppose achieving a certain level of ‘significance’ would mean success, but there are also some very significant ‘failures’ as well.

Both significance and success in this context are comparative measures rather than anything else.

You and I can be a success compared with someone less significant that ourselves, or less wealthy, or less knowledgeable and so on, but does that make us ‘a success’?

I think not and indeed this whole idea of the pursuit of success, other than as it pertains to a specific endeavour, project or mission, is futile and probably counter productive.

The thing is, we cannot be ‘a success’ at everything.

Many so-called successes are also utter failures in another area of their life. Many famous or wealthy ‘successes’ have failed dismally with their personal relationships, and the converse is also true. Some who have made an amazing success of marriage are ‘failures’ in another area of life.

This pursuit of success we are encouraged and even conditioned to undertake from an early age is actually a restriction on our personal freedoms.

We are distracted from those things which really make us happy and help us feel free, to take up the challenge of society and become, in their eyes, a ‘success’, which an unachievable quest.

Unless . . .

Unless we forget about ‘being a success’ in the eyes of others and just get on with whatever it is we love to do.

Unless we focus on what makes us happy, do it ‘full on’ and do it well. What we achieve may seem insignificant in the eyes of society, we may not end up ‘rich and famous’, but to ourselves, and we are the only one that matters, we will be a success.

Together with that we will also probably achieve a level of significance in our own field, or if you like, become a ‘success’ in the field of operation in which we fulfil our personal passion.

‘Being a Success’ is not about how much money we accrue, how much power we gain, or how much media exposure we achieve.

In his book ‘Think and Grow Rich’, Napoleon Hill lays out a number of ‘principles of success’ resulting from the assignment given him by Andrew Carnegie to interview hundreds of prominent so called ‘successes’ in the USA. He also recalls interviewing a large number of ‘failures’ as well on his journey to analyse what these people were doing or not doing.

Whilst there is much great teaching in this book Hill tends to see the achievement of ‘success’ in terms of how others assess you rather than how you assess yourself.

To be a success in your own eyes is what matters, not what other people think.

Focus on your personal passion, become successful at it, and be free.

Time and Money Freedom?

There are two aspects of freedom which are somewhat different from those I discussed last time.

These two are frequently referred to in the network marketing and personal development circles as ‘Time and Money Freedom’.

But what does that mean?

I regard them as ‘second level’ freedoms because they’re based on artificial concepts.

‘Time’ and ‘Money’ are simply ‘yardsticks’ put in place to measure what we do with and in our lives.

It’s always about ‘how much’ time and money we have available to do what we wish to do within the freedom of self-determination.

Time and money are also controls we place on ourselves in an attempt to manage our lives and by doing this we limit our overall freedom.

We as people have decided we cannot be ‘free of time’ or ‘free of money’ – if we could it would lead to a completely different society to the one we live in now – more like that of some so-called ‘primitive’ tribes who don’t recognise either of these ideas.

When people talk about ‘time and money freedom’ they mean finding a way of life where there is always more than enough money coming in to meet their needs and wants, and always time for us to do whatever we wish, whenever we wish, regardless of how long it may take.

What usually happens however is that to generate the income we think we need, we sacrifice our ‘time freedom’ to get it, or vice versa!

Various ways around this conundrum are proposed, usually by changing the way we generate the money.

Offers abound for ‘business opportunities’ such as affiliate marketing, network marketing (also known as MLM) or creating online shops, and for training programmes in developing ‘multiple streams of income’ (MSIs) which ‘generate money while you sleep’ and so forth.

Some of these really do work but what they don’t tell you is the investment of time, and money, required to make them work, really work, is much higher than they usually indicate.

Despite having multiple streams of passive income, you often end up in the same state. It takes a decade or more of hard work and long hours to get to the situation they describe at the beginning.

Is there a way around this?

Can you and I really achieve ‘time and money freedom’?

Yes, we can.

If . . .

If we stop using money and time as yardsticks to measure everything we do in our lives.

That sounds simple, and in a way it is, but it requires us to take a completely different approach to life, something which others won’t understand.

They’ll think we’re crazy and try and stop us, they’ll try to ‘save us from ourselves’ if we decide to stop worshipping the ‘false gods’ of time and money and allowing them to rule or lives.

I said it’s simple, but it’s not easy.

We have to ‘let go’.

My friend and mentor Peter Thomson has a saying –

Everything has an equal and opposite measurement

He’s absolutely right, but –

It depends how we do the measuring.

We can include time and money in the criteria, but the key measure is more personal.

Whatever it is you’re measuring – how does it (or did it) make you feel?

You can do this on a simple Good to Bad 1 to 10 scale or use something more detailed like the Hawkins scale of consciousness (17 levels from Miserable to Perfect)

What ‘value’ (not monetary) did it create in your life?

To what extent did whatever it was ‘serve’ you?

Not ‘how much money did it make?’ or ‘how much time did it take?’

That second question is interesting – we feel ‘time’ is being taken away from us rather than we are ‘using it up’ like we feel about money.

There is nothing wrong, in fact it’s a good idea, to look at how we might be able to generate more income or spend less time generating income by changing our method of operation, but time and money must not be the main or only criteria by which we measure.

We need to stop using them as a yardstick and look inside instead.

Next time I’m going to talk about ‘success’, the ‘pursuit’ of it and what we really mean by it.

I Feel Free

What is ‘Freedom’?

There are many different kinds and understanding of ‘freedom’ – but what is it fundamentally?

Freedom relates to most of what we, as humans, do, and how we live our lives but when it comes down to it in this ‘unfree world’, you and I are quite constrained in the ‘degrees of freedom’ we enjoy.

Most of our cherished freedoms are restrained or restricted.

Freedom of Speech – well, not really – we are ‘not allowed’ always to say what we feel – to anyone – because of ‘political correctness’ and so forth or for ‘fear of giving offence’.

There are certain subjects we can only discuss with like minded people and some not at all.

This seems in recent years to have created a new – ‘freedom to be offended’ by what others say or do, along with what seems to have become a ‘right’ to be offended – by pretty much anything in the case of some people!

Freedom of Movement – heavily restricted at the moment. You and I are just not free to go wherever we wish whenever we wish for reasons which not all of us are convinced of.

Freedom of Association – again this is currently constrained by for the same reasons as our ability to travel, even if that’s to see our friends at a pub or restaurant.

The next is ‘Freedom of Self-Determination’ or in other words the freedom to choose who we wish to be, what we wish to do and how we wish to do it, and again there are many constraints and boundaries around this. Many things prevent us from doing, being or having what we would really like.

Then there’s ‘Freedom of Thought’ and you may think this is unconstrained – you and I can think what we like, but even this isn’t quite the case.

Viktor Frankl in ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ explained how in the concentration camps everything was taken from the inmates other than their power to think for themselves, other than their own human spirit. But that was not the case for everyone.

Some people were so ‘broken’ by the removal of all other freedoms, they even gave that up. Now you could say it was their choice, but not really, and many people have given up ‘thinking for themselves’ in the world today.

Why?

The human mind is highly suggestible. All day every day we are bombarded with messages telling us how we should be thinking and what we should be thinking about.

It comes in so-called ‘news’ and political comment. It comes through all forms of advertising much of which is increasingly manipulative, and it comes in ‘popular drama’ otherwise known as ‘soap operas’ which portray a specific morality, not necessarily through the plot but through how the characters relate to one another and how they live.

Our freedom, yours and mine, is constantly being encroached upon, moulded and manipulated into having us conform to what others wish the world to be like.

More to the point they are attempting, by ‘influencing’ others, to make the world conform to their idea of freedom – “if only everyone else would conform to my ideas then I’d be free”

The thing is though, it isn’t like that.

You and I cannot achieve any form of freedom if it depends on what others do or think.

True freedom can only be achieved through our own thoughts and actions.

But how is that possible in this ‘unfree’ world?

The answer is in whatever it is that makes us, individually and personally, feel ‘free’ and first we must understand this is about ‘be-ing’ and not doing or having.

We can measure our own freedom by the intensity of joy, happiness or peace we feel in ourselves and of course this may derive from the doing and having, but we aren’t ‘free’ just because we do or have something – it’s the ‘result’ that brings the joy.

We cannot achieve ‘total’ freedom staying within the constrained third dimensional environment that supports our lives. Total freedom comes from transcending it which means although we are still in a cage, our Soul and spirit are free.

Freedom is about all the things and feelings which make us happy and the more we guard against manipulation from outside the more of those there will be.

And the reverse is true, we cannot become in any way free if it depends on what others do, so freedom for ourselves only comes when we stop attempting to impose our idea of freedom on others.

Freedom is about what you and I feel in ourselves.

Feel Free

I’ve not spoken about ‘time and money freedom’, more on those next time.

One is All

I’m going to bring this brief introduction to Life Mastery to a close with a couple of final pieces in the puzzle.

The first comes from Henry David Thoreau’s essay ‘Walden’ published in 1854 where he states:

(I’ve left this in the masculine as written, the past cannot be changed)

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favour in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.”

I have ‘unpacked’ this statement in a previous insight but there are three key points:

The first word is ‘If’ – this only happens IF you ‘advance confidently’.

The second explanation is for the words ‘common hours’. In ‘modern’ English you could rephrase this as ‘unexpected success’ but it’s a bit more, being unexpected in the ‘normal way of thinking’ we’re used to.

Third, there’s the ‘invisible boundary’ and the key word here is ‘invisible’ because you and I don’t necessarily recognise it as we cross it. It becomes apparent that ‘things have changed’ and we have ‘moved on’ to a ‘higher order of being’ or a different understanding of life which is where Joe Vitale is taking us in ‘Zero Limits’.

The second piece of the puzzle is from Bob Proctor who says:

“There is a single mental move you can make which, in a millisecond, will solve enormous problems for you. It has the potential to improve almost any personal or business situation you will ever encounter … and it could literally propel you down the path to incredible success. We have a name for this magic mental activity … it is called DECISION.”

Perhaps this should have come first because the ‘If’ depends on the decision, but the thing is – we have to decide and then take action.

I’ve quoted it second because it represents the ‘How’ to Thoreau’s ‘Why’.

We embark on the journey to the boundary only after we make the decision to do so. We know by making this choice things are going to be different.

We also know that all but 2% of the people on the planet make this choice.

The other 98% are comfortable (for now) where they are, even though they may not be happy or feel free in their comfort zone, they are there and anything outside it causes them fear, one way or another.

I’ve titled this insight ‘One is All’ which expands on last week’s ‘One is One’.

There is a common misinterpretation of the idea ‘there is only one of us’. Some philosophers have taken this to mean ‘we are all one’ or ‘we are all equal’ or all ‘the same’ and proposed societal organisations, which although they sound logical and ‘fair’ cannot (as has been proven) work in reality,

We are an infinite number of individuations of ‘the One’, or as Dr Hew Len calls it ‘The Divine’, and the whole point if this is we are all ‘different’ – having different ‘life experiences’ – otherwise what would be the logic of  ‘Source’ dividing into an infinite number of identical clones?

We are not all ‘equal’ or ‘the same’ although at the same time we are all ‘One’ and I admit, that does take a little ‘thinking about’!

From Walsch’s point of view the Universe consists of infinite individuations of a single entity, all having separate experiences and eventually returning to Source or Divinity.

Thus, the Universe starts with ‘one’ encompasses ‘all’ and returns to ‘one’. The singularity, which is the source of, and is, the Universe, is both One, or ‘Zero’ in Vitale’s terms, and All at the same time.

Being at Zero, the ultimate state of Grace, is to be all and nothing at the same time.

Next time I’m going to explore Freedom, what it really means to be free, and its relationship with Life Mastery.

It may not be quite what you might think.

I’m also going to introduce my new monthly publication ‘The Freedom Letter’ your guide to personal freedom in the world today.

One is One

I’ve referred before to Neale Donald Walsch’s statement “There is only One of Us” and explained every ’individual’ person, or Soul, is an ‘individuation’ of the Universe, or ‘higher power’ or God or The Divine whatever name you wish to give it.

That’s all very well, but how does it ‘work’?

I think the question is answered in another of my ‘key books’ – ‘Zero Limits’ by Dr. Joe Vitale and Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len the Hawaiian psychotherapist and proponent of the practice of Ho’oponopono.

It would take far too long to go into all the details of what Ho’oponopono is and how it works but it may help to translate its meaning which is ‘to cause perfection’.

To put things very simply Dr Len uses the technique to ‘clean’, some might prefer the word ‘clear’, toxins and ‘imperfections’ from himself and the patients he works with.

In this sense toxins mainly refers to toxic thoughts or memories which may have arisen during someone’s lifetime or during past lives or arrived through the chain of ancestry.

In a sense it encompasses the modalities of Soul Realignment, Family Constellation and RTT but it deals with ‘the self’ at a much more basic level.

This is where Len lines up with Walsch.

In Ho’oponopono the ‘self’ is a function of ‘The Divine’ and he sees the self as having four levels: The Divine, the superconscious, the conscious and the subconscious which others might describe as the higher power or Source, the Soul or spirit, the conscious (human) mind and the subconscious or 5th dimensional mind wherein all is stored.

The ancient Hawaiian belief is we are at all times ‘one’ with our past selves, our current self and the others around us, our ancestors and the divine spirit, which some may call God.

More modern religions have the idea we should aspire to be ‘at one’ with God and to do so atone for ‘our sins’ and the ethic of Ho’oponopono is not far from this except to say we are already at one with the Divine and rather than ‘doing penance’ all we need to do is ‘clean’ on the thoughts. beliefs and ‘memories’ leading to whatever we may perceive may be ‘wrong’ in our own or others existence.

It’s taken me quite a while and a long journey to get my head around this concept.

It’s all very well understanding there is only one of us but when you add the realisation this is for all time and indeed there is no time the idea that every’one’ who ever existed, exists and is ‘yet to exist’ is all just one entity in one time and space, a lot of things fall into place.

Like many other spiritual practices, which in effect are all the same, Ho’oponopono leads to a state of ‘enlightenment’ which Dr Len refers to as ‘Zero’ or being ‘at Zero’.

Unlike other practices it doesn’t involve a great deal of ritual or long periods of meditation and can be done simultaneously with everyday activities. It works on a granular level, dealing with one ‘issue’ or topic at a time.

This technique of ‘Causing Perfection’ can be applied to manifestation as well as to the removal of limitations including illnesses and toxic situations.

The thing is this is all done through the understanding of there only being ‘one’ entity – we are all part of the same ‘one’ – which includes everything which exists on the planet and off it.

Learning how to use Ho’oponopono takes some months and a few big shifts in our understanding of ‘the way things are’.

Once we understand, we realise they aren’t and there are far more possibilities than we’d previously understood.

I’ve been talking about the foundation of Life Mastery and next time I’m going to wrap up with a few final pieces of the puzzle that might set you (us) on the way to individual and collective freedom which is what Life Mastery is all about.

The Secret of Creation

“Everything is created twice” is a phrase often quoted by Mary Morrissey.

It’s also been attributed to Steven Covey and Robin Sharma among others, but it goes back a long way.

When I first heard this, I was somewhat confused. I wasn’t sure what it meant.

Until I heard the whole phrase –

“Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality”

This is quoted in many ways but that doesn’t matter. Like most of the ‘wise sayings’ of today’s personal development community it goes way back into the mists of time.

Well before ‘the Bible and Shakespeare’ in which it also features.

The thing is, ‘creation’ who or whatever you believe might have done the creating, doesn’t just happen and neither is there such an entity as a ‘creator’.

I’ve explained before there are only two things in the Universe, Energy and Space which are co-dependent, without one there would be no need for the other.

If there was just space, then there wouldn’t ‘be’ anything, not even space and if there was no space then energy would have nowhere to ‘be’ and just perhaps exist as a one-dimensional singularity which is not really ‘being’

Everything is energy – so how does creation happen?

Some have argued everything is an ‘illusion’ and there is no creation, there is ‘nothing’ – you and I are just figments of our own imagination but as we don’t exist then why would we have an ‘imagination’?

The argument goes on, somewhat pointlessly, I think.

Let’s accept that what we are ‘is’, it exists, and is not a illusion – rather formations of energy with different frequencies, vibrations and wavelengths differentiating one from another.

This brings me to the third book in my fundamental reading for Life Mastery and it answers the question ‘where does everything come from?’.

The title is somewhat misleading, but we have to take it in the context of the time it was written in 1910 at the beginning of the 20th Century.

The world was a different place then, especially in the USA and Wallace D Wattles’ book ‘The Science of Getting Rich’ was not about the accumulation of wealth, more about the process of creation.

Wattles says –

“There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.

A thought, in this substance, produces the thing that is imaged by the thought.

Man can form things in his thought, and by impressing his thought upon formless substance, can cause the thing he thinks about to be created.”

This was placed in the context of ‘science’ or a method or process rather than what we probably now understand as ‘science’, and the purpose of ‘getting rich’ means far more than just ‘money’.

‘Getting rich’ is really about mastering your life, as was Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’ published some 27 years later.

Wattles in my opinion was one of the first to pull together in a ‘modern’ context, rather than a biblical one, the concept of the Laws of the Universe popularised in the early 21st century particularly in ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne.

Her ‘secret’ is Wattles’ ‘science’ and Wattles ‘science’ draws from earlier work in the mid 19th century from Emerson, Alcott, Thoreau and others engaged in the ‘Concord Conversations’ and the foundation of ‘Transcendentalism’.

Bringing the ‘science’ into a more practical sphere, it’s obvious when you think about it isn’t it?

When you or I wish to create something, even if that’s just a cup of coffee, it doesn’t just happen. We think about it first – and then we bring together the ‘stuff’ we need to make it.

Remembering that all that ‘stuff’, the water, the kettle, the electricity, the cup, the milk and the coffee itself was ‘thought about’ by someone before it was brought into the form in which we use it.

Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.

It doesn’t matter how it’s going to be brought about in reality, the act of ‘thinking’ about it will make it happen, one way or another.

And even if you or I don’t do it, someone else will.

But be warned, be careful what you think about, you never know how it will manifest itself!

The Ultimate Theme Park

I talked last time about Neale Donald Walsch’s books ‘Conversations with God’ and said I would cover what he says about ‘the purpose of life’ and ‘why we are here’ – questions oft asked by most people.

But first I’ll continue a little about what is meant by ‘individuation’ and there being only ‘one’ of us.

A common misunderstanding about this is how most people believe the concept of ‘society’ to be the realisation of the ‘one’ of us.

It’s not.

‘Society’ doesn’t exist. It’s a concept, like ‘time’ and ‘money’ which (supposedly) helps us to understand how the world works, and is also, like money and time, an instrument of control.

You and I are supposed to conform to society, to go along with what everyone else in ‘society’ does or believes.

‘Society’ believes ‘government’ is a good idea, it protects society and has society’s best interest at heart.

I don’t think so.

Society chooses a form of government and gives its ‘collective authority’ to the individuals it chooses.

Sounds like a good plan, but it hasn’t worked that well over the centuries, has it?.

The ‘one of us’ is not a collective, not a community – it’s more like each of ‘us’ being a molecule of water in an ocean – individuated ‘parts’ of the one.

But why? What’s the purpose of this individuation? Why are we here?

Well, you and I are not here to ‘learn a lesson’.

We’re not here to ‘make a difference’

We’re not here to atone for some ‘original sin’

We’re not here to ‘earn our way into Paradise’

Unless . . .

Unless one of those was the experience we chose before we came here.

Walsch explains that, as immortal souls, or as Mary Morrissey puts it, ‘infinite beings experiencing a physical existence’, we are here for a purpose, which is to have, rather than gain, an experience, or series of experiences.

As if we’re visiting a theme park. We choose the rides we wish to go on, we take part in and ‘enjoy’ those experiences, and then we leave to ‘go home’ to the ‘one’ – to the celestial ocean from which we came.

In Star Trek Deep Space Nine, there are beings called ‘shape shifters’ or ‘changelings’ or The Founders, who can assume any form, but come from and return to a gelatinous ‘lake’ called the ‘Great Link’ of which they become ‘One’.

I’d be surprised if that idea wasn’t based on Walsch’s writings.

There is of course a ‘catch’.

Which is, when we arrive for each visit, when we’ve chosen what we wish to be (human or otherwise) and who our parents will be, the moment we arrive or reincarnate our memory is wiped.

We ‘forget’ all about our previous experiences and what we really are.

Part of the ‘experience of life’ is to discover what we came for and sometimes it can take quite a while.

But there are ‘fragments’ that remain.

Have you ever been somewhere and felt a strong affinity for the place? Have you a particular talent, music, or art for example?

Of course, we have to learn and discover things all over again but there is that inexplicable ‘familiarity’ isn’t there?

You can do ‘past life regression’ or Soul Realignment therapy to help find out or at least put things into perspective and maybe eliminate the effects of any bad choices in previous lives or ways of behaving you’ve carried over but ‘the purpose of life’ is simply to experience it.

Why?

Walsch speculates on this but concludes the answer is, much as your parents might have said when you were very young, ‘because’.

Because ‘the One’ , the Divine, ‘Source’, God’, the ‘Higher Power’, ‘Spirit’ wants more experiences.

More experience of what is possible, more experience of what we, as three dimensional beings, call ‘reality’, although it’s all an illusion, just energy in space.

In the fourth book ‘Awaken the Species’, Walsch goes into this with the idea of the development of HEBs or Highly Evolved Beings.

Experience perhaps then, leads to this evolution, but I don’t expect to find out for sure  until I reach the 7th dimension, beyond those we inhabit as ‘living beings’.

Maybe then, when I’m thinking about which theme park to visit next, it will all become clear.