Tag Archives: How to love yourself unconditionally

Is looking into the shadow necessary?

infinite-possibilities

Today’s question for the Five Minute Mystic comes from Penny. This is a very important query. Why should anyone do shadow work, and is it really worth all the effort? In this video I address the pros and cons of delving into the murky depths of the human psyche. Penny’s question is below.

I have divided this into two videos. In this video, below, I address the idea of the “shadow” in its standard form as meaning the human psyche. In the second video here, I move the discussion onto the question of “darkness” as a consciousness field – is evil really a “force”?

Marcus

 

Dear Marcus,

I’m reading your The Mind Reader book right now, about half way through, and loving it but it is also difficult for me because there is a lot of darkness in myself and so the book is rather disturbing. I know that I have a lot of hard work to do and I hope I will have enough courage. It is a good book to read as a companion to your Discover Your Soul Template. You sure have had an amazing life and I thank you for sharing it with us. I’ve also found your videos on youtube and they are so very helpful too. And I like your sense of humor.

Penny

What Can I do about Feeling Ugly and Unlovable? (The 5 Minute Mystic #7)

Many people feel that they are not lovable. They may feel ugly and bad, regardless of what they actually look like. In this edition of The Five Minute Mystic I answer this question from Lesley, and suggest what can be done to address the problem and to heal.

Dear Marcus

Can you give me some advice? Do you have anything that will help me feel more accepting of myself, warts and all? I am on this solitary path where people shun me and don’t understand me and look at me with disdain. Thanks, Lesley

 

 

Gurerilla War, Unfair (Part 3 – Engaged Presence)

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This is the third part of three posts I am writing about this topical issue.

In the first post I described the problem regarding the presence of hard-core skeptics group Guerrilla Skeptics, and their undue control of Wikipedia pages related to spiritual and psi phenomena.

In the second post I outlined three different approaches to the problem, and the merits of each. I also wrote why certain approaches are likely to be counterproductive – and potentially spiritually regressive. I introduced the idea of gentle engagement.

In this final post I will describe the practical application of engaged presence – which can be employed in any kind of debate or discourse, both online and in real world situations. I also suggest how “conflicts” can be of great benefit to anybody on a path of awakening.

 

Engaged presence

Engaged presence is simple. It is a process which involves attending to debates, online discussions and personal differences while remaining present and mindful. You can also use it in public talks, meetings, and media interviews. It enables you to access the analytical and intellectual mind while also retaining the equanimity of mindful presence. The greatest benefit of this approach to intellectual discourse is that it prevents you from getting lost in petty squabbles – the kind that tend to dominate public discourse, especially online.

You can employ engaged presence in any kind of debate or “argument” with someone. Of course, engaged presence does not feel anything like what you might think of as an “argument”. Arguments are confrontational in nature. Engaged presence is light. It is not a matter of life and death, which is how most intellectual confrontations feel – because the mind is so attached to the outcome.

For example, should anyone be foolish enough to take up the challenge of attempting to challenge the Guerrilla Skeptics on Rupert Sheldrake’s Wikipedia page, they could use engaged presence to minimise the level of insanity that might be expected to overcome any normal human being undertaking such a task.

Engaged presence does not require any pronounced altered state of consciousness. It is true that it involves a relaxed state of mindful presence, but this is not much different from, say, having a relaxed chat with a friend in the evening.

In short, the key difference between engaged presence and normal intellectual discourse is that the individual has a greater level of mindfulness – and indeed, playfulness. They maintain an awareness of the mind (or ego) even as they engage the other person.

In practice

This is very, very simple, no? It is unnecessary to complicate this.

1. Bring yourself present

In the minutes or moments before you are about to engage the other person (in a real world situation or via electronic media) bring yourself fully present. Sit or stand quietly. Take note of your breath moving in and out of your chest. Feel yourself fully in your body. Relax as you bring your attention to your breath, releasing any tension you might feel. With any thoughts that come into your mind, simply observe them, and then gently return your attention to your breath. Do this for five breaths, and you should then be present in the moment.

Alternatively, bring your awareness on to something that is physically with you. Anything will do – a cup, a chair, the desk before you. Allow your mind to become fully present with the object. Just gently observe it for thirty seconds. Again, if any thoughts come into your mind, just observe them, and then return your attention to the thing which you are observing.

2. Agenda awareness (optional)

For those who are proficient at working with the shadow or who have previous experience with meditative processes which involve introspection and self-reflection, you can add a few moments of “agenda awareness”. If you are proficient at bringing yourself into mindful presence you will automatically be able to sense any barely conscious or overt agendas you have regarding the people or situation you are about to engage.

The first part of agenda awareness is to take note of any emotions you feel within yourself, both those projected at the people you are engaging, and at yourself. Pay careful consideration of any aggressive feelings you have towards the people you are engaging. Common projections to note are thoughts and feelings such as the following

“You are an idiot! You don’t know anything!”

“I know best. I am smarter than you!”

Take note also of your agendas for power and control over the situation, or in trying ensure a particular outcome.

“I am in control here!”

“I must take control.”

“He must not be allowed to speak!”

“They are going to try to get me! I must strike first!”

Agendas like these are many. Just because they are half-mad doesn’t make them go away!

You can self-dialogue with such agendas if you like. But this takes time, and you may not have time in any given situation – see this summary of specific useful tools). A more efficient way to neutralise agendas is just to confess your agendas to “God”, the universe, or whatever greater intelligence you may perceive (see the fifth tool). If you are not spiritually inclined, just confess them to the chair or the pot plant if you like. The key is to fully admit the agenda. Remember, this is a non-judgmental process. You are not beating yourself up or finding that you are “bad”. In fact just laugh or smile. You are only human!

3. Engage mindfully

As you sit with the other person, or engage with them via image or word on a computer screen, keep mindful presence by regularly focussing upon your breath, body, or something solid within the room. Observe your own judgments, feelings and thoughts mindfully.

If during your engagement you find yourself being dragged into the mind, reacting with anger and judgment, pull back silently from the other. Bring yourself present again by focussing upon a single breath or something within the room. Observe the feelings of anger and judgment within you. Don’t believe in them and don’t make them the other person’s fault. They are your projections. If you do this, your projections will lose their power over you.

Give yourself permission to smile and laugh. Be light.

4. Disengage

As you leave the engagement, bring yourself to mindful attention again. Note any judgments, feelings or agendas that linger. Allow yourself to surrender to the outcome, whatever it may be. Let go.

It is easy to know if you have successfully employed engaged presence. You feel relaxed and possibly joyful. You feel at peace. If you feel angry, resentful or annoyed at those whom you have just engaged, then you have failed to employ the process successfully.

Agendas of mind

Note: Here the term “agenda” refers to subtle intentions of power and control over the other person or situation. It does not refer to any conscious intention you may have in the engagement, e.g. wanting to correct misrepresentations of Rupert Sheldrake on his Wikipedia page.

Having worked on being mindfully present for many years, I have come to observe several common agendas that tend to arise when people are confronting others, and when they are battling for control of ideas. It might pay you to reflect on these. Being able to catch the mind when it develops agendas is very useful if you want to practice engaged presence. As long as you have an agenda, you are not fully present. You are bringing some past hurt to the table, or some intention or motivation about the future. It is not possible to listen deeply if this is the case.

I call the modern, preferred way of fighting others for control of ideas “confrontational binaries”. The following agendas are commonly experienced during such engagements.

1). The mind is very serious. The mind sees the maintenance of its own worldview as a kind of life and death struggle. With engaged presence you relax in the knowledge that beliefs and ideas are ephemeral. Engaged presence is light and playful.

2) Attachment to one’s beliefs and opinions. In engaged presence you acknowledge mental attachments, and gently release them.

3). Identification with ones beliefs and opinions. The mind typically has trouble distinguishing itself from its own thoughts. In engaged presence, the individual is familiar with a deeper level of awareness beyond thought. This means that you are not so identified with the content of thought.

4). There is an incessant need to be right. The mind is often like a dog at a bone, and just won’t let go. In engaged presence you let go and allow the process to unfold (but are still mindful of what you understand – and believe to be true).

5). The mind sees the other as a threat. There is fear and anger. This is not as irrational as you might think, because in confrontational binaries the other person is also engaged in judgment, and the barely conscious agenda is to overpower and destroy you and your opinion. Debate and argument are inherently violent mental processes. In engaged presence you are mindful of this tendency to strike out at the other. In presence you see the other at a deeper level, beyond the opinions and arguments they are presenting.

6) The mind seeks approval from observers and opponents. In states of presence the need for approval diminishes.

7) The mind is attached to the outcome of the discussion. In engaged presence you release the outcome.

8) There is an agenda for power and control over your opponent, or in regard to the purpose of the discussion, how you are perceived etc. In engaged presence you gently acknowledge any need for power and control.

9) Typically, there is an attempt to be seen as clever – intellectually, morally or spiritually superior. This is often part of an implicit power struggle which attempts to place you above your opponent. Naturally, this tends to create fear and anger in the other person, even when the agenda is unconscious. With engaged presence, one releases the need to be seen as smarter or morally superior to the other person. If you are brilliant, good for you. There is no need to turn this into a game of “I am better.”

How is it possible to be mindful of all this in any given situation? It would be very difficult indeed if you had to consciously focus on all of these factors simultaneously. But in practice that is not actually necessary. These perspectives – and the awareness that goes with them – tend to emerge naturally from the presence that you bring to the situation.

However…

Engaged presence doesn’t excuse you from becoming informed about the subject matter you are discussing. Be careful. The ego might attempt to employ engaged presence with an aloof agenda to remain in control and to avoid being challenged. Nor is the purpose of engaged presence to impress people about how Buddha-like you are. That would be an agenda – and more approval seeking.

Employing engage presence doesn’t mean you will win the debate or argument. Sorry, but you might lose the debate! Observers might decide that your opponent’s arguments or opinions are stronger. People might retain their prejudices and biases.

Nor does gentle engagement guarantee systemic change – at least not in the short run. In the situation with Guerrilla Skeptics, Craig Weiler has blogged about his frustration at trying to fairly edit Rupert Sheldrake’s Wikipedia page when the editors appear to be heavily favouring skeptical input. If a person were to employ engaged presence in trying to balance that discussion, it would not change the Wikipedia system in the short term. However it would grant the person a greater degree of equanimity as he went about his work. It would also allow him to relax and be mindful of his own agendas, and what lies behind them (there is often trauma and anger behind our personal agendas).

Of course in the long run our imaginary Wikipedia editor might slowly influence the discourse on that site, and he would be able to keep his wits about him as he did so.

Nor does engaged presence guarantee that others will not conspire in a power game against you (which sometimes happens online, in the media or in public meetings and interviews). But it does pull your ego out of the game. This tends to disengage the other person’s ego, helping them to relax. They will feel less threatened by you, and logically they will feel less need to eliminate you from further discussions, or exclude you from any power within the given situation.

But again, there is no guarantee. Just be careful that your mind does not set up the agenda that it is owed something merely because it has employed a “superior” means of dialogue – seeking recognition or a God-guaranteed victory. Engaged presence does not guarantee outcomes. It merely permits a specific kind of engagement.

Mastery of mind

Of course, in order to access gentle engagement simply and easily it is best that you understand and are familiar with the experience of presence. If you do not experience presence regularly in your normal life, it is unlikely that you will be able to master engaged presence in a debate. As Leonard Jacobson has so often said, the awakening process requires not just the ability to bring oneself into presence. It also requires mastery of mind (which enables you to stay present at will). And being a master of mind means that you understand yourself well enough to be able to realise how your mind attempts to bring you out of presence and into the world of drama and projection.

There is one final benefit to employing engaged presence which I will share with you. In the state of alert presence you will increasingly notice subtle things about the people you are engaging with. Because you are no longer judging the other person or trying to control them, you will be able to sense the agendas of their minds, including their striving for power and control over you, their attachment to the need to be right, their wanting to be seen as clever and so on. If you are very relaxed, you may also see auras and energy structures about the person, and you might even see glimpses of their soul story. I often sense such things when I am in relaxed presence with others.

The wise man or woman will not use these intuitive insights to affirm an agenda – such as gaining power over the other. In fact, if you are deeply present, compassion and forgiveness arise spontaneously – even for your “opponent”.

I suggest you experiment with engaged presence. You don’t have to be in a formal debate to use it, you can just use it during normal discourse with someone you know or love.

Go ahead. You might be surprised at what you learn.

Blessings,

Marcus

Is There a One True Spiritual Path?

mountain

 How many paths up there?

 

The One Right Path?

Most human beings in developed countries and regions of the planet are presented with an opportunity to create a life.

Their life.

Once we are old enough to start asking questions and develop a capacity for critical thinking, there then arises the most fundamental of all queries.

“What path shall I follow?”

Sometimes this might be expressed as: “Whose path shall I follow?”

In countries with high levels of personal freedom, there are innumerable possible journeys and teachings that one might choose to undertake – or perhaps emulate. As we mature and are exposed to books, cinema and other media, most of us discover one or a few people whom we greatly admire or respect. We may think of these people as having lived a noble, powerful or model life.

In the current age there is no shortage of “teachers” professing expertise in the living of the ideal life. Some might be classified as spiritual teachers, others as self-help gurus. Other luminaries might simply have a notable philosophy which they have shared with the world, and their lives and ideas potentially offer wisdom.

We then have people who are set up as role models by our leaders; via education, history books and official media. Who is considered attractive or admirable varies from country to country according to the dominant worldview, values and religious structures. Conservatives in China consider Mao Ze Dong to be the greatest man in history. Yet many people in western countries revile him as a mass-murdering tyrant. In Melbourne where I live, many folks adore AFL footballer Gary Ablett, and see him as an ideal role model. My Chinese wife thinks all Australian footballers are buffoons.

 

Freedom to choose

Some people believe that there is no such thing as free will. If you are one of these people then obviously this discussion is not for you.

My experience has led me to conclude that while a great deal of life and personal expression is either conditioned or out of our control, the essential and most important choices remain open to us (or at least potentially open, if we can bring awareness to those choices). Here I wish to focus on two related queries.

  • Which religious/spiritual/philosophical path shall I follow? (I include scientific materialism as a philosophical choice).
  • What teachers or role models are worth emulating?

Now allow me to emphasise my main point here.

I believe that it is unwise to blindly follow the teaching of another person or philosophy, no matter how wonderful or successful it may seem. The essential reason is that each of us is a little different from the teachers we admire (sometimes very different). This is an obvious point, but it is one that many of us fail to fully acknowledge. It is important that we tailor ourselves a life process or path that is a fit for our own souls.

The idea is not difficult to understand. But there are some distinctions that each of us needs to keep in mind.

 

Which path?

When we are just starting out in life it is perfectly understandable that we choose a particular teaching or teacher, and try to model ourselves upon them.

When I was in my 20s I tried to be like mystic Stuart Wilde. But I discovered that being a visionary was a bit trippy. A bit later on I tried to be like Anthony Robbins. Later I realised that my teeth just weren’t big enough.

In my thirties I applied myself diligently in following the way of a master of presence – Leonard Jacobson. Leonard is a wonderful spiritual teacher. But I am not Leonard, and he is not me.

I’m a bit slow on the uptake sometimes, which probably explains why it took me a few years to work out something incredibly simple in relation to my attempts to apply Leonard’s teachings.

leonardphoto4

Leonard Jacobson

 

Leonard and the river

Leonard’s story is remarkable. In the 1980s he had several spontaneous spiritual awakenings which involved transcendent states of consciousness. There was little or no suffering in this for Leonard. He wasn’t trying to achieve anything spiritual, nor escape anything. In 1981 at a retreat near the Bellingen River in northern New South Wales, he threw himself into the flood-swollen river. When he emerged he discovered that he was in a profound state of non-ordinary consciousness. Everything seemed to contain love and beauty. He was filled with a great sense of gratitude for existence itself.

While such exalted states came and went, Leonard’s experience of divine presence remains to this day.

My own journey has been quite different from Leonard’s. My family background was quite dark, and as a child and young man I was exposed to alcoholism, drug abuse and the literal insanity of several close relatives.

When each of us is born into this world our minds become instantly imbedded in a pool of consciousness – that of our family and caregivers. I was therefore born into a vortex of great darkness.

I left Australia at the age of thirty – in part – to escape that darkness. Not long after I arrived in New Zealand I undertook some intense spiritual training, and in the process became highly clairvoyant. I saw intuitively that my mind was still gravely affected by the mental projections of my relatives. It was truly frightening to see the depth of that darkness, and to have to acknowledge how damaged I’d become as a result of it. The heaviness of dark energy was such that it was often exhausting just to be.

It was the realisation of all this – and the suffering implicit in being trapped in such darkness – that spurred me towards my particular spiritual journey.

As you can see, this is quite a different introduction to “spirituality” than that of Leonard Jacobson. Do not get me wrong. I have come to accept the truth of what Leonard teaches, and I apply much of that to my daily life. Yet there were some things he could not teach me – things that he does not understand (as far as I can tell), because his journey did not traverse the darkness that mine did.

So it was that about twelve years ago I asked Leonard what the best way is to deal with the destructive consciousness fields that were plaguing me. I will not go into details here, but the answer he gave me suggested that he did not understand what I was experiencing; because he had not experienced such things in his own lifetime (at least not at the same depth).

I applied Leonard’s advice. Yet it did not free me from those mental projections. In fact, I eventually learned that I had to do something that no other spiritual teacher I ever met advised me.

I had to learn to fight. To fight the darkness.

Perhaps “fight” is not quite the right word. A better term might be to “stand in my power.” But the intensity of the projections that I experienced had been such that the solution required the embodiment of a warrior energy. There was no way around this, because at a soul level I had come to believe that I was worthless, unlovable and intrinsically “bad”. My soul story was that of “The Sacrifice” – the one who is taunted, haunted and enchained by those of dark intent.

Consciousness fields work like attractor fields in physics. At an energetic level I had become what I believed. I needed to change the story, change the beliefs, and embody a more empowered male energy.

Unfortunately – to continue the physics analogies – systems tend to remain at rest unless they are acted upon. Those with whom I was playing out a karmic story of the victim did not wish to relinquish their power over me. That was where the warrior energy needed to come in. I literally had to scream it out of my base chakra.

To this day I have to keep standing up for myself. Old stories – like old habits – die hard.

Often I have asked God why my mind came to be embedded in such darkness. The pattern appears to transcend a single lifetime. But I have never gotten a definitive answer. It seems to be part of my soul’s journey, something unconsciously “chosen” when I came to believe that I was “bad and worthless”.

My journey is different from Leonard’s and many other peoples.

Your journey is probably quite different from mine.

In the end I realised that I was unique, and that I had to draw from a variety of sources to learn how to deal with the specific soul issues and spiritual challenges I faced.

I also discovered that what works in one phase of life does not always work so well in another phase. I had to learn to modify processes and approaches, and emphasise them to different degrees during different periods of my life.

 

So..;

I suggest that you stop trying to be someone else – whether the person be a contemporary role model of yours, or a teacher who has passed on (Jesus, the Buddha, gandhi etc.). After all, how many of us has had exactly the same soul journey as Jesus? How many can endure the outrageous suffering of Gandhi? How many can afford enough toothpaste to be Anthony Robbins?

The key then is to observe yourself as you travel through life. By all means apply the teachings which you feel are suitable for you. There are many fine and beautiful teachings out there, and many great teachers.

And follow through with the process. Some processes require many years of application, and attitudes and skills often require a lifetime commitment.

You might apply different processes and tools than your friends. And that is perfectly understandable. Remember, your life experience, soul needs and soul story are unique.

Nor should you insist that what works for you will work for others. By all means share your wisdom and experience. But do not try to impose “the one true path” upon anyone else. That is an ego game of power and control.

Most of all, be gentle and forgiving of yourself. Have fun along the way. Be committed, but don’t take it all too seriously. As Anita Moorjani is so fond of saying, you are a magnificent human being who is totally worthy of divine love.

You are not here to be perfect. You are here to be human. You are here to be yourself. And there is nobody else that is quite like you.

So live that, and love it. Joyfully.

 

Marcus

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Live Your Soul Purpose Workshop, August 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you who are in the Melbourne area, I am running the following workshop very soon at the Enkindle Wellness Centre, in Gisborne. The first workshop in North Melbourne was a great success, and we already have a list of people who have signed up for the second.

Here are the details for the workshop.

All the best,

Marcus

 

Live Your Soul Purpose

A workshop with Marcus T Anthony, PhD

 

Each of us carries within us a soul template which has encoded upon it all the information and wisdom you need to live your life to your highest purpose. Based on Marcus’ book Discover Your Soul Template, this practical and hands-on workshop has the specific purpose of providing you with all the tools and understandings you need to find and live your calling.

 

In Live Your Soul Purpose you may discover:

  • What your soul calling is, and how to begin to turn it into a worldly reality.
  • How to develop profound intuition, unbounded by space and time.
  • The essential Soul Issues which you are here to address.
  • How to use the power of presence to align each moment and day with your highest good.
  • How to release the me-centred mindset which lies at the heart of so much human suffering.
  • How to develop the right relationship with ego.
  • How to live, love, work and play in the world of time with joy and spontaneity, and without getting lost in the ego.

 

Time: Sunday August 18th 2013, 12.00 midday till 5.00 pm.

Location: Enkindle Wellness, 55 Heather Rd, Gisborne (north-west of Melbourne).

Cost: AUS$90 per person (early bird AUS$80, by July 6th, concession available). Includes a free copy of Discover Your Soul Template, valued at $25 in bookstores. For more information go to www.enkindlecommunity.com.au/workshops and click on the link. You can bring a second person along for $49, and every person after that for only $33. (Of course each person can share that total equally e.g. three people = $172 /3)

Contact: email: marcus@marcustanthony.com, mobile: 0403 526 001.

Note, if you prefer, you can also pay directly through my bank account:

Acct name: Marcus Anthony

Acct No: 14-361-8385

BSB: 083-785

Swift code: NAT AAU 3303M

Bank Address:

National Australia Bank, Greensborough, VIC, Australia.

Level 1, 49-51 Main Street, Greensborough, VIC, 3088, Australia

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Breaking the Chains of Karma: Sunil’s Story (The 5 Minute Mystic)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short link to this page: http://ow.ly/lPuSh

This is a rather special edition of The Five Minute Mystic. And not just because it is longer than usual!

Recently a man from India (I shall call him Sunil) wrote me an email (you can see it below). In the email Sunil describes his experience of suffering because of a poor sense of self-worth: essentially of feeling unlovable. I feel that his case deserves special consideration, as it reflects many of the issues that we face in our lives, though perhaps on a greater scale than average. I go into some depth about how personal biography (childhood) and the idea of karma and past lives affects us in daily life. It also touches upon the evolution of the human oversoul. I think it contains much that is important for people who are on a spiritual journey.

Here is Sunil’s email, and my response is contained in the two videos, below that.

Finally, thank you Sunil for having the courage to share your story with us.

Regards,

Marcus

PS. It isn’t possible to explain some important subjects at length in a video. If you want to know more about why I do not believe in the popular idea of karma, you can read more my ebook The Truth about Karma: http://ow.ly/lwNS6. And find out more about Life Alignment here.

 

Dear Mr. Marcus Anthony,

I am really glad to write this email, because currently I am reading your book Discover Your Soul Template. It has provided a lot of insight for me.

 OK I’ll tell my story. I must be honest about myself. I got your book in some site only for free. I am in India, especially South Indians don’t have much money to get direct counselling…

 My problem is that I can’t… talk to people in general, mostly with females and the also same energy with males… I am feeling high pressure in my head and my eyes, I am feeling fear, shame, low self-esteem, doubt and anxiety every time (I) interact with women, but I very much love women and sex.

 I am 33 years old now. For the past 16 years I have been suffering from the same problem. I don’t know how it started in my life, but it hurts me (greatly). Almost all the day I am affected (by) this (great) pain.

 In general, I like to talk to people, particularly women, and also men, but I can’t do that. I don’t have that concentration power, because (the feeling) simply overrides my conscious mind. My face becomes full of tightness and I (cannot look at) people’s faces directly. During the experience I just want to escape from the situation.

 Sometimes I talk with people with confidence, (and during) that time I am normal, but it only lasts for 1 to 2 hours normally… But in my anxiety time, they are not able to interact with me happily, my eyes become like starring too much.

 I want to seriously get rid of this problem. Kindly guide me for this soul problem. I am looking (to) you as my deepest friend and spiritual teacher.

 I am expecting your email of healing power.

 Sunil

Short links: Part 1: http://ow.ly/lPrSS,  Part 2:  http://ow.ly/lPrYK

 

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When life pushes your buttons

 

 

 

 

 

As I mention in more detail in Discover Your Soul Template, as you step forward into unknown territory, life will tend to push your buttons. Your energy will react with some people, and personal dramas will ensue. Self-doubt, fear, anger and blame will surface from time to time.

What a great opportunity to deepen your relationship with your mind!

All that is happening here is that your personal pain and the stories that lie behind it are surfacing from within your psyche. In the instance of my failing to secure a university post, what lay behind it was the experience of rejection and neglect as a child – and in past lives. The story was

 

“Life is so hard! Everything is so unfair. What about me!? Nobody cares if I live or die! Fuck you, fuck this world!”

 

It’s an amusing little story, isn’t it? You could write a Hollywood script based on those themes. But it wouldn’t be terribly original, as this same story has been told a million times before. That’s why mystic Leonard Jacobson tells people to shut up (more or less) when they start on with the tale of Poor Little Me. It’s been done to death.

It’s just another game you play to deny yourself divine love.

Whatever the specifics of your story, it is easy enough to identify. When the shit is hitting the fan and you feel like taking a semi-automatic into McDonald’s and setting things right once and for all, just make time in a private place to get in touch with your inner terrorist. You might like to try Deepening Tools 7 and 9, in Appendix 2. Let the ego and the wounded child speak. And as you wail and scream and blame and hate everyone and God itself, you might even find the voices of lives past begin to rise from within. If so, just let them have their way. Then, when they have done doing the victim thing, gently but firmly tell them that what they are “seeing” is not real. It’s just that old story playing over again.

Finally, in the quiet of that private place, bring your attention back to your body, your breath, and to the eternal present, where you can be still. This is where you surrender to God, or Spirit the Universe or whatever you want to call it.

 

The power of prayer

I personally find prayer to be of the utmost importance as part of the surrender process. Many people use prayer to ask for what they want. While this is not intrinsically wrong, it is not the most powerful form of prayer. In fact prayer can be an act of surrender to a power and Grace that is beyond you and your conscious ability to fully comprehend. Indeed, there are three times that surrendering via prayer is most appropriate.

 

1)             When you realise that you are powerless. Sometimes there is nothing you can consciously or deliberately do to change the situation. This may include personal behaviours, habits and beliefs. For example, after I have done a personal session to connect with my wounded or karmic child, I then surrender to God. I know I have done everything in my conscious power to see the issue and feel what is within me. The rest is out of my control.

2)             When you do not know whether you have any power or not. Such a situation tends to create confusion, and confusion is not an ideal state to access your intuition or take action. If you are genuinely confused, it is better just to give it over to God. And wait.

3)             When you do not know whether you should attempt to take action to change the situation or not. This may be related to the second point, or it may simply be that you don’t have a clear sense of what to do.

 

No doubt you are probably thinking that all this is very different from what you will find in many naive Law of Attraction teachings, such as The Secret. In those teachings you often get told that you are the God of your own universe, that you can have it all.

I am telling you that there are many occasions in life that you will not get what you want. I am telling you that there are times when you will try and fail. And there are times when your ego will react with fear and anger – the times when your soul issues and soul pain get triggered.

And there are times when you just don’t know what the hell is going on.

These are the times when surrender and prayer are so very powerful. In the process of complete surrender you release all control of the outcome, including all attempts to control your psyche; and you release all judgment of yourself, the world and others. This is the state in which true love and forgiveness arise spontaneously, like a flower emerging from the earth after the spring rains. Often it is a moment of awe and wonder, as the simple act of surrender may dramatically shift your energy from struggle to relaxed presence.

Paradoxically, this state of powerlessness is where your true power rests. For surrender washes away the last resistance of ego. And you are free; free in the silence of the moment, resting within the nothingness that is everything.

That moment is the base from which you can, when ready, begin to move back out into the world and create preferred futures with your focused intention. And in true alignment with Spirit.

Just remember to take your wounded and karmic children with you, as they tend to play up if they are not given the love and attention they need.

 

Action and imagination

Regardless of what has occurred in the immediate past – whether you are just emerging from an ego fall, a genuine spiritual test, or a more gentle time of relaxed joyfulness – you can use Creative Imagination to visualise your desired future, and to attract that which you desire.

You will note that there is an essential difference between using visualisation before Gentle Aligned Action and the way many Law of Attraction books and videos recommend mental imagery be used. In many of the latter teachings, you visualise yourself in a specific future regardless of the energy that future contains. I am suggesting that before you go about doing any creative visualisation for specific goals that you should first check to see if that future is aligned with your highest good, and the highest good of the cosmos.

Remember, just because you would like to see yourself placed strategically before the heaving bosom of that aforementioned porn star does not make it an appropriate destiny. That poor lass probably has other plans, anyway.

 

This is an extract taken from the book A More Attractive Law of Attraction, (http://ow.ly/lwKC9)

by Marcus T Anthony

 LOA cover 2

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How to Distinguish the Ego from the Inner Sage? (5-min Mystic #5)

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Here we go again with another installment of The Five Minute Mystic. The question I am answering comes from Graham, who asks:

“During meditation I hear a strong voice – I assume it’s the ego – and a quiet voice that comes from much deeper. Also it’s hard to register what the quiet voice is saying and showing me, as it is right on the verge of sleep and hard to understand. How do you better connect with the quiet voice and how do you distinguish what part of you the voices are – ego sage or child?” See my answer in the video, below.

If you have a question you would like me to answer, email it to me, marcus@marcustanthony.com; or alternatively write it in the comments section below.

All the best,

Marcus

 

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A More Attractive Law of Attraction (Part 1)…

This is the first of a two-part article, taken directly from the ebook “A More Attractive Law of Attraction”, which is part of “The Deepening” series of ebooks by Marcus T Anthony.

 

The new age and alternative spirituality movements are dominated by the idea of the law of attraction. I think that I can write that without much fear of being wrong, but perhaps not without fear of having crystals and empty bottles of incense thrown in my general direction.

In case you have been in a self-induced trance for the past three decades, the law of attraction is the idea – made ever more popular in recent years by Rhonda Byrne and The Secret video and books – that through the power of intention we can create our dreams. To generalise, it is assumed that the law of attraction permits you to “manifest” in your life whatever you desire, through focused concentration, or simply believing it enough. Although the mechanism is never clearly explained, the idea is that “God” or “the universe” will give you whatever you want, just as long as you get your head together. I call this “the naïve law of attraction”, because my experience leads me to conclude that it is far from the truth. More to the point, if I call it “BS” I will never get invited to write here again and I’ll have to use a canary to snort my mail for traces of anthrax from this moment ever after.

So let me be direct but polite from the start, as that is the way I prefer to operate. My understanding is that the naïve law of attraction – as described in most popular literature and new age media – is mostly ego projection and contains strong elements of falsehood.

Having gotten this out of the way without having been struck down by the hand of God, I would like to now state that the purpose of this article is not to attack or belittle those who choose to follow such a belief structure. The universe grants us free will to decide what we want to believe and the way we want to live, and nobody has the right to stick their noses in our faces and tell us what to think. In fact my main task in this article is to describe an alternative to the law of attraction – and dare I say I consider it to be a more attractive variation on the theme, pun fully intended.

Here in Part 1 of this article I will state what I see as the main problems associated with the naïve law of attraction. Then in Part 2, I am then going to describe I consider to be a more workable philosophy which I call Gentle Aligned Action (assuming that I have not been run over by the local tofu truck by that time). This is an action-oriented philosophy which acknowledges some truths within the naïve idea of the law of attraction, but diverges in several important respects. Finally, I am going to state why I feel this is a far preferable way of living a spiritual and fulfilling life than those provided in such philosophies as outlined in The Secret.        

Ego falls

Last time I looked, the world’s great movers and shakers were not sitting around visualising world peace, or even their own material success. Most of the people buying new age books are middle and lower class folk feeling a little dissatisfied with their lot.

Yet perhaps the most problematic issue with the naïve law of attraction is that so many people who profess to believe it come unstuck. Many – I would say the vast majority – are not able to manifest the life of abundant material happiness they seek.

A fairly recent example of such an ego fall involved James Arthur Ray, one of the key presenters in The Secret video. The relevant incident occurred near Sedona, Arizona, where Ray’s spiritual retreat, featuring a native American sweat lodge, went horribly wrong. Three of the 50 or so people in the sweat lodge died. All participants paid about US$10,000 for the weekend.

There were allegations of negligence, especially in the setting up of the sweat lodge. Extreme heat and lack of oxygen may have been what caused the deaths of the participants. Ironically, Ray allegedly wrote on his blog, “One has to die before one is spiritually reborn”, the night before the tragedy. Oops.

Ray was eventually charged with manslaughter, and was found guilty of negligent homicide in June 2011.

One of the most successful law of attraction teachers is Dr Wayne Dyer. Dyer may well be the most successful “new age” writer/philosopher in history. Certainly he is right up there with Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, Rhonda Byrne and a few others. For years Dyer has been teaching that one can manifest one’s intentions.

However in recent years Wayne Dyer has suffered several rather large ego falls, and I am not talking about hair loss. Ego falls are a common human experience. They occur when the ego builds a delusion about who or what it is, and then life offers a “correction”. People who write and teach about spirituality are very prone to such falls, and I include myself in that category.

Wayne Dyer’s falls have been real tests for him. First, his wife, and the mother of his seven children, announced that she was leaving him for another man. Dyer admitted that he had been unfaithful to her. Then he suffered a heart attack, and ended up strapped into a hospital bed, his fate controlled by the impersonal mechanisms of hospital technology. This must have been difficult to endure for a man who had run four miles every day of his life for several decades. Then recently, as if The Creator couldn’t slap him any harder, he was diagnosed with leukemia. According to Dyer, this is not a life-threatening form of the disease, yet it surely must be a test of his courage and belief structures.

Ego falls are not necessarily the end of the world. If the individual permits the consciousness contained in the fall to be fully received, the lesson is learned. The fall may actually presage a period of growth, or a deepening into Spirit. To the outside world, though, it may look like you have failed, been a hypocrite, or just made an idiot out of yourself. Indeed, if the ego does not ‘get’ the lesson, then these judgments may be valid. An honest admission is required. “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” doesn’t cut it, just in case any ex-presidents are reading this.

I have read one or two interviews that Wayne Dyer has given recently, and I must say that my sense of respect for him has deepened. He appears to have accepted the “corrections” that life has shown him. His courageous, honest and direct response to his setbacks shows him to be a man who walks the talk. He has openly discussed the way the ego creates illusions, and the way that the falls it experiences can assist us on our spiritual journeys.

 The key point I wish to make is that Wayne Dyer has shifted his understanding of the law of attraction. He now says that we do not attract what we want, but what we are. This should be a wakeup call to many. My interpretation of this is that “what we are” refers to the totality of our consciousness – not just the ego and what it desires. For the human mind is deep. This brings us to the small issue of “the shadow”.

 

The darkness within – and beyond              
Many years ago I underwent intensive spiritual training with some genuine kick-ass spiritual teachers. Perhaps the most powerful thing they ever taught me was to be vigilant about my intentions, and this caused me to delve deeply into my shadow – the dark and murky depths of my own mind. As a result I became increasingly transparent unto myself and quickly learned to befriend my inner trickster. My teachers helped me out a bit by rubbing it in my face, but that is another story.

I also learned to read the shadows within other people’s minds, regardless of who they are or where they are. And this leads me to another major reservation I have about the naïve law of attraction – my intuitive readings of the intentions of some teachers in the field. When I come across books and videos about the law of attraction (or any other subject matter) I look within the person, or into the energy behind the project, to see where they are coming from. Much of the time the energy is in alignment with darker intentions: drives for attention, money, power and control. This is the same shadowy territory where ex-presidents get overly creative with their boxes of cigars.

Make no mistake. The ego is a trickster and tries to hide itself from the conscious mind. Much of the problem I am talking about is by definition unconscious. The practitioners simply don’t know what they are doing.For this reason I have not been overly surprised when I have read of several ego falls by law of attraction advocates in recent times.

My experience with the law of attraction     
Let me now explain how my personal experience has led to my questioning the naive version of the law of attraction. I have experimented with the idea for many years and discovered that the universe doesn’t just bend its ways to accommodate personal will. In this regard I am in agreement with Wayne Dyer.

Nonetheless, the truth as far as I have been able to gather is that the universe does tend to reflect back to you your beliefs about reality. Now this is quite a different thing from saying that you can control reality directly, or make something happen just by thinking about it.

Rather than attempt to explain the fine details of my understanding, let me relate a cautionary tale which I feel will share the required knowledge. I recall the exact moment when I came to finally accept that we attract not what we want, but what we are.

As is often the case, it all came after an ego fall. In 2009 had an interview for a postdoctoral position at a prestigious university in Asia. I had followed through and applied for the job, even though I had a very strong feeling that it wasn’t right for me. But after getting a phone interview, I became increasingly attached to the idea of working as a big-note university professor at a snobby university. After all, it was not an unreasonable expectation. And after the preliminary phone interviews there were only two people granted face-to-face interviews, and I was extremely well-qualified. I had done everything I could possibly do for a recently-graduated PhD. Indeed I had excelled myself in terms of publication and writing, having already published some thirty papers in the two and a half years since I had been awarded the degree, an almost unheard of amount of work.

I spent a month preparing a 45 minute presentation on Deep Futures, arguing that it was time to move beyond materialistic “money and machines” models of economic development. Instead we should embrace futures which honour a deeper experience of life, including the spiritual (you can see the academic paper I wrote as part of that job application here).

What’s more I decided to use the law of attraction to get an edge on my opponent. I visualised myself clearly performing well in the interview, and then being granted the position. Just as they advise in The Secret, I felt myself sitting in front of a huge oak table in a throne-sized chair in that swanky office and in that exotic location, having secured the job. I added a box of cigars on the desk, just in case the secretary was hot.

I flew into the said country feeling apprehensive. Something just didn’t feel right about the whole situation. The morning of the interview I woke up in my hotel room, and as usual, I received a message from Spirit in the form of lyrics from a song which popped into my head. The words were crisp, clear. The words came from an old Eagles song: “I don’t know when I realised the dream was over”.

The meaning was obvious, and it wasn’t merely that I was still stuck in the 1970s. No. This wasn’t meant to be. My initial reading of the energy had been right.

Still, I resisted (which Spirit always allows). I decided to give the interview my best shot.

A few hours later I gave my presentation to the interviewing committee. After I had finished, several committee members were openly disdainful, even hostile towards me. I did my best to answer their tough questions, yet as a recently graduated PhD, and with relatively little experience in university settings, I probably didn’t satisfy some of them.

I didn’t get the job.

For about a week I felt great despair. I had failed yet again to attain what I had wanted. I reverted to a victim mentality, (which is what I refer to as a “soul issue” for me). I did an awful lot of soul searching. Then, the following Sunday, sitting by myself and feeling depressed and hopeless as I went through the interview in my mind for the hundredth time, I saw something clearly.

I had created my own suffering by aligning myself not with the energy of Spirit, but with the intentions of my ego.

But I got it. I took the shot and fell. It was humbling, but freeing at the same time. And I was immediately liberated from my own delusion.

I did not return to the victim state, or the depression. The lesson had been learned. Before we invest emotional energy and the energy of intention into a dream, we should first check to see if the energy is meant to be. For the universe is not a smorgasbord catering to our orders for better service.

The universe is generous, but we must respect her wishes. But more about that in part 2.

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Games You Play to Deny Your Brilliance

The following is an extract from my ebook Games You Play to Deny Yourself Divine Love If you would like a free review copy of this ebook, simply email me, Marcus, mindfutures@icloud.com.

 

 

A lot of people complain about not having enough money. You probably nod your head in agreement when you hear that fellow at work going on about his financial ills. After all, you can relate to his plight. Perhaps you have done your fair share of such complaining from time to time (After all, no matter how much money we have, just a little more would be nice right?).But what if that whining, cash-strapped chap had handfuls of diamonds stuffed into his trouser pockets even as he was complaining about how impoverished he is? Think about that. Our friend isn’t too bright and doesn’t know that diamonds are worth a fortune (he just likes the way they sparkle, and throws them away as soon as he gets a little bored or distracted). Little does he realise that he is just a short jeweller-trip away from having more of the green stuff than he ever imagined.

If this actually happened you’d probably think he was more than a little cognitively challenged. Perhaps even borderline insane. How could a grown man live and work in modern society without understanding the value of a diamond? After all, it’s all over the media and everyone knows that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Hell, forget the girls. Just gimme some of those things!

 

“Hey mate,” you say, pointing at your friend’s bulging pockets. “What’s that stuff you got there?”

“It’s nothin’. Just some shiny rocks I picked up at the quarry. They are everywhere down there.”

“Shit no!” You yell frantically, waving your arms around like a signalman at Heathrow. “They’re diamonds. You’re rich! Filthy stinkin’ rich I tell ya!”

Your friend gazes out the window for a moment, lost in some faraway place. “Did you hear the news? The economy is on the skids. The banks are going bottom up. I’ve heard that gold will soon be the only working currency.” His voice trails off, soft, lost, defeated.

“What! Are you f…ing bat-shit crazy? Who needs gold when you have diamonds?”

“Thanks for your concern,” returns your friend, now fidgeting with his mobile phone, looking bored and dissatisfied. “Look at those stocks plummeting. It’s the end of everything.”

“You’ve got to listen to me, bro…”

But your friend is not listening. “Yep, I’ve got to finish off some work on the computer. Just too busy these days. Talk to you later.”

“You idiot!” You scream as you wind up and deliver a great slap across your friend’s sickly, vampire-white face. But it’s no use. Your workmate barely flinches, continuing to stare blankly at his mobile for a moment, mumbling something about the bad headlines in the finance pages.

“See you round,” he says meekly without making eye contact. And so off he goes, diamonds rustling in his pants as he shuffles away to log onto FaceBook for another two hours.

 

Of course such an absurd scenario could never happen. Everyone knows that diamonds will net you bucket-loads of moola. A person would have to be seriously cognitively impaired not to understand that. Right?

So you are never going to meet anyone like that. Not ever. You are more likely to catch a hip-hop star wearing short-shorts and ugg boots while attending a Justin Beiber concert.

Yet there is an absurdity of equal proportions that is pervasive in the modern world. It’s just that it is even more ridiculous. Yes, there is the equivalent of people walking around today with their pockets stuffed full of diamonds complaining about their personal finances. Only the riches they fail to see are far more valuable than any lottery prize you could ever win.

It is not bag loads of cash that lie everywhere undetected. It is God-given divine love, the most precious and beautiful thing in existence.

You are “rich” beyond measure. You just don’t know it yet.

 

Your innate brilliance

You are a magnificent human being who is completely worthy of unconditional love. Divine love. The essence of your being is pristine, innocent, brilliant.

Powerful beyond measure. But this is not power as we modern humans commonly think of the word. This is not about control over the world and its people such that our immediate gratifications are met. It is nothing less than the power to radiate the brilliance of your being, a power so great that no force can stop it.

You came from perfect love, and that is the state to which you will eventually return. There is nothing you have ever done or could possible ever do that could ever change this.

Nothing.

You have just temporarily forgotten who you are.

But how did you forget?

The answer is as obvious as the love that I refer to, and just as easily missed.

There is a profound truth that is the very essence of simplicity: we shut out the light of love through judgment: judgment of others, of the world, and especially of ourselves. For self-judgment is self-rejection. It is neither God nor the devil that dims our brilliance. It is not even your parents, teachers or friends; nor could any government conspiracy possibly pull it off. At the deepest level all these are powerless till we give our power away to them.

No. You do it to yourself. You do so unconsciously, because that is what you have been conditioned to do by society, family and friends.

Of particular importance here is the endless rejection and suppression of your emotions.

And if you are just foolish enough to go on a spiritual journey, you probably judge yourself for judging yourself (and others). All we spiritual folk know that judgment is bad, so we have to slap it out of ourselves. Out, damned spot!

Too bad that judging judgment is itself a judgment. How do you get rid of that?

That is part of what I call “the spiritual trap”. That is, trying to become more spiritual by pretending that you are not really human anymore. The error is in rejecting your humanness, and believing that you have to become something super-human. In fact The Deepening is all about relaxing into the truth of all that you are, and allowing yourself to fall in love with yourself.

Having a mind is like carrying a big stick around all day and using it to beat everything and everybody you encounter, including yourself. So what hope is there, when the very nature of mind is judgmental? And we all have a mind, right? The good news is that there is hope, and that is the entire purpose of The Deepening books. Yet that hope is not in trying to get rid of your mind, as some spiritual philosophies insist is possible. Your purpose is to develop a more loving and disciplined relationship with your thoughts.

Trying to get rid of your mind is like trying to get rid of your shadow. You are just going to drive yourself to the brink of infirmity even trying. I don’t want to see you wandering down the street one day with a great grin on your, bestowing your grandiose beneficence upon the ignorant common folk while carrying a giant spotlight as you attempt to annihilate any trace of your shadow whenever the sun emerges from behind a cloud.

No, we don’t have to try so damn hard. We just have to allow ourselves to be more fully human.

 

The many guises of judgment

Judgment comes in numerous forms. You will be familiar with all of them, no doubt, being the owner of that little thing called a mind.

 

·       Frustration

·       Anxiety/worry

·       Doubt (including self-doubt)

·       Blame

·       Guilt (or self-blame)

·       Distrust

·       Expectation (of favourable or unfavourable outcomes)

·       Jealousy and envy

·       Hopelessness

This is an extract from Marcus T Anthony’s ebook Games You Play to Deny Yourself Divine Love. If you would like to receive a free review copy of this ebook, simply email Marcus, mindfutures@icloud.com.

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