Tag Archives: mysticism

Is Following Your Passion Dangerous? (2)


In a recent post I reviewed Cal Newport’s excellent book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You. Newport adopts a well-researched, “rational” approach to the issue. His main findings are that:

• It is foolish to dash headlong into a new career without first establishing career capital (skills, knowledge and connections).
• Innate passions which can be transferred into paid work are rare and it is better to experiment with life to find work you can become passionate about.
• If you cannot see any pre-existing people being paid for your “passion”, don’t try to turn it into work.
• By developing rare and valuable skills, a person’s work will be in demand.
• It is necessary to use deliberate practice to develop such high-level skills in your area of work. This may not be fun at all, and mastery typically takes some 10 000 hours of practice.
• A person needs to develop a mission which helps them focus their work into a precise area, and to avoid scattering one’s energy.
• Patience is required. It takes time and a great deal of work to become great at something.
• Newport heavily criticises the popular self-help-book suggestion that the most important step in developing blissful work is having the courage to quit your job and begin your new, passionate career. This is foolish and likely to lead to failure and rejection if it is done before a person has established career capital in his new field.
These are all common sense, and very useful insights.

However, having mentioned so many positives in that previous post, let me now move onto several reservations I have about Newport’s approach to finding passionate, meaningful work.

Spinning the cherries
Newport cherry picks his case studies. The fact that he does not offer a single exceptional case – one that contradicts his thesis – suggests that his conclusions may be exaggerated. He also appears to “spin” these cases to ensure that they support his argument, highlighting those aspects which are affirmative, but explaining away those things which might potentially contravene his line of argumentation.

For example, he dismisses the case of Steve Jobs – whose Stanford graduation speech on following one’s passion has twenty million hits on YouTube – as evidence for the passion hypothesis. Newport points out that in his youth Jobs studied literature, physics and history at Reed College, a liberal Arts school, and not business or electronics. Jobs was also passionate about spirituality, consciousness expansion and Eastern mysticism. If he’d followed his own advice, writes Newport, Jobs would have become a zen teacher. Newport says that all the Jobs’ biography proves is that it’s good to be passionate about what you do.

But is this really a fair assessment of Jobs’ innate passions?

Newport appears to be playing a semantic game here. Can Newport’s term “electronics” really encapsulate the passion of Steve Jobs? And is not “business” what most self-starters do to turn anything into a successful career? Perhaps terms like “creative inspiration” or “design” are more appropriate descriptions for the innate passions of Steve Jobs. His work at Apple would then seem like an apt fit. And clearly Jobs felt he was living his passion. This is not something that can be so easily dismissed.

In my own life I have found that my passion centres around my work as a writer and explorer of consciousness and spirituality. I certainly didn’t know this when I was twenty. In fact, I never had any genuine spiritual understanding till I was about twenty-six – I was actually a sceptic before that time. I studied English and History at University and loved sport as a kid. Thus it may appear to an outsider that my life affirms Newport’s thesis.

But the truth is that I was always deeply introspective. I just needed life experience to bring that out. So in a sense Newport is both right and wrong. It did require the travails of life for me to discover my calling. But I do not feel that this passion was created by my life experience: that passion was always extant. It was a mere potential.

Therefore I am not in full agreement with Newport that we may as well stick a list of ten appealing pastimes on a wall and throw a dart at them to choose which one to explore as a great career (as he states on a Youtube video). I believe that we must also develop an inner wisdom, and use that intuitive intelligence to help us develop our calling in cooperation with life.

Another problematic case study brought forward by Newport involves the story of Ryan and Sarah’s highly successful organic farm at Red Fire, Grandby. Ryan is a former banker who quit his job to set up the farm. According to Newport, Ryan stumbled into his new profession – he literally “grew into it.” However, this is not a logical assessment. From Newport’s description of Ryan, it appears the man always had an innate enthusiasm for working in nature. The fact that he followed a path consistent with his inner world is therefore indication enough that he had a passion for it.

Such problematic interpretations are one of the key limitations of Newport’s thesis, as he regularly twists passion-positive case studies to ensure that the passion hypothesis is nullified.

To be more specific, Newport dismisses the idea of “passion” in relation to Ryan’s work because there were a series of steps over many years as Ryan discovered his “calling.” Such passion only ever develops over time, insists the author. Yet my sense is that Newport is playing word games again when he implies that any unfolding process that is not instantaneous cannot be called “passionate” in the same way that an innate enthusiasm can be.

Obviously it is true that a person’s life process can help reveal his deep passions, as has been true in my own life. Yet it is not simply the case that such passions are conditioned by the life process, which is what Newport suggests. Newport’s thesis is thus sometimes too black and white, adopting an unnecessarily strict dichotomy between careers sustained by passion versus those developed via craftsmanship.

Nonetheless, Newport’s statement that an individual has to acquire significant skills and career capital to succeed in new career directions remains very valid – and Ryan did just this over many years.

Out with introspection
Another significant shortcoming of Newport’s book is that he appears to have little practical understanding of introspection or human intuition. He is a successful university professor, and so his education has clearly valorised “rational” and scientific ways of knowing. He tends to dismiss personal insight and human intuition, often with subtle contempt or even ridicule.

A good example occurs very early in the book, when Newport begins with story of Thomas, a zen practitioner with a master’s degree in comparative religion.

In interview, Newport relates that Thomas, is reluctant to communicate the meaning of a specific zen koan. Newport gets around this by googling the koan. He then essentially treats it with contempt, apparently failing to consider the possibility that the Zen masters might be correct in suggesting that most people would have trouble truly understanding it with a standard analytical approach.

It is here that Newport is at his weakest. Sometimes he mirrors the arrogance of modern scientific “skepticism”, apparently believing that he does not need to undergo any introspective education or training in order to develop greater depth of intuitive perception. This attitude is epitomised when he announces that he has “debunked” the passion hypothesis. He contemptuously denounces the idea as an “occupational fairy tale.”

Newport appears to be on a kind of semi-religious quest to ensure that the passion hypothesis is killed off. Personally, I do not believe that things need to be taken that far.

Further, Newport does not entertain the possibility that science may be limited when it comes to understanding passion and innate human drive. A common criticism of modern brain science is that it is delimited. Empiricism and third-person approaches to dealing with human intention or consciousness cannot really get inside a person’s head. They can only map the correlates of consciousness. In short, science is incapable of truly understanding the spiritual dimensions of life.

To find the answers to the questions he asks, Newport consults academic journals and avoids introspective domains. Is it any surprise then that he completely dismisses and sometimes ridicules passion and introspection? Newport’s argument ultimately becomes circular. Introspection is inadequate, therefore introspection will be avoided as a means of insight into the problem of insight.

Is this shortcoming simply a lack of introspective intelligence on Newport’s behalf?

Fine distinctions
Newport’s analysis does not distinguish between passion and intuitive intelligence – what some might call spiritual guidance. Likewise, the Canadian college students who were surveyed about their “passions” were likely not introspective types in general, being mainstream-educated. The survey, and Newport, fails to discern the difference between the excitement of personal interests and the “excitement” which emerges from an inner sense of guidance.

There is no evidence in the book, nor in the public presentations that I have seen, that Newport has a well-developed inner world. Newport’s world is apparently random and the individual is soul agent of his life. Yet there are inner and mystical journeys where inner voice is crucial. The failure to address this is a prime shortcoming of Newport’s book. He seems to deny all inner guidance, seemingly completely ignorant of its existence. Founding his work only on science, it remains delimited by its boundaries. Modern science has actively denied intuition and introspection for centuries, and Newport unquestioningly follows in its footsteps.

My sense is that both the strengths and limitations of Newport’s book stem from his being an academic. He does a wonderful job in drawing attention to the pitfalls of blindly following your bliss. But he is singularly incapable of comprehending the subtleties of the inner intelligence of the wisdom traditions. By limiting his approach to academic analysis of research papers and personal case studies, Newport effectively silences many of the wisest men and women of history. Thus So Good They Can’t Ignore You remains very good, but limited; just as Newtonian physics was a wonderful approximation of an observable universe, but woefully inadequate once finer cosmic truths had been gleaned.

Excellent but flawed
So Good They Can’t Ignore You is an excellent book. I will be recommending this book to my own clients (I advise people on how to activate a broader range of human intelligence in developing an ideal life – especially intuitive intelligence). The book systematically addresses many of the common pitfalls that “life of passion” advocates experience (including my own). Given that these are very rarely addressed in self-help and new age philosophies, Newport’s book is an invaluable addition to those wishing to develop such a lifestyle. It’s conclusions remain strong, based as they are on science and relevant case studies. However, I would encourage readers to be mindful of Newport’s personal biases and limited understanding of introspection and human intuition.

Newport’s “complete rejection” of the passion hypothesis is understandable given his worldview, but nonetheless premature. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Review of Wayne Dyer’s “I Can See Clearly Now”



“I Can See Clearly Now” is a wonderful memoir which means a lot to me personally. It’s a little hefty at nearly 400 pages, but I read it in quick time. It’s a real page turner, and almost every page has at least one piece of great wisdom or insight.

I almost feel a little embarrassed at writing this review, as I have not read a Wayne Dyer book for well over a decade. Yet it was Wayne Dyer who first opened my eyes to a greater spiritual intention in the world when I picked up his book “You’ll See It When You Believe It” in 1992. That was at the local newsagent in a tiny town in outback Australia.

As Dyer writes, that older book was really the first volume he penned with a deep spiritual thrust. Before then he had primarily been writing popular psychology in the human potential genre. I remember the great excitement I felt all those years ago when I saw that book on the shelf; and I got exactly the same sense of excitement when I picked up “I Can See Clearly Now”. I bought it based purely on that intuition. And I am sure glad I did. Continue reading Review of Wayne Dyer’s “I Can See Clearly Now”

Can We See Into the Future?


Can we see into the future? This question was posed to me here on mind-futures.com recently, so today i am answering the question on The Five Minute Mystic. My answer is “Yes, we can sense the future”, and I also provide two simple and practical tools which will help you look into your own future.




The Darkness Within… and Beyond


This is the second part of my answer to Penny about how to deal with the human shadow – the unconsciousness within, or the human psyche. In my previous video I addressed the pros and cons of doing this kind of inner work, but kept my response confined to the standard model of the mind as you might find in typical depth psychology. In this post I address a less discussed aspect of shadow work – the “darkness” – or malevolent consciousness fields which can greatly affect the human mind.

Here are some of the questions I answer here:

Are dark consciousness fields real? Are Satan and demonic entities real? What of spiritual possession? What can we do to protect ourselves from dark energy? Should we seek to investigate these things at all, and what are the dangers… and benefits?



Book Proposal for “The Coming Consciousness Revolution”

Regular readers of this blog might remember my project The Coming Consciousness Revolution. (Note the previous title: The Great Mind Shift). I have previously written three posts on the topic.

In this post I am making public the book proposal. A book proposal is written for book publishers, of course, but this proposal also provides a good overview of the project to date. As stated in the proposal, I intend to interview many people as part of the book project. Not all those listed in the proposal have been contacted yet. So these names might change according to who agrees to be interviewed or not.

You can read the full PDF of the proposal by clicking on the link below, or just read the excerpts I have cut and pasted on this page.

Anthony TGMS propsal small

PS: If you wish to be kept up to date about research and developments regarding The Coming Consciousness Revolution (interviews, videos, the book project, important links to other works etc.) just email me at newsletter@marcustanthony.com, and I will send you updates every month or so.



GMS cover basics


Brief Description

There is a major shift emerging in science and society which will mark a dramatic change in education, business and life itself. Just as the twentieth century was one of disconnection and alienation, the twenty-first century will increasingly be the era of connectedness.

This connectedness will not merely be technological (a trend that is now universally accepted). Another powerful connective trend which is in its infancy is the acceptance of the extended mind – consciousness that is in dynamic relationship with other people, the environment and the cosmos itself. With this dramatic shift in the understanding of mind, the human intellect will be greatly expanded by “integrated intelligence” – the successful employment of the extended mind in solving problems. The way that integrated intelligence will dramatically impact the future is the central theme of The Coming Consciousness Revolution.

This inevitable revolution in cognitive science heralds an era of almost unimaginable opportunity for those informed enough to foresee what is coming.

In The Coming Consciousness Revolution, futurist Marcus T Anthony points the reader in the direction of change, and outlines what it will mean for life, work and society in the twenty-first century.


Not just a book…

The Coming Consciousness Revolution is more than merely a book. It is a multi-tiered project which incorporates the following elements:

  • Workshops and public talks. The Coming Consciousness Revolution project is taking these ideas and the practical tools to organisations and public groups around the world. Steaphen Pirie (author and change agent) will work with Marcus T Anthony on the Asian leg of the tour, which begins April 2014 in China. (e.g. see Marcus T Anthony’s 2012 TEDx talk in Hong Kong).
  • The Coming Consciousness Revolution app. This app will assist people in developing their integrated intelligence by allowing them to simply and easily input intuitive prompts, and then providing feedback about how effective their intuitive decision making is. The app is being developed with the help of Alick Lau, PhD, Director of Mind and Matter Ltd.
  • Radio, TV and social media interviews. I consider myself to be a confident and engaging speaker, and will be making full use of multi-media to promote the project.
  • Google hangouts and social media promotions.


Overview of the Project

What will happen once the extended mind becomes widely accepted in mainstream science and society?

There is a tendency for discussions about the extended mind, ESP, clairvoyance and so on to become strongly polarised into proponents versus skeptics. While part of The Coming Consciousness Revolution will highlight the key debates, I take the view that such arguments rarely alter the worldview of the debaters, and much energy can be wasted rehashing the same issues over and over again.

The position I take in The Coming Consciousness Revolution is that the evidence from parapsychology and other fields of enquiry is now strong, and that it will only get stronger in the coming years. The data is now compelling enough to begin to ask what this shift means for all of us.


The domains

The Coming Consciousness Revolution explores developments and opportunities in many different fields and disciplines – referred to as domains. These domains include biology, physics, consciousness studies/neuroscience, computing, social media, education and learning, the arts (creativity), health and healing, business, and spirituality.

Each domain is given a chapter in Part 3 of the book, and each chapter will include the following:

  • an overview of some of the most important current ideas and/or scientific developments in that domain;
  • informed predictions about where that domain will most likely develop in the coming decades as the great mind shift takes more definite form;
  • suggested opportunities for learning, business and personal growth in that domain;
  • a list of recommended reading for those wishing to explore that domain in more detail;
  • a interview at the end of the chapter with a leading thinker/practitioner within that domain.


The Book’s Purpose

The purpose of The Coming Consciousness Revolution is to create an effective bible for progressive thinkers and thought leaders who wish to be at the leading edge of the great mind shift. The book is designed to excite the thinking of the reader and open his/her mind to the wide array of possibilities and opportunities that the great mind shift will create. The cross-disciplinary nature of the book will allow the reader to glean insights from a wide array of fields of knowledge – something that is increasingly important in the modern age.

The book is particularly aimed at people who would like to seize opportunities in any of the domains covered. The Coming Consciousness Revolution is presented as a stimulus to encourage those with imagination and foresight to explore practical opportunities in business, career or life orientation in related areas.



Prediction is notoriously difficult for futurists. In my own futures work and academic writing I have tended to avoid prediction, instead focusing upon identifying critical insights into human development.  In The Great Mind Shift I break my own general rule.

Predictions can be classified into two forms. The first and least risky are based on trends – readily observable changes that are already occurring. For example, predicting that the internet will become far more pervasive in our lives, and that human intelligence will be enhanced by it is clearly very likely. Futurists – and many laymen – can often see obvious trends even as they are developing.

However a second class of prediction relates to what futurists call “wildcards” – developments which arrive in a hurry and often take everyone by surprise. The 911 event in New York was such an event, and it changed the world dramatically. Another example from global politics and economics – where timeframes can be longer – the “sudden” rise of China over a period of only two or three decades was completely unexpected by many.

These kinds of unforeseen changes can be the most destabilising for business, society and life in general. They often involve a paradigm shift, a new way of relating to the world and knowledge itself. Wildcards can be disastrous for organisations that are not prepared for them. Few foresaw the dotcom bubble bursting just before the turn of the century, but many companies failed completely as a result.

Nonetheless, for every wildcard event there are signs which people fail to acknowledge. There are often trends and data which are ignored by almost everyone. Yet that information is often freely accessible. The reason why so many people and organisations ignore the data is because the information lies beyond the dominant paradigm and suggests a shift that is too far “outside the box” for most laymen and experts to consider feasible.

The main argument of The Comng Consciousness Revolution is that the coming change in the way we see, access and employ consciousness is one such wildcard. The book will make clear that the data and historical evidence are already here, but mainstream thinking in science, education and business is too tunnel-visioned to acknowledge it – yet. Of particular importance is what Dean Radin calls “the psi taboo”, which effectively forbids open discussion of related subject matters.

When the great mind shift arrives the implications will be as far-reaching as is possible to imagine, possibly matching the seismic shifts of the Copernican revolution, Darwin’s natural selection and the scientific enlightenment.

The Coming Consciousness Revolution is not merely about data. It deliberately pushes the boundaries of the conventional. It therefore moves beyond the known to suggest possible and probable futures in each of the domains. This includes developing likely scenarios and visions which the reader can explore as possible opportunities.


The style

The Coming Consciousness Revolution is written in reader-friendly language and in a style which will allow laymen to grasp the content and enjoy the possibilities put forward. Some of the chapters on subjects like physics and biology will contain references to recent and complex debates, but they will be reduced to their most essential nature, with references provided for those wishing to explore them in more detail.

This book is written in a different style from my recent book Discover Your Soul Template. The market here is a more “serious” one, and so the style is less flippant and the language less colloquial. Nonetheless, the writer’s voice remains friendly and relaxed. The tone is not quite as formal as my first book Integrated Intelligence (Sense Publishers, 2008). That book, which covered similar ground to The Coming Consciousness Revolution was primarily for the academic market.

One of the great challenges in writing this book will be the introduction of my personal experience with Integrated Intelligence. My intention is not to feign pretense of impartiality in the subject matter, but to be quite open with my own wide experience in living with and teaching this innate human capacity. However the book is not about me (Marcus T Anthony), but about the great mind shift itself; so personal anecdote will be minimised. Insights taken from my life, my personal meditative and contemplative practice will form part of the text, but will not dominate it.

In short, The Coming Consciousness Revolution is written for the popular market of intelligent laymen. It targets those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of frontier areas in science and philosophy, how these will affect their lives within the next few decades, and the opportunities which can be taken advantage of.

PS: If you wish to be kept up to date about research and developments regarding The Coming Consciousness Revolution (interviews, videos, the book project, important links to other works etc.) just email me at newsletter@marcustanthony.com, and I will send you updates every month or so.


The True Cost of Living Your Bliss (1)

So you want to dive in at the deep end and get into this alternative philosophy business? And by “business”, I do mean business. Perhaps you have had a few personal experiences which have led you to deeply question the way dominant science and education represent the human condition. You might have had a spiritual experience or an intuitive foretaste of something extraordinary – a glimpse of what have been labelled the “supernatural” or “paranormal”. After such revelations the wise words of the American transcendentalists and Eastern mystics have no doubt been jumping out at you from behind metaphysical corners that you didn’t even know were there.

It could be that things have begun to gather momentum for you – not so much like a giant snow ball rolling downhill, but a great wave of mystical light cascading from the heavens. Reading a few books about things like “spiritual business” and “the law of attraction” may have begun to stir creative juices within your mind. You could be forgiven for starting to think of the possibilities. What if I put all that spiritual knowledge into this idea??

So now you are all set to go, full of excitement at the journey ahead – as a writer, public speaker, social media expert, researcher, healer, entrepreneur… Those famous words of perhaps the greatest of the American transcendentalists, Henry David Thoreau, never felt truer.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”

So it all looks pretty good from your current perspective, doesn’t it? Success seems almost divinely guaranteed. But before you step off onto the road less traveled, before you take that first step on the journey of ten thousand steps, you might like to consider the price.

“The price?”, you say. “What price? Everything’s cool!”

Please allow me to backtrack a little. Let me give you some advice from a traveller of both mystical and worldly waters. Permit me to return to where it all began for me…

Twenty years ago I made the big decision to resign from my job as a secondary school teacher in Warren, a tiny, remote town in western New South Wales, Australia. I had had enough of the mundane world of chalk and talk. My decision had been initiated a few months earlier when I had stumbled across Wayne Dyer’s new age tome You’ll See It When You Believe It in the local newsagent. Reading that book gave me the courage to quit. So I packed my stuff into my car and headed for greener shores – quite literally. I landed in Coffs Harbour, a nice little town on the north coast of the same state. As I outline in my book Discover Your Soul Template, my newly acquired mystical proclivities then led me to join a meditation group fronted by Lesley Halverson, a middle-aged woman with some obvious intuitive gifts. One evening after her meditation class had wound down, Lesley announced that she had dreamed of UFOs the previous night; and based upon that dream she predicted that UFOs would be observable at around 2.00 am that night. Although it seemed preposterous to me that anyone could predict such a thing based upon a dream, I challenged myself to get up at that ungodly hour and take a look around.

My naive mystical worldview was well rewarded, for that cool and starry winter’s morning I witnessed two very different UFO phenomena – one a great ball of shimmering light that glided silently across the sky, and the other a flotilla of disc-like objects which flew over my head at a distance of a few hundred metres.

You can imagine how this event forever changed the way I viewed life, science and education. No longer could I buy the dominant western worldview which depicts human beings as biological meat machines trapped without meaning and purpose in a mechanistic universe. Nor could I continue to commit to a nine-to-five mundane existence in my home country. Instead I embarked on a long journey of self-discovery that saw me live and work in five different countries. It also included exploring exhaustive spiritual disciplines and emotional healing that necessitated enormous courage and commitment.

Throughout this period I explored the mystical and spiritual realms via meditative and mindful practice, shifting my new worldview from a “belief” into lived experience. My innate intuitive abilities expanded and I developed cognitive capacities that had believed to be science fiction only a few years prior to that. I found that I could sense the future, channel creative energy, interact with spiritual dimensions and tap into consciousness fields of both individuals and groups.

During this time I did not ignore the more “rational” side of human experience. Eventually I earned a PhD, developing the concept of “integrated intelligence” – the idea that the human mind is not limited in space and time, and can draw upon non-local information. In my thesis I argued that consciousness is not confined to the brain, nor even to physical systems. Thus the notion of integrated intelligence was developed from both personal experience and formal research.

I kept working in mainstream education to pay the bills, even as I developed my esoteric and intuitive proclivities. Eventually I established a niche for myself as a researcher, writer and speaker. I became the futurist with a passion for Deep Futures, speaking and writing about how an unnecessarily delimited model of cosmos and consciousness was retarding human social and spiritual development. I published widely in magazines, newspapers and journals and successfully published my doctoral thesis. I was elated when I also got my first mainstream book contract.

Some fifteen years passed between the time I left my first teaching job until I published Discover Your Soul Template. In many ways it was a time of incredible excitement. I was following Thoreau’s advice and pursuing my dream. Success seemed to come easily. As I travelled from country to country I managed to earn a very good income, taking jobs that were high-paying but undemanding. This is what allowed me to pursue my doctorate and to write and present at academic conferences and in public domain.

It is not that there were no challenges during this period. Perhaps the greatest was acknowledging that I carried a huge amount of pain and self-limiting belief structures within my psyche. Working with that energy was often excruciatingly difficult. But overall I can say that everything fell together in what seemed to be divine perfection. As my wife noted, things just kept getting better and better.

Perhaps it was that this success had created a little naivety within me. I had conveniently forgotten something that Lesley Halverson had told me all those years ago when I had attended her mediation group. For one day she had passed on a message to me “from spirit”. It was the most simple communication imaginable.

“Remember that there is a price to pay for everything,” she had said.

That was it. The words had been spoken seemingly out of the blue in the middle of a meditation class. They were directed specifically at me. I suspect Lesley has probably forgotten about those words, but somehow they lingered in the back of my mind.

It took me many years to appreciate what they mean. I’m a slow learner.

So let me get back to my story. I haven’t quite finished yet.

It was only after I completed my PhD that I began to experience setbacks in my professional and personal life. The first and obvious problem was that my impassioned focus upon researching and writing about the spiritual and mystical had become a roadblock to my academic and public career. No university or academic institution would touch me. I got hundreds of rejections. I looked on with an increasingly despairing gaze as I saw some of my futurist colleagues (who did their doctorates in more mainstream fields) snap up university jobs with little or no effort. My papers were rejected at many academic conferences; and when I attended such conferences at my own expense, I often saw rather robotic and soulless presentations by professors who were just going through the motions of the academic system. I sat there thinking, “I know I could do a much better presentation than this!”

It was frustrating. It was disheartening. I felt angry and abandoned by the system.

When I returned to Australia from Asia things got even worse. Not only was I getting rejected by the universities; suddenly even public high schools would not hire me. My CV was a confusing mishmash of mundane public school teaching combined with extensive, self-funded academic qualifications and publications. I recall one interviewer looking at me with a rather puzzled expression. “It seems like you have even living two very different lives,” he said. I laughed. But the smile soon faded when he turned me away.

I experimented with different approaches. I submitted CVs leaving off all forty or so of my academic publications and erasing the PhD. But that just made me look like a middle-aged school teacher who had been too lazy to invest in career development for the previous twenty years.

The low point came when I had used up all my savings, and could no longer even afford to rent a house. While I was receiving an income stream from books and publications, it was nowhere near enough to live on. My wife and I were forced to move into a single room, sharing a house with three others.

I had to make a choice. Would I give up all that I had invested in my soul journey? Would I recommit to a mundane life of nine to five?

I’ll let you know what happened in the second part of this article, and I’ll also share with you some of the key distinctions I have taken from my setbacks.


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)


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.


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.



Guerrilla War, Unfair (part 1)



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

 In this post I will introduce the problem.

  • In the second post I will make some general points about what should be done, and why. I will also write why certain approaches are likely to be counterproductive – and potentially spiritually regressive.
  • In the final post I will provide some more practical tools and strategies, and suggest how this entire situation can be of great benefit to anybody on a path of awakening.


There’s a story doing the rounds amongst the pro-psi crowd at present (The pro-psi folks are those who take the affirmative side in the debate about the existence of psi phenomena such as ESP, telepathy and clairvoyance – I include myself in that group). The story involves the recent activities of the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia group. The guerrilla skeptics are a well-organised group of self-appointed online vigilantes whose prime mission is to attack and discredit all claims of the validity regarding spiritual, intuitive and alternative truth claims (including alternative and complementary medicine).

The notable issue with the guerrilla skeptics is the revelation that they have taken to Wikipedia in an to attempt to discredit wiki pages that they find contradict their way of seeing the universe. Robert McLuhan wrote a good account of the problem on his paranormalia blog about six months ago. Rupert Sheldrake and Craig Weiler, who have discussed the problem together, have recently written about the issue.

Sheldake is a favourite target of hard-core skeptics in general, and his Wikipedia page is one that has been targeted by the Guerrilla Skeptics. Here’s what Sheldrake wrote about them in his recent newsletter:

Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia have been subverting Wikipedia in areas concerned with spirituality, psychic phenomena and complementary medicine…  a squad of guerrilla skeptics captured the Wikipedia page about me, and have controlled it… editing it in the most biased possible way. Several other editors have tried to restore a more neutral point of view, in accordance with Wikipedia policies… Wikipedia has strict rules against editors working in groups and against people advocating a particular point of view. The Guerrilla Skeptics have been flouting these rules for more than two years, coordinating their groups through secret Facebook pages. It’s time their activities are brought to a halt, because they are undermining the basic principles of Wikipedia, and rendering hundreds of entries untrustworthy.

Wikipedia is – in theory – publically owned and controlled. It portends to allow free editing of its pages, according to certain protocols. For example, if a credible citation is given, then one can challenge a point made on any given page. In this way alternative viewpoints are posited side-by-side.

As Sheldrake points out, here are guidelines on Wikipedia which are aimed at preventing vested interest groups in targeting pages in order to control and overpower free speech, or deliberately distort the information to suit their own agenda. For example, if a Japanese conservative group attempted to edit the Wikipedia page on the notorious Nanjing Massacre (which was perpetrated by the invading Japanese forces in 1937) and filled it with nonfactual propaganda, it would obviously be considered unacceptable. That would be a case of one group attempting to distort history because it did not have the moral courage to face up to the atrocities that its ancestors perpetrated.

The actions of the Guerrilla Skeptics are not dissimilar to the hypothetical case mentioned above. As Sheldrake writes:

The Guerrilla Skeptics are well trained, highly motivated, have an ideological agenda, and operate in teams… (There are now) over 90 guerrillas operating in 17 different languages. The teams are coordinated through secret Facebook pages. They check the credentials of new recruits to avoid infiltration. Their aim is to “control information”… They have already seized control of many Wikipedia pages, deleted entries on subjects they disapprove of, and boosted the biographies of atheists.

The actions of Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia are clearly inappropriate and contravene the site’s regulations. This is given more significance because the Guerrilla Skeptics appear to have connections with militant skeptics organisations like the James Randi Foundation. These are organisations which have a very clear agenda, and vested financial interests in ensuring that certain data and knowledge claims are not permitted free expression. Skeptics have a long history of deliberately distorting and misrepresenting information about psi-phenomena, spiritual experience, and alternative medicine. For example, Richard Wiseman, one of the most influential skeptics, appears to have deliberately misrepresented the positive results he obtained when he attempted to replicate a Sheldrake experiment. This involved an allegedly telepathic dog that seemed to know when its master was coming home, regardless of any sensory cues.

Given the political agenda of militant skeptics groups, they are about as far from being impartial arbiters of truth as is possible to imagine. I am in strong agreement with people like Sheldrake, Weiler and McCluhan that the situation is unacceptable in that it distorts information about a very significant realm of human enquiry. There needs to be a fair and open discussion of these subject matters, free from bullying, personal harassment and misrepresentation of the data.


My position

The question that really interests me is this: what is to be done about this deliberate and aggressive attempt by the Guerrilla Skeptics to discredit ideas that contradict their worldview and beliefs? I will address this more clearly in my next post.

But before I sign off for today, let me make my general position on the issue of psi-phenomena, alternative medicine and so on quite clear (for those who have never read any of my work on the subject). After years of intensive first-person introspective investigation, working with some very gifted spiritual teachers, and having written and researched many books, papers and a doctoral thesis on the subject, I am now certain that psi phenomena like ESP, clairvoyance, precognition and so on are genuine. They represent perfectly normal human cognitive capacities, despite the fact that they are not readily on tap for most human beings.

I am hardly a neutral party in this anymore, as I now teach people how to develop what I call integrated intelligence – expanded intuitive perception which engages the extended mind.

It is my conviction that current mainstream psychology and neuroscience are founded on the false presupposition that consciousness in merely a product of neurochemistry. I maintain that consciousness has non-local properties which are essential to understanding the human condition and our place in the universe. Science has made tremendous progress in human understanding and technology since the 1700s, and the benefits are obvious. But we have become obsessed with technology and abstract cognition to the point that we have bought into a false universal story – that human beings are biological machines. I call this the Deckard Confusion, after Harrison Ford’s character in the movie Blade Runner. Deckard wasn’t sure whether he was a man or a robot (in fact it is somewhat ambiguous in Ridley Scott’s director’s cut).

Similarly, contemporary science has become deeply confused about the essential nature of consciousness and the human condition. Science and society have become obsessed with the machine, so much that it now confuses the entire universe for a machine. The mechanistic paradigm which dominates science and much of modern society is a direct result of this. Skeptics organisations and hardcore skeptics in general are thus a product of the modern era, and have bought into the Deckard Confusion at such depth that they have completely lost the capacity to access Integrated Intelligence.

They have lost touch with the human spirit.

The problem is not that science is intrinsically wrong or evil, nor that the so-called left-brained mental functions need to be erased. It’s all a question of addressing the limitations of science, and also of analytical reasoning.

And while the limits of science is often a topic for discussion amongst scientists (who are generally very interested in the topic), the issue is rarely addressed at the required depth within mainstream scientific institutions, and within mainstream education.

In part two of this discussion, I will say a little more about this as I address what can be done about the problem of Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia.


Is There a One True Spiritual Path?


 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.


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.



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.



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