Everybody wants to improve their lives in some way. But then they think of what they would have to do to get there – they think of all the struggle and the difficulty involved. And then, they decide to stay where they are. This is why most people aren’t living the lives that they would rather be living. And this is why there is so much suffering and unhappiness in this world.
But there is another way, a kinder and gentler way. It is not something we are taught as children. And it is not something that the serious and ‘grown-up’ world around us promotes. But it is still there, and it is equally available to each and every one of us. That way is the way of Mind Before Matter.
You see, the reason why most of us fail to get what we want – or to even try – is because we don’t know or understand how things work. We think we do. But we have it all wrong.
As Within, so Without
We believe that the physical world is the only reality and we think that in order to change anything, we have to work on it at a physical level. But the truth us that the physical world is merely a projection of spirit or consciousness. Though it appears real and solid, it is simply a reflection of our inner world – the world of our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. Thought is what causes things to be and physical manifestation is the effect of thought. And so, to change anything at a physical level, we must first change things at a spiritual, mental and emotional level.
All is One
Another great misconception we hold is that everything in the world around us and the greater universe is all separate from each other and that everything happens at random and in isolation. This is not true. Everything is the projection of the One Consciousness and Spirit (sometimes referred to as ‘God’ or ‘Universe’ or other names) and so all things (‘living’ and otherwise) and events are interconnected. Again, the non-physical realm (or ‘thought world’) controls and dictates the physical.
The last and biggest misconception we operate on (at least as far as this post is concerned) is that we are finite, physical beings. We are not. We are infinite, timeless, multi-dimensional, spiritual beings.
We each have a physical mind and a physical body (and even then, the two are in fact one – the ‘mind-body’) with which to experience this particular reality, but we are not these things, any more than we are our computers!
In essence, we are all non-physical.
Not only are we spirits, but we are all fragments of the One Great Spirit. And so, we are always connected to the One Great Spirit and we are vested with the creative power of the Great Spirit. We are always creating our reality and experience of it, whether we know it or not and whether we do so consciously or by default.
Distractions in the physical world and the lure of our senses can weaken our connection to our Divine Self and to the One Great Spirit, but we are never really cut off from either at any point. We just lose our awareness. But they are both always there, loving us unconditionally and ready to guide us patiently to everything we say we want. We get to choose how strong a connection we maintain. And we get to choose whether to be open to their help and guidance – or to rely solely on our action here in the physical plane and on the limited perspective of our physical minds.
Free Will – Not Free Wifi
As we are creations of the Divine and endowed with Its creative power, we are also given free will and allowed to decide when and whether we use this power or not. So, in theory, we get to choose in every case. But this doesn’t always happen. How can it, if we don’t even know about it?
If we are kept ignorant of our true power, we cannot exercise free will. And we can even end up using our own creative power against ourselves if we are misled or deceived. We can unwittingly use our free will to live in bondage – by choosing it!
I believe this is what is happening on a world-wide scale – people are being manipulated into believing they are powerless and that they are less than they truly are so that they will obey others and do as they want. In this way, our free will has been hijacked and is being used against us. But once we become aware of this, we can choose freedom at any point. We have the power to change anything.
Spirituality Isn’t Just for Hippies
Since we are all spiritual beings living in a spiritual universe, we are all ‘spiritual’, whether we like it or not – and whether we regard ourselves as being such or not. Therefore, we all need to learn to operate from a spiritual perspective, if we are to be happy, healthy and fulfilled. And so, we all need to learn about spirituality and develop what I call ‘spiritual awareness’.
We don’t all need to wear Eastern clothes or chant mantras (and mind you, spirituality and spiritual knowledge isn’t something that belongs just to the East. It has been alive and well and is just as much a part of the West as it is anywhere else in the world – through different teachings and traditions.), but it would be helpful for us all to learn about our true nature and about the true nature of reality. And this is why we would all benefit from giving spiritual teachings a try and from developing some sort of spiritual awareness.
It is this knowledge and way of looking at things that is important. You don’t have to give up anything or become anything in order to build spiritual awareness. You can be spiritually aware while being an atheist and you can be spiritually aware, while indulging in every worldly desire known to man (although, chances are, you might not want to anymore)! What’s more, you are free to choose which tradition to learn from and what you ultimately take from it or to even completely disregard all of it and operate on a purely physical and materialistic mindset. This is the blessing of free will.
The Law of Attraction
Just as there are physical laws that govern the behaviour of objects in the physical world (such as the law of gravity), there are spiritual laws that govern the behaviour of things in the non-physical realm (which ultimately dictates the effects at a physical level). Of these, the Law of Attraction is the most important one for anyone wishing to change or do anything in life.
The Law of Attraction dictates that things will be drawn to other things like them – that ‘like attracts like’. This is true of all things, which includes thoughts, feelings and emotions, as well as spirits, other non-physical entities, people and all physical objects.
So, we draw (or attract) to ourselves the people, the experiences, and the circumstances and conditions that correspond to what we hold in our minds. We get what we think and feel about.
The Law of Attraction works on feelings and emotions – not mere words. And it works equally for positive emotions as well as negative ones. So we will draw to ourselves, not only the things we love but also the things we fear or despise.
We get to choose whether we give our thoughts and attention to what we want or to what we don’t want.
If we want to manifest our desires, we can choose to focus all our energy on these desires. If there are things we don’t want to experience, then all we have to do is to remove our attention (and therefore the emotional charge) from these things. We always get to choose. But, as I will explain below, we’re not always in control of our choices (but rest assured, we can always gain control).
True Creative Power
If we are creations of the One Consciousness and if we are endowed with the same creative power, then it means that we can create anything we want – at a level of consciousness and have it materialise into physical form. Also, if we hold an image of what we want, and think and feel about it in a positive and pleasing way, then the Law of Attraction must bring it to us in physical form.
This is where our true creatibve power lies. This is how we were meant to create our life experiences. Of course, there is a place for action and for doing things on the physical plane – this is why we incarnated into our bodies. We could have remained in spirit form and created just at thought level if we wanted to. But action is not the way, and action is not a substitute for the mental processes that must go before and alongside it.
As stated previously, we are not our minds. The mind is simply something we have. We are the ones that need to be in charge of it and tell it what to do. Unfortunately, none of us were taught this, and so we grow up thinking that we are our minds and we let it tell us what to do!
A lot of what the mind does is counterproductive. It judges, it criticises, it thinks fearful thoughts, it thinks thoughts of lack and poverty, it thinks thoughts of shame, guilt and unworthiness, it worries about the future, it lives in constant regret over the past and it harbours grudges and resentments.
But by far, the most terrible thing about the mind is that it attacks the owner! Much of the time, the judgment, criticism, anger, fear, shame, guilt and unworthiness is often directed at ourselves. As you can now appreciate, the consequences are nothing short of disastrous!
The Subconscious Mind
It is helpful to view the mind as consisting of two parts. One is the conscious mind. This is the mind that thinks and reasons and the part of the mind that we are aware of. The other part is the subconscious mind. This part does not reason and we are not aware of its workings, but it runs our lives. It keeps our bodies functioning – breathing, digesting food and so on.
Nothing escapes the subconscious mind and it takes in everything. It takes in all the millions of impulses and information that is brought in through our different senses and sorts between the things that need to be brought to the attention of the conscious mind and the things that can be ignored.
The subconscious mind is where our beliefs and paradigms reside and the part of our mind which holds our self-image. It is also thought of as being connected to the greater world and to the ‘collective-mind’ of our species.
Although vastly more powerful than the conscious mind, in terms of the work and the functions it can perform, it can’t reason and therefore needs to be given guidance and instructions. And so, it is highly susceptible to suggestion and ‘programming’ – especially during childhood and the formative years.
Childhood and the Subconscious Mind
Most of us have probably spent the better part of our formative years being guided and corrected by well-meaning parents and other significant elders. Then we go on to school where we spend much of our time with our peers and with teachers. Here, we learn about ideas such as competition and comparing the self to others, religion, morality and what is acceptable or not, submitting to authority and our place in the pecking order and so on.
Throughout the period of our childhood, we repeatedly face criticism, correction, comparison, rejection and being put down by others – often at the hands of those we see as authority figures and people who have power over us. We are constantly told that we are not good enough in some way. Being innocent and impressionable little children, we trust them and accept these ideas at face value. We embed them in our subconscious mind and these ideas became the lens through which we view ourselves, our world and our place in it.
Unworthiness – the False Premise and Its Consequences
Our relationship with ourself is the foundation that holds up everything else and provides the base that we build our lives upon. Yet for most of us, our lives are built on the shakiest of foundations. Self-doubt, self-loathing, unworthiness, fear, dissatisfaction, insecurity and inner turmoil form the shifting sands upon which we base everything else.
And we wonder why the world is as it is! We wonder why war, crime, disharmony, relationship breakdown, depression, and addictions are so prevalent. We wonder why our most strenuous efforts yield only mediocre results. We are told that we must keep trying, work even harder and suffer greatly in order to succeed. But this is worthless advice. We can’t change anything until we change the foundation – until we replace the shifting sands with solid rock and until we stop telling ourselves that we are ‘bad’ or just not good enough.
Unworthiness is false because we are perfect and worthy in the eyes of our Divine Self and that of our Creator. All our failures, shortcomings and judgments against us are man-made. Of course, we are free to continue believing these untruths (and it might be the easier thing to do). But we are just as free to see them for what they are and reject them. It might take a little work and it might not happen overnight, but it will be more than worth it.
The Only Change We Ever Need to Make
As you will appreciate from the foregoing, of all the changes we could make, the most important changes of all are those we make internally. And of all the changes we could make internally, the most important one of all is that of our relationship with ourselves. It’s time to tell our friend the mind what to think. It’s also time to erase those limiting and harmful beliefs from our subconscious.
The Miracle of Self-love
There are many people who know all of the above and yet somehow fail to achieve the things they want to in life. Sometimes, it is a matter of Divine timing – we will receive what we desire, when we are truly ready and when it is safe for us to do so.
But there is another reason why we don’t get what we want.
There is another reason why our prayers seem to go unanswered and why the Law of Attraction doesn’t seem to work for us. And that reason is simple: it is because we believe in our subconscious minds that we are unworthy and undeserving of all the good things we say we want in life.
Yes, we are creators and it’s true that we have free will. But we can’t ignore the fact that our subconscious mind is part of our inner world and that its power is phenomenal. It is constantly influencing the course and events of our lives. So to a large extent, the beliefs we hold in our subconscious is what we will experience. Even if it is not what we consciously want.
The antidote to this is practising self-love. I believe it holds the key to everything and can override all self-limiting beliefs and put an end to all self-sabotage. I believe that this one idea, when lodged firmly in our subconscious minds and experienced as an honest feeling in our bodies, can open the doorway to heaven on earth for each and every one of us.
My belief comes from an intellectual understanding and a logical analysis of all the material I have studied so far. My belief comes from a simple knowing in my heart that this is what is true for me and for others. My belief comes from the eagerness and excitement I feel at this new possibility. My belief comes from seeing the transformation it has brought about in the lives of people I love and admire, such as the late Louise Hay (founder of Hay House Publishing). And last, but not least, my belief comes from honestly acknowledging that I have issues self-worth that I would benefit from working on and from the knowledge that self-love is not something I have given much time or attention to in the past.
After a lifetime of reading self-help books and after many years of learning, experimenting and making changes, this is what it all boils down to for me: practising self-love. And so, this is what I have now chosen to devote the coming months of my life to – for my own growth and development. It is also the topic that I will devote my next post to. So stay tuned (and sign up to receive posts by email, if you haven’t done so already – simply enter your details into the box at the top and hit ‘submit’. You will then receive a confirmation link by email. Click on that and you’re all done!).
- Ask and It Is Given – Esther and Jerry Hicks
- The Power of Your Subconscious Mind – Dr. Joseph Murhpy
- You Can Heal Your Life – Louise L. Hay
- Psychocybernetics – Dr. Maxwell Maltz
- Conversations with God – Book I – Neale Donald Walsch
- Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
- The Science of Getting Rich – Wallace D. Wattles
- The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
- The Journey – Brandon Bays
- The Way of the Peaceful Warrior – Dan S. Millman
- Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It – Kamal Ravikant