Category Archives: Spirituality

The Paradox of Change

Nothing changes, until it does.

I’m about to rock your world…

Things change, but you never change things. What I mean is that it is not you doing the changing of anything. So I want to stress to you that you are not changing anything, but I also want to stress to you that you will never believe my words. Now that we’ve established a relationship of mutual distrust, let me continue.

You may believe it intellectually, but deep down in your soul you will continue to believe that you have sway over your reality. This is the fundamental paradox of our time here. If you’re reading this blog, you probably think you are an open minded person. Well I have news for you: you are human – subject to flaws, prejudices, and other kinds of limitations. If you say, “you’re wrong about me!” you might go to great lengths to prove that you are in fact open-minded and furthermore, that you don’t need to change anything.

But here is where the trap happens. The fact that you need to prove to me (or yourself, or god, or whoever) that you don’t need to change, is you trying to change something. I’ll say it again. Wanting to not change (or detach, or surrender, or whatever) is wanting to change that you want change. In fact, wanting things to stay the same, is wanting them to change underneath. Go as far as you can underneath your own internal drives and see if you don’t want some little aspect of your life to be different.

Ok, let’s stop with the torture. The only thing you can do with this paradox is embrace it.

You cannot solve a paradox – just as you cannot change anything in your life. You cannot get out of a paradox, for that is not what a paradox is for. I do not mean to instill helplessness in you. I do not mean to tell you to stop trying. I mean only to tell you the truth as I know it.

It is your role to make things better, but doing so is fundamentally futile. I know it doesn’t seem so. If you could, why wouldn’t you make more money, attract better relationships, travel more, and do more more more? If you were to boil down exactly what the human game is at its root it is the fundamental relationship between you and the world. Specifically, that you try to change the world. And  the tricky thing is that sometimes it looks like the world has changed, but that’s all part of the game. That’s what keeps you emotionally invested in your life.

Do you understand? You may understand intellectually and you may never get it a gut level . There is nothing particularly to get here anyway. The irony is that as I’m writing I’m living the game right now, banging my head against a computer screen trying to get you to understand. But not long ago I realized that I can’t change that I want to change my life. So I’m doing the only thing I can do – embracing it.

I recommend that you too do this. But it doesn’t matter what you should or should not do, you are going to do what you’re going to do anyway regardless of what I say. If what I say compels you to do something different, that was the story you wrote out for yourself. I did not change it for you. Change happens to you and within you – nothing more. Nothing less.

Are you having trouble dealing with it emotionally? That is because you hold on the idea that you are in control of your life. You may have read Busting Loose from the Money Game and thought “wow this is my ticket to happiness.” Indeed the book lays out step by step what you can expect in your brand new life. But this is the genius of your experience here. Hidden within that book is the message that awareness has no path and the change you burn for is unnecessary. Yet the form of the book offers you progress and results: The same kind of progress and results that you’ve been chasing your entire life in spiritual and non-spiritual ways.

So what is different? Some would say awareness is the only thing that changes. Others would say everything changes. I would say both are true. If my words sound hollow it’s because at a certain point, that’s what words do. You have to take it from there.

Robert Scheinfeld previously said that, on your journey, you will eventually let go of trying to change, fix, or improve your life. Yet recently Robert said that he no longer believes you shouldn’t try to change the hologram. He is tapping into a fundamental truth. Like the ocean, your world is forever changing. And the rules themselves are forever changing. But for now the rules seem set.

It is as simple as this:

  1. There’s you and there’s your reality.
  2. You will forever try to change your reality to fit what seems to be in your mind. What you want will change, but you will not change that you want.
  3. Reality will push and pull against you.
  4. If you change that you want, the game will end.

Such a simple game but infinitely complex in its variations. Do you see? You are so amazed by this game that you would never want to stop playing.

Play on!

Awareness is Change

Whatever you believe, if you have an open mind, your spiritual journey boils down to awareness. You might call it increased awareness, but as you’ll see (both in this article and in your experience) the idea of accumulation is one of the central concepts that leads to awareness being misunderstood. In fact, the very idea of saying “spiritual journey” implies that there is a spiritual destination, and thinking this way also tends to fog up awareness.

By the way, this concept is murderously difficult to communicate in words.

And indeed as I move in Phase 2, I realize just how unfit my mind is to grapple with or communicate Truth.

But dammit I’m going to try anyway.

What is Awareness?

Lets strip this word of its metaphysical and new-age connotations. Simply put, awareness is the state of being aware. For the sake of this article, I define awareness as the non-judgmental state of observing absolutely everything in your experience. I believe that “achieving” this state (or practicing this concept) is the only way to really experience truth beyond the machinations of thought. This truth is the goal of any spiritual endeavor, perhaps the root of all goals.

This concept may seem simple, but start to grapple with the idea of “absolutely everything” for a little while and you’ll see that there are infinite layers of your experience to be aware of.

An Exercise

Let’s do a simple thought exercise, and for the sake of explanation I’m going to number the layers of my own experience as I become aware of them. The numbers will correspond roughly to “depths” of awareness, going from “lower” to “higher”

1. I’m typing this blog post. I’m listening to songs in Pandora. My feet are slightly cold.

2. I’m thinking about what I want to write. I want to make sure that what I’m writing makes sense. I have a particular intention for this piece. Ironically, one of my intentions is to, “just let the writing flow.” Yet I also desire this communication to be clever and well received.

3. I’m feeling afraid of diving deeper into my own intentions and awareness, because of deep rooted anxieties about my own self worth.

4. I’m trying as hard to be aware as I can of these layers but in doing so I realize that trying is not really being aware, at least not the awareness that I’m seeking. Too, I’m aware that seeking awareness makes that awareness an illusion because there is a goal.

5. I’m aware that in saying this I’m merely regurgitating Total Freedom: The Essential Krishnamurti.

6. I now recognize I’ve gone in my lifelong cycle of moving towards and away from enlightenment at the same time, remaining in a kind of stasis that breeds frustration through the spinning of the only wheel I’ve ever known. The impetus for moving towards enlightenment is the fear of not being enlightened. I.E. having no purpose or amounting to nothing.

7. And as I’m aware of that, I see the workings of my own experience clearly. I see that there is nothing that I can do to change this. That as long as I’m seeking awareness then I am locked into my own cycle of frustration and perceived progress. Not only that, but the whole point of experience is to be locked in this cycle.

8. And as I realize this, I realize that being aware of the futility and beauty that is this dominant defining characteristic of who I am, I realize that the process of awareness itself is the only thing that can really change my experience.

9. And yet as I move to this oasis, a mini-transcendent moment, in a desert of thoughts, desires, habits, and emotion, I realize that this too is a repeated cycle. That real transcendence, if it can ever “be achieved”, is a part of the whole of human experience, not an escape from it. That this whole exercise is itself another brick in the wall of our shared hallucination. That there can be no feeling of transcendence without its opposite to spring from, and that really, it’s all good exactly as it is.

10. This is perhaps as far as I can go with this exercise. Can you go farther? I’d love to see you try this.

Why does Awareness Beget Change?

Back from the rabbit hole, let me give you a simple metaphor. Have you ever cut yourself but didn’t know it? Did you feel pain? Usually I don’t feel the pain until I see the blood. Yet once I know, I can’t not know. The pain stays with me even if I’m not looking directly at the cut. Usually a strong desire results from this to take care of the cut by cleaning it, bandaging it, etc.

To rephrase the previous example in more useful terms, you could say that only when I became aware that the cut existed did I act, not before. But if you are frustrated in your life, then you often put the blame on the difficulty of enacting change – whether internally or externally. For instance who doesn’t want more money, but can’t seem to find a way to make more of it? You might blame equally the economy for being in a bad place or yourself for not being motivated enough to do the things you need to do. Often, you blame the fact that you just don’t know “how” to make it happen.

But to apply this logic to the example, you would say, “I can’t clean or heal my cut because there isn’t the opportunity”, “I”m just not motivated to not feel the pain”, or, “I’m cut, but I just don’t know what to do about it.” Don’t these sentiments sound absurd in this context? When you are cut, what to do is obvious. However, figuring out what to do is impossible if you don’t know about the injury in the first place.

Especially in western society we put a lot of focus on doing without being aware of what it its we’re doing or why. And yet we wonder why we don’t get anywhere. If you are truly aware, what to do is obvious.

If you become aware of this concept in your own life you’ll see that awareness and understanding come at the same time as the change that they imply. It is for this reason that I find them inseparable. Awareness is change, you just perceive them as two different things.

So if you are wondering what to do in your life, know that the change you may be contemplating is not real change, but a projection of something else – your fears, insecurities, conditioning – doesn’t matter. If you really needed more money then it would be obvious to you how to get it. That there is not a simple direct path implies that your level of awareness does not immediately enact the change of you having more money. More likely the desire to have more money is a signal to you that there is an opportunity for you to become more aware of why you believe you need more money in the first place.

This awareness is the key to everything you desire. And you can read that line with an accumulative mindset wherein you believe that being aware will bring you everything you desire. If you do this, you miss the point entirely. I’d like you to read with the mindset that awareness is the key to freeing you from your desires. Not because you get rid of them, for therein obviously lies a further desire to get rid of desire – but to understand them and perceive them without judgement of what they should be.

You are human for a reason. There was no failure in the plan. It is not wrong to desire to change. It is not wrong to reject everything I’ve said. Like I said, it’s all good. Conversely, it is not right to believe this. You don’t get a bigger cookie than the spiritually lost person. But it’s my intention to poke a hole in your tiny bubble of awareness so that you can see that there is so much more there.

The fact is real change is as unstoppable as the movement of water, and you’ll know when it appears in your life. There will be no mixed signals, searching for truth, or waiting for a sign. Change is within as without.

And it all begins with awareness.

The Path – Part 2 – What is The Path?

The path is an allegorical concept that has real world practicality.

Have you ever felt like everything was firing on all cyclinders? Things were going your way? You could do no wrong? You’re in the zone.

That is what it’s like when you walk the path.

Others call it aligning with god (Christianity or other monotheistic religions), matching the frequencies of your desires (Law of attraction or other new age philosophies), playing in the sunshine of your expanded self (Busting Loose from the Money game), or channeling a source of creative power (artists, mystics, and psychics) What lies in common between all of these interpretations is the idea that you are linking up with some greater force, and by combining your power, you create, expand, and experience effortlessly.

The idea of walking a path implies destiny, purpose, and power. And don’t tell me you don’t love to feel those feelings.

Yet, if there are so many interpretations of this phenomenon, then why believe in this one? For me at least, it is helpful to understand life in terms of myself and the path, and in terms of walking and trying to walk the path. This is because I myself and the path that I seek have two fundamentally different natures – let’s call them planning and unpredictability – and understanding these natures allows for a greater awareness and a richer experience of life.

What you need to know is, like the Tao, the path has a slightly irregular nature about it that makes it quite elusive both to understand or connect with on any practical level. Take this reading from the Tao Te Ching,

“It can’t be approached or withdrawn from, benefited or harmed, honored or brought into disgrace. It gives itself up continually. That is why it endures.”

This sort of language is relentlessly obtuse and often seem like it’s just messing with you. Here’s my version:

You are always trying to find the path or walk the path and when you do all is right in your world. However, once you believe you are on the path you are now on your way off the path. And yet it is all good.

Damn, that didn’t make a hell of a lot of sense though it sounded cool. In this enigmatic form is an oft-misunderstood truth about reality: you are not the path, you strive to walk the path, and in that striving you fall away from the path.

Ok screw it, other far wiser figures have tried and failed to do in history what I am trying to communicate to you now. Let’s try it in picture form.

An Example

See this line?

Figure 2.1: A line moving from right to left.

If the line is moving from left to right, can you predict where it is likely to go?

It’s not rocket science. Here, I’ll help you.

Figure 2.2: The prediction of where the line will go.

Congratulations! You just engaged in one of the most deeply ingrained mechanisms of your mind, so habitual it is most likely beyond your awareness that there is anything special about it at all.

This exact phenomenon is the most universal filter for how you organize your experience. But it is not how experience itself, or “The Path” is organized.

Not at all.

Now imagine that you have a slight change in perspective. Imagine you found out that the line you projected from is actually a very slight curve. Now if you continue to extrapolate with linear thinking, eventually where you believe the line will go will actually diverge more and more from the curve.

Figure 2.3: The Initial Line is now a curve, changing how it interacts with the Projected Line

To add some real world significance, lets say that these lines moving from left to right represents experience through time. If you live your life as if the experience you believe will happen, and thus project, will happen, then eventually you move out of alignment with what the experience of life itself is. How many times has this happened to you? A business deal or relationship fell through “suddenly”? Or more simply, traffic “unexpectedly” became far worse thus making you late for work?

These figures are meant to visually aid your understanding of this phenomenon. Try going back and substituting “Real experience” for “Initial Line” and “Expectation” for “Projected Line.” Or to stick with the nouns describing their natures, “Planning” and “Unpredictability” I like to see it as “The Path” and “The Projected Path” respectively. Ironically, it’s trying to walk the path that causes you to create the projected path. More on that later.

What does this unpredictable nature matter then? Well nothing, unless your projection is more valuable to you than where the Path is actually taking you. That’s not that bad, you think. Until you bring goals into the picture and then you realize this phenomenon happens all the time and when it does happen it is a big deal.

Figure 2.4: The reason why so few goals are ever met.

The truth is that you don’t control where the Path leads and thus, using linear thinking, are doomed to feel like you continually fail at “willing” your goals into existence. You can’t will yourself off the Path for very long because the farther you stray from the path, the harder it is to continue, until eventually you meet the point of intervention.

This concept isn’t terribly hard to grasp on a conceptual level, although it is murder to integrate into practical thinking and there is a reason for that. With this new information, you might think you have all the knowledge required to walk the path and set your life straight.

But here’s the thing, in thinking that right now are you walking the path or trying to walk the path? Are you experiencing or projecting? What exactly is the difference, and what can you do about it?

Find out next time.

Part 1

The Path – Understand the Nature of Planning and Unpredictability – Part 1

How often do your plans fail?

For me it happens all the time. I’ve combated this by making more and more specifically tailored plans, by trying to reduce interference in the execution of plans, and even rejecting the idea of planning altogether. Yet it seemed that no matter what I thought, believed, or did, my plans were doomed to failure.

This is a big deal. Most likely if you’re reading this blog, you were brought up in a society that rewards the achievement of goals be they monetary, physical, emotional, or other. Or maybe it’s more insidious. Maybe you were raised and conditioned to believe that not only were goals rewarding, but they were fundamentally linked to your success as a person. So goals and achievement are not just icing on the cake – they are the cake.

Ergo, if you don’t achieve your goals you have failed as a person. Is there any worse feeling than that of total and utter irreversible failure? For me, this fear of failure and not achieving is one of the great motivators of my life. Any ability I have to plan, execute, and acquire results is itself the result of paralyzing fear for what it would mean to have the opposite.

What do you think about structure? Does it make you feel warm and fuzzy? Do you think it’s mandatory to stem the chaos of life? Do you think it’s stifling? Do you think people who don’t have it are undisciplined bums who are a leech on society? When you see a flowchart, does it make you suddenly very comfortable? I’d raise my hand on the last one. If there was a flowcharts anonymous, I’d be there.

The point I’m trying to make here is that while goal setting and planning are very abstract concepts, you have a very real emotional attachment to them. This emotion makes you forever locked in a cycle that has a sole goal to make your life better in some way. And make no mistakes, the stakes are very high. If you win and achieve what you want, then you get the ticker tape and champaigne, and if you lose then you retreat to a shell of a half-life, where the only thing you can hold in your mind is regret.

And the clock is ticking.

So what to do? That was a trick question, because there is nothing especially to do. You already do all that you can to win this particularly painful game. You already plan to the absolute best of your intelligence and predict with the best of your wisdom. Your ability to do is just fine, so rest easy you amazing results-generating machine. You may not know this yet, but what you are seeking for is an understanding, something to free you from this prison of cause and effect, deadlines, (real or imaginary) and results.

What you’re looking for is The Path.

Part 2

What’s Missing? Playing the Happiness Game

I was journaling today starting with the question, “If I know the truth, then why doesn’t the illusion collapse immediately?” Robert Scheinfeld’s answer to this is simple – it’s not part of the Human Game to win it easily. The fun is in playing a game with challenges and discoveries. Fair enough, but I’m now in the part of the game where I must discover what has held me back – what pieces have been missing.

And after writing about what was missing, the now obvious realization came swiftly after. Ironically, the idea that something is missing, that there is something more to know, something more to be and I have only to find that thing – is one of the greatest Phase 1 illusions there is and one one of my largest eggs to process.

Step By Step

I began with the question “Why must I play Phase 1 games when I already know the mindset of Phase 2?”

After a bit of clarifying, I boiled my question down to “what’s missing?”

I had the direct experience of “A Ha, the thing I’m trying to do is the very thing that’s giving me the opportunity to progress in Phase 2.”

I felt deeply the emotion of missing something, like a part of my body or soul had vanished, and I could never have it back. I sat with this feeling for a couple of minutes, really exploring the terrible existential crisis that I’ve felt a lot throughout my life.

Then I told the truth about it. That it wasn’t real. I didn’t try to change my feeling, merely add a layer of understanding to it. This lessened the intensity a bit, but in no way suppressed it.

I began reclaiming my power. Right now it seems the major shift happens when I tell the truth and open to my infinite nature, not reclaim my power. Nevertheless I felt the judgment draining out of “this feeling is bad.” And as I did, I felt more joyful emotion beginning to come in, and I saw the emotion – this great emptiness – for the pure experience it was.

I opened up to my infinite nature, and while many times this step causes me to expand my brain beyond my personal experience to encompass oceans of cosmic light, this time the focus extended inwards and backwards along my personal timeline. Appreciation of this Phase 1 illusion came along with the expansive perspective.

The immediate understanding that came to me was that this feeling of emptiness, of a missing piece, what Lynn Grabhorn calls, “separation” is the prime driving force of my life, and what I now believe to be the engine of the Phase 1 game. It’s a negative driving force, in that many of my actions have been taken to get away from this feeling.

The Origin of a Feeling

Can you think back to a time before a feeling existed? For instance, back to before you had crushes on the opposite gender? Isn’t it weird to think that something you may be obsessed with now used to never matter? I did this to investigate the beginnings of this gaping hole in my soul.

Beginning in the present, I feel that my direct understanding of the truth and Phase 2 is missing. In one way or another, this search for the “answer” has permeated my life for the last couple of years.

Before that it was the sensation that my connection to abundance was missing – whether it be knowledge of how to make money, ability to acquire money, or straight up luck to find money.

Another huge one before that was in the dating world. I felt that a true part of myself was missing without another person. I still feel this way and must work with the process on this feeling.

It wasn’t until I got back to about third grade that the feeling ceased to be in my experience. When I was a child any negativity was temporary, and everything in life seemed to be in a state of flow. There wasn’t this feeling of hollowness.

Without going into the day-by-day of my childhood one experience after another (created by my expanded self) slowly created the illusion of this incredible lack inside me and also manifested that outside of me in ways like jealousy, inferiority, disillusionment, and poverty. At every point in the timeline it seemed like a cruel force. I was diagnosed with depression. I wondered why others didn’t understand this all encompassing feeling. I watched my friends settle for less when I would settle for nothing but the unequivocal achievement of my dreams – dreams that still have gone unrealized. But today looking back I understand the reason of the pattern. And I’m just now seeing the wide ranging implications of this feeling.

Examples

Money

“I don’t have enough money for the things I want” Boils down to: Something’s missing. In this case resources.

“I don’t have what it takes to earn enough money.” Boils down to: Something’s missing. In this case the knowledge to “earn” money.

Relationships

“I need a relationship to feel complete.” What’s missing? A relationship.

“I need to be more attractive/outgoing/skilled or have more money/status/fame or have better friends/opportunities/job/hobbies in order to have the relationship I want.” Something’s missing. This person feels they aren’t complete enough to “get” a relationship.

“He/she is better than me. I’ll never be as rich/beautiful/successful/charismatic/smart as them.” Translation: Something’s wrong with me. I.E. Something is missing. In this example, it’s an inherent or learned characteristic.

Body

“I really should exercise more. I’d probably feel better and feel better about myself.” Boils down to: I’m not good enough as I am – something’s missing. Is it discipline? Motivation? Respect?

Creativity

“I wish I could draw.” Translation: there is something other people have that I don’t have that allows them to draw and I can’t. A.K.A. Something is missing.

“I can’t figure out how to end this story/get past my creative block/design this house/get this chicken recipe right.” Is something missing? Yes.

“If only I could make money doing what I love.” Something’s missing. It could be many things – drive, enterprenurial skills, a valuable product, etc etc.

Lifestyle

“Maybe I should move to a different town. I could start all over there.” Something is missing.

Spirituality

“If we’re supposed to be infinite, then why don’t I feel infinite? Why do the things I truly desire keep eluding me?” Conclusion: something is missing. Otherwise by spritual law I’d have the life that I want.

“Why don’t I feel fulfilled?” Something major is missing here.

The Happiness Game

That’s probably enough examples. What I’d like to point out is that the missing piece to every one of these confounding problems is an illusion.

Ergo, the process by which we seek to “obtain” these “missing pieces” is also an illusion.

And that means also that the very notion of not being complete just as you are, just as this moment is, is too an illusion. Sit with that a moment. Ok, even if you just had a profound paradigm shift, money is most likely not raining from the sky just yet. Of course not. If you identify with any of these examples or extrapolated some of your own, then you know that this is a huge huge huge egg. What is an egg? Belief + Power + Judgement + Consequences. Think of the consequences of any of these beliefs. For me I’ve always been searching for the “one” and I’ve moved over twenty times just to avoid that feeling of lack, as well as taking drugs, watching TV,  and graduating college as quickly as possible in order to feel “special.” I’m fully convinced that most of my greatest life decisions – where to go to school, who to date, what area to study, what jobs to take – were predicated on avoiding the feeling of cosmic emptiness.

So the power can be reclaimed not just from the feeling itself,(though I invite you to really dive into it once you have a handle on the process) but every choice you’ve made that was informed by the feeling. Every “consequence” And every time you judged each consequence as “good” or “bad” This is a motherload of an egg stash.

What I invite you to contemplate along with this information is that this was an incredible Phase 1 trick, similar to the Money Game. But this is a bigger game in scope than that. It’s the Happiness Game. The Happiness game holds all the power of your hopes, dreams, fears, and nightmares. In your own time, explore each one and realize its truth. They are all illusions, and you came here to experience them first as real, then as the truth.

This feeling, the “splinter in your mind” as Morpheus says in The Matrix, began in perfect time with your process of moving deeply into Phase 1 so that you could begin to move into Phase 2. The sensation that there is something more to life than what you see is the beginning of your journey home. It’s the call to action in your hero’s journey. And this is not to belittle the depths of sadness you may have felt that may have led you to look for “the answer”. But whatever path led you here was perfect for you, and if you’ve had an inkling or an ocean of this feeling – count yourself lucky. There is vast power there.

The Law of Attraction Trap

Now don’t arrest me, but I believe we need to examine the legislation of the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction as it has been taught is not infallible. There’s a reason why you haven’t been showered with the most lavish of gifts and the most wondrous of dreams upon watching “The Secret.” (though your heart may have skipped a beat and there’s a reason why.)

The Law of Attraction is not complicated. It doesn’t take an entire book to understand. Put simply it is the fact that like things attract each other. The things relevant to us are thoughts, emotions, people, and events. Yet the repercussions of this claim are great:

  1. First of all, it presupposes that we create our reality; we are in some way responsible for what happens to us.
  2. Furthermore, that we have some degree of control over what manifests in our lives. For instance, if we think about a new car and feel the emotion of having the car, that it will manifest in our reality.
  3. Most importantly, this philosophy rests on the idea that it is a fundamental principle of how the universe works, like gravity, or photosynthesis.

These three ideas alone, based on four simple words are the foundation of thousands of books, websites, coaches, conversations, and just a couple movies. This is a modern day gold rush, a mad frenzy to understand, practice, and capitalize on a resource. But instead of exchanging gold, we are exchanging information. And instead of moving out west, we are all attempting to move up in consciousness. For everyone who does this, I commend you. And it is not my intention to deter you from your spiritual journey. My intention is to put the Law of Attraction in it’s proper context. In truth, it’s a piece that is often mistaken for the whole.

Ok, reality check. If this was the whole truth, we’d all be having the time of our lives. We’d hear these words, do a bit of visualizing, intending, wake up, and suddenly walk from our normal humdrum lives through a portal to a living dream world. That’s certainly what I believed would happen when I came across LOA. But just because there is a law of gravity, it doesn’t mean I can fly.

In reality (mine anyways) the Law of Attraction is the most gorgeous, juiciest red herring this world has ever seen. But it’s no one’s fault. The Law isn’t trying to put one over on you. The Law is, just as you are. It’s simply a step on the path some must walk. But it’s merely a scaffolding around true consciousness. The fact is, if you were enlightened you could read a phone book and experience nirvana.

So Why the Confusion?

Most people aren’t born with an inherent understanding of the law of attraction. Just like any set of beliefs we must learn and adopt them and usually they aren’t the first beliefs to be adopted. Parents and society reinforce common spiritual beliefs like one god, multiple gods, gods of nature, gaia-type lifeforces, enlightened men-deities, irreducible and indescribable concepts like the Tao, ghosts, reincarnation, karma, and no spiritual realm whatsoever. Some will move between multiples of these beliefs before they arrive at the Law of Attraction.

My path was in order: atheism, Christianity, spiritual-non-religious, Law of Attraction, Vedantic Hinduism (total mind-trip), and now I’ve arrived at something altogether different and deeper: a philisophical and spiritual unification – the Busting Loose process.

This is also not considering my dabblings in Ninjitsu, Zen Buddhism, Taoism, and Feng-Shui which were sort of somewhere between Law of Attraction and Vedantic Hinduism.

All of these have something in common. Be they religions or philosophies they must have a set of beliefs which are usually contained in some sort of sacred text whether they are written or oral. Whether you subscribe to the Bible or the Tao-Te-Ching, Vision Quests or Think and Grow rich it is understood that you must follow the principles, paths, commandments, and rituals in order to get the results you desire. If you want to go to heaven, achieve nirvana, go to shangri-la, become enlightened, or be financially free you must not deter from the rule books of your faith, lest you face harsh consequences.

Even the most wishy washy religions and philosophy atleast decree that if you do not embrace their viewpoint then you will not receive their rewards. Atheists don’t get away from this either. If they don’t live in a spiritual world with rules, they live in a material one with rules. The Constitution is another such rulebook, forcing all who live in America to obey the laws of society or receive punishment. I’m not arguing that any of the above rules are bad or practicing them hurts your life or makes you a horrible person. I’m also not arguing that they don’t add something significant to lives of those who practice them and in some cases are necessary for us to coexist. But it’s evident that no matter who you are, you approach spirituality from a cause and effect mindset. It’s simply how you are wired, conditioned, and raised.

Enter the Law of Attraction. You digest the information. It rings true in your soul. You think, wow, there is so much more to this world:

  • For the first time, you may experience a feeling of power or control over your destiny.
  • You are swimming.
  • You feel blessed.
  • You feel a true connection with god or the universe.
  • You are a follower.

After this temporary high, the followers are divided into two categories: Those for whom the philosophy works and for those whom it doesn’t. This happens for a very specific reason.

Those who succeed would have succeeded just the same without it. They’re like someone who’s born wealthy opening a successful business. It didn’t really matter. They would have been rich anyway. These folks are the ones who go on to sell the books, coaching programs, audio tapes, seminars, and LOA Hats (ok I made that one up.)

Those who don’t succeed usually work with it for awhile. After all, it grants them more freedom than any dusty old religion. Or maybe it’s a fantastic addition to their current faith. Perhaps they try out different methods or interpretations of the Law. They meditate, affirm, emote, and try with the force of birthing to believe that it is working. Maybe they didn’t follow the rules well enough, they think. Once they scrutinize, memorize, and internalize every facet of the manifestational process, they wait.

  • “Maybe I just need to allow it more.” Which becomes…
  • “Maybe I don’t really want what I think I want.” And then…
  • “After all, if this is the Law, then I should have what I want.”

They may stay here their entire lives. Or they may give it up, concluding that it’s a bunch of self help nonsense.

The former tend to become the evangelical Law of Attraction types. These are the ones that shift all of their energy towards polarizing their thought process.

“Think positive!” All you have to do is think positive, and the rest will take care of itself. This is probably true, except for the undeniable fact that to be human is to experience a wide range of emotions, including negative. Yet they surround themselves with fellow yes-men, false optimism, and zealous discipline. They may also have completely incongruous vices or some other negative outlet that they tend to gloss over. For them negativity is as sacraligious as a false idol is to a Christian.

The latter go back into the roiling soup of humanity, lost amidst a thousand and one opinions on how to live. Maybe the media takes them in, teaches them to fear the world and buy things to be happy. Maybe they find something else that works well enough. It’s not their dream, but they live on.

This is the harsh truth. One more mirror in the great hall of mirrors in our world. This is not ad copy. This is not a sales pitch. This is the trap of the Law of Attraction.

Where do we go From Here?

Let’s return to that emotion you felt when you watched “The Secret” The one that made you light, made you feel somehow more connected, like there was more going on in this world. That felt so real. Or maybe you’ve heard God speak to you. Or maybe you sat in nature and were completely at peace. Or maybe you read a passage and had a revelation. That felt real. It was. While you were busy rushing around and mining for gold, you missed the gold of the grass and the streams. You missed the gold that lined our doorsteps and that covered us while we slept. But most of all, you missed the gold that was in your heart.

This certainly sounds like something you’ve heard before:

  • The best things in life are free.
  • Live in the now.
  • You are perfect as you are.

If it were me and I had just run the gamut of all things Law of Attraction I would take that answer as a cop out. And if I were to end the article here, it would be. But I’m here to tell you why it’s not and what to do about it.

If you fit the description of any of the believers that I have mentioned, then you have made one glaring miscalculation. You placed the answer outside yourself. Because of your hard material interpretation of reality including the sensation of the passage of time, you tend to see things in cause and effect relationships. If you are desiring enlightenment from this perspective then you subconsciously believe that you must seek it.

“Seek and ye shall find,” you think.

The problem is that, by decree of the Law of Attraction, seeking attracts more seeking. You hold a carrot in front of ourselves without knowing it and go on a wild goose chase indefinitely unless you shift uour very being from seeking to knowing.

This line of thought seems slippery because how do you quantify, measure, or exact a state of knowing? If I don’t know how to drive a car, I’ll crash it if I try. If I don’t know what it’s like to experience oneness then I’ll sit squinting my eyes while reciting chants until the sun comes up.

I’ll let you in on the real secret. Every one of us has an immediate path to knowing. It’s free. You don’t need a thing besides a desire to access it. This is why some people are just successful, why the Law of Attraction seems to work unquestionably for some, and why people who never gave a damn about spirituality can achieve their dreams and change the world. And the lack of this understanding is why when people who “are in the know” try to explain it to people who aren’t, it’s as indescribable as the feeling of being in love.

“You just know,” they say. Exactly.

What do they know?  The truth, with a capital T. Not the truth of the JFK assassination or whether aliens are real. Their truth, the place of understanding that holds their purpose, their happiness, and their wondrous life in waiting. Once entered, flowing through them will be the force which fosters ideas and passions that resonate with their soul, organizes a congruent life to match, and opens the doorway into the higher consciousness only touched by few. The Law of Attraction does work, but how well does a magnet work when it’s covered in dirt? The dirt is your buried truth, waiting to be uncovered.

In my article Quantum Physics, Your Friends, and the Truth I argued that the way we are all infinite creators is that we’re living in different dimensions and our realities are overlapping. If this is true, then each of us has our own core set of beliefs (or rules) for achieving an abundant and extraordinary life. This is why I can only show you the door. But the path to the door is the same for all of us.

If this has resonated with you, then maybe some of the dirt has been cleared away and you can see pieces of the truth glinting through. In your own time, ask yourself “Is this my truth?” Ask it about your life, your health, your relationships, your home, anything and everything. After all, you alone are responsible for your reality. Write it, ask it, confide in someone you trust. Ask yourself to reveal the truth. Make a commitment to be aware of the truth. Seek it in yourself, and you will find it.

When you find yourself thinking, or rationalizing. See if it resonates. If you feel it in your soul that what you are doing is what you are meant to be doing, than this is your truth. If not, then you were meant for something better.

It may happen slowly. It may happen fast. You may be hesitant to let go of the things that obligate but not resonate. But your expanded self has waited for this moment and once you make the conscious decision to know your truth, you will be assaulted with insights, people, and experiences that wash away the dirt. All tailored specifically for you and your journey into abundance of every kind.

If you want to know specifically, I encourage you to check out Busting Loose from the Money Game by Robert Scheinfeld.

However, once you know, you can never go back to your days of blaming, settling, hoping, or wishing. You have been welcomed. May the truth set you free.

Quantum Physics, Your Friends, and the Truth

Quantum physics seems a lot like magic. It’s easy to use as a crutch to explain almost anything, and almost impossible to explain how it works. How did I lose my darn keys? Oh, quantum physics. What is quantum physics? Ha, that’s like asking what is nothing? Though, quantum particles quite possibly could contain much smaller units of measurement (as I’ve speculated about in Breath is Your Guide), for the purposes of language and conscious understanding a quantum is irreducible. It’s the matter-energy equivalent of a prime number.

As I’ve already stated, it’s almost impossible to explain, so I’m not going to venture to try right now, but I do want to use quantum physics to show just how interdimensional our reality is, how it unifies many opposing theories, and how you can better understand your friends.

Big Brother is Watching…Sort of

The perplexing nature of quantum physics is based on one simple (and scientifically proven) fact. By observing something, the observer changes that thing. In Back to the Future, Michael J. Fox, merely by observing his parents, changed their entire reality, which became the basis of the rest of the plot.

The end result of this line of thought is that everything is constantly changing in the entire universe, because there is nothing in the universe that is either not observed or not the object of observation. This is a rather outstanding claim, and if you can prove to me any different, then I will change this article, cite your proof, and credit you with being far smarter than me.

But even if I tried to disprove myself with something like black holes, the logic still remains sound.  A black hole is something that bends matter and time, so you could argue that it exists outside the observable universe and that anything observed about it immediately disappears into a singular point in space, or that this being the case, it’s impossible to observe it at all. And I would agree with you. That you can’t observe it with your eyes. But certainly you’ve thought about it, perhaps seen pictures representing it. Your consciousness has extended to it.

And even if you’ve been hiding under a rock and somehow got a computer and the internet in there, something else in the universe has to have considered a black hole existing, and therefore observed it.

Even if before quantum physics existed in human thought a meteor destroyed the earth rendering all known sentient beings dead and devoid of observational ability, at some point a sun must have extended light throughout space to reach the black hole, and thus interacted with it, and thus changed it.

So this means that all of consciousness in the universe is constantly interacting with itself, and never at rest. And since everything is constant flux, then there is infinite possibility to create anything.

In a Rut?

At the most sub-atomic levels, quantum particles can disappear, reappear, or exist in multiple places at once. But what does it matter if don’t have any money or my relationships with my friends’ suck? I’ve never personally seen someone create something out of thin air. So why is it when I try to apply The Law of Attraction it doesn’t work but it works for others? If love is the basis for the universe, why is it that people who are evil can become successful? If we can create anything, then why don’t we?

The root question here is that If reality is so malleable then why does it seem so constant?

A Shared Hallucination

Humans need to categorize and generalize things. It’s simply how we survive and how our brain works. This process is the foundation for how we remember things. For example “that’s not a good bar” vs “three times out of four I haven’t enjoyed the experience of going to this bar for unrelated reasons so though there exists a good probability that I will not enjoy it this time but also a very good probability that I will.” This idea extends to the foundation of language, thought, observation of the world, learning, and even terrible things like racism. As we get older, we tend to smooth over inconsistencies in life to keep consistent beliefs about reality, especially if those beliefs are tied to our identity.

Cool psychological insight huh? But it extends to our ability as creators as well. Though we may feel like it traps us, there is a fundamental need for consciousness to have a medium with which to communicate with and explore itself (besides oneness). If you tried talking to me, and I tried communicating using only movements from my eyes, we would not have consistent or understandable communication. This is a funny example of lack of solid medium, but what if I needed something like water, and I’d been paralyzed from a fall, only able to use my eyes?

Our senses, for the most part, form this shared medium of communication. Of course if we’re standing in the same room, we can see each other, hear our words, maybe touch each other’s skin. And for the most part, language allows us to consistently describe the sensations in mutually understandable words and concepts.

But how am I to really know what the sensation of being you is like? Certainly we have similar characteristics, but this is only my perception according to my senses. If I were to live with your brain for a day, would red still look like red, would trees still look like trees, would touch feel anything like touch as I know it? We can’t ever be certain, but to compensate for this fundamental lack of true knowledge of being the other, we meet halfway. We develop forms of communications, forms of organization like time, space, day, and night, smiles and frowns, societies and rituals. We do this because we must to survive, and it’s in alignment with the ultimate goal of pure consciousness: to fully explore itself.

Reality seems so constant because we create it to seem that way from the very depths of our being. We love gravity, solidity, pain, and limitation, because it allows us to experience the world together. But all it really is, is an illusion. An illusion that we put so much investment into, that it becomes real.

One Creator or Many?

If I create my own reality, then how do other people play into it? This is where the train usually derails. Of course all of this makes sense. And you may even believe in the idea that you are consciousness creating the world as a dreamer creates a dream and lives in it. Or you may believe if you sin, you’ll go to hell. Or you may not believe in a higher power at all. Here is the true reality. All realities are true.

How can this be? Because every one of us is a creator, right? And every one of us has infinite creative potential, right? It’s not like there is a limited supply of manifesting power and it’s divided between all humans like rolling dice for stats in an RPG. So then if I’m creating the belief that I can create my reality, this is true. And if you’re creating the belief that you take the hand you’re dealt and you have no power, than this is true simultaneously.

How can it be one way and a different way at the same time? Quantum physics. It’s not a crutch. By observing something it changes. We are all different observer-creators. We all have exactly the same power to create our reality – infinite. And that’s why he says “she started it” and she says “he started it” and they’re both right.

Each of us lives in our own reality that we shape by interacting with quantum particles. Each of us lives in a different dimension. We don’t think this because we choose not to. We choose to experience a shared medium for expressing ourselves. Why are there so few traffic accidents when there are so many cars? Why do some see a rainbow when others don’t? Why can an innocent person be proven guilty? Why is the Chinese word for crisis also the word for opportunity? Why does the Law of Attraction work for some and not for others?

We are dancing in and out of each others’ quantum realities all the time in the greatest creative whirlpool of imagination that we’ve ever experienced. If you have really taken this to heart, consider this: Go for your dreams. Or listen for your truth. Because all of us are right. All of us have a piece of the truth.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love LSD

I’ve always had an affinity for LSD. It’s by far my favorite of hallucinogenic drugs, mostly for its feeling of temporary enlightenment. I think of it as sort of a Chance Card that advances you directly to the Park Place of spirituality. Where the fountains shimmer and the pillows are oh so fluffy. The only con is you may end up not passing go and going directly to jail or mortgaging your brain.

Luckily I have only used these tools for good, and thus even bad trips have been incredible learning experiences. Instead of a Zen Koan, Buddha should have just dropped a couple tabs on those disciples.

General Effects

LSD’s universal effects are a temporary altered state of greater interconnectedness and a feeling of great clarity. The visuals are the most immediately noticeable effect. The best way to describe them is a fractalization of reality. The longer one focuses on an image in their vision, the more complex that image becomes. The image keeps on breaking up into to more and more pieces and the idea keeps being more connective, eventually connecting to all things. Depending on how much acid one takes, vision becomes fluid and merges with consciousness. In fact, fractilazation happens in consciousness exactly parallel to its happening in sight. This will result in a phenomenon like the following:

I see a tree. Immediately the form of the tree starts shifting, barely discernable at first. “Maybe it’s just the wind… ” Then it continues shifting, possibly becoming more expansive in my vision, or possibly feeling like it’s composed of a million pieces and a verdant whole at the same time (parallel and paradoxical ideas are par for the course in an acid trip) At the same time thoughts about the tree might flow like, “Wow, that tree is more amazing right now.” “Trees are fantastic and they cover the Earth.” “It’s almost like the Earth is giving love to the sky with the trees.” “This tree has a soul and I can feel it.” At this point I might feel the physical warmth of the tree, especially if I touch it. I might feel my hand merging with the tree and see the world in slow motion. I might see visions of the ancient world where vegetation ruled. “Trees are consciousness just like me, but they exist in a different time dimensions.” “Maybe other people exist in different time dimensions…” and so on.

All of this is happening without great effort. This is also based on the fact that I have a predisposition to love trees. Your trip would be obviously different, but expansion in vision, clarity, awareness, and your consciousness would be a dominant theme.

The Journey

Once expansion in both realms of vision and thought reaches a critical mass, then the lines between them begin to blur. You start to not know if you’re seeing what you’re thinking or if you’re thinking what you’re seeing. Reality becomes a wondrous feedback loop where every new thought is inspiration and every new vision is enchanting. Similar to the idea of the intelligent field supported by quantum physics, reality becomes malleable moment to moment. But the shift is no longer smoothed over by your conscious mind – the building blocks of our universe seem to lay naked in all their glory.

This feedback loop is intensified and made more glorious with other people. Acid synchronizes minds of those who take it together, where they feel into each other and often talk for long periods of time about the same thing just for the sheer joy of talking about it. Often times simply uttering a word opens a vision and a shared hallucination where they cocreate imaginary worlds and see them with great acuity. This phenomenon is easier in the dark, where pesky reality doesn’t get in the way.

Music too, offers the a similar portal into imagination while at the same time the world exists as music manifested. Everything seems completely perfect, a wondrous multi-dimensional symphony of creation, light, and sound. This is simply a personal observation, but I believe that since we are all one, we all have the capacity to go where I’ve described whether through connectedness or loss of identity, or both.

This pertains to my theory on why some people have bad trips, because they are afraid of the parts of themselves that come out and simultaneously afraid of losing themselves. They are afraid to experience their psyche when projected externally and see the world where they are truly part of the world, as a wave is part of an ocean. When peaking the line between our conscious interpretation of reality and reality itself becomes blurred and easily resembles Alan’ Watts view of the universe. You can see how this could create a nightmare as well as a dreamworld. Yet, this is closest to the state of oneness that I’ve achieved for an extended period of time, and that is the goal of most spiritual quests.

For those of you thinking “Whoa this might be too intense.” Never fear. The very nature of our mind to continue moving across different lines of thinking often leads us back to solid, unchanging reality. This gives the feeling that all of the incredibly mind-bending effects come in waves, when the actual phenomenon is similar to focusing on something in the background with your eyes, thus blurring the foreground and vice versa. The background is sober reality and the foreground is LSD reality in this example. It just happens more gradually, in a span of minutes. Personally, I’ve never felt like I’ve lost myself or had my judgement compromised. There was never a fear of jumping off a cliff because I believed I could fly. This isn’t PCP.

The Journey as Destination

I’ve always had trouble grappling with the idea that we should enjoy the journey of life. I spend so much time not seeing the whole picture, being confused, aggravated, and lost that it’s easy for me to wish to experience oneness all the time. LSD results in a feeling where you’ve already arrived. There is nothing to do except that which brings you utter joy and most things do. Everything is perfect, everything makes perfect sense, and you find yourself laughing at all the little inconsistencies in life.

You see time as you would see the Earth from a plane. The sheer beauty of it is overwhelming. Everything pulses with life and you think what a magnificent being you are to be having this experience. The entire puzzle is revealed, as though life was a hurricane and you finally reached the eye. It’s at this time where the greatest insights may come to you. Where you may deepen a personal relationship with someone, find out things about yourself that were there the whole time but you overlooked them, or receive an answer to a question that prior to this confounded you.

Lynn Grabhorn, in “Excuse me Your Life is Waiting” claims that all we have to do is feel the emotion of having the thing that we desire and it will come to us by universal law. Manifestation is furthermore strengthened by the feeling that our life is complete exactly the way it is. Paradoxically, this allows us to be open to receiving new things.

I’ve always had trouble feeling what it would be like to have something that I don’t have or accept my imperfect reality bereft of objects and emotional states that I desire, but LSD bridges that gap. LSD allows me to be simultaneously completely content with everything I am and everything that has happened in my life, and opens me to a whole new world of experience. It is this state that is widely talked about among practicers of the Law of Attraction and I believe this state of oneness and openness is the precursor to fundamental change in mindset, perspective, and even one’s fortune in life.

The Downside

The two main problems with acid (other than it being illegal and notoriously hard to find) are its temporary effects and it’s forcing of expansive consciousness even when one may not be ready.

I have always used acid as an aid for spiritual understanding. Thus I have used it at crucial points on my journey to investigate the nature of the universe. Lessons I have learned include the vastness of our universe, the incredible force of friendship, the value of self-worth, and even the need for patience and to let life unfold exactly as it will. Before this I was attempting to race ahead of life like someone who attempts to fly beyond the curve of the Earth while it recedes just as fast. I believe that the good of LSD comes when it is used for good, and that it may be detrimental if used for the wrong reasons. I’ve tried it in a host of non spiritual ways from going to the DMV, a job interview, or laying brick. This is as useful as getting drunk and trying to do Calculus.

The main problem, however, is for those who benefit. For those who seek lasting change, this will not grant them that. This will grant them a temporary opportunity to see what enlightenment could be like. The enlightening feelings are deep core sensations. The thoughts that spring out are like plants growing out of the richest dirt. While tripping, it feels like you’ve always known the knowledge that you suddenly have, and that you always will have access to this way of being once it’s over. Though I’ve taken acid quite a few times, I always trick myself into believing this is the end of my journey. Now it all makes sense and life will be a perfect unfolding of my glorious discovery.

This is not what happens. Acid has a slow comedown, so the effect is very subtle at first. But eventually all of these sensations become more dull, and you find yourself reaching for realizations that came like breathing before. The effect is similar to what I imagine Jim Carrey experiences in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” as his memories of a loved one are slowly erased. It’s like your memory of your connection to your higher self and the source of abundance is slowly erased as hard reality sets in. Eventually your spiritual experience becomes nothing more than a shadow on your thoughts. Your new understanding may stick with you throughout the night, but eventually all will seem back to normal. You find yourself thinking, “force of friendship? self worth? I could have read that in a self help book. What was I on?” But like those who’ve claimed to have heard god speak to them, this experience was real. It really happened.

The only trace that it did happen are the occasional acid flashbacks I experience. These aren’t nearly as crazy or all-encompassing as other experiences I’ve heard about, but they are quite fun. Most often they happen when I look in a mirror, and my face will distort and change shape. I even might look like different people by focusing on different parts of my face. It’s only happened once where this happened while I was looking at someone else. These flashbacks seem to be encouraged by drinking, smoking pot, or both. It’s often when my mind is in some kind of altered state. Usually I think something to the effect of “Woohoo! Free acid!”

It’s not quite addiction, but I’ve found myself at times wanting to return to that Garden of Eden of consciousness.  Wanting to live where I had access to that kind of perspective, like I had the view of one who flies over the land at their leisure and sees only the good, where the sun streaks across the waves in the ocean that gently ebb upon sparkling sands that sweep up against mocha cliffs crowned by great fields of wheat colored grass. In short, where everything is just as it should be.

And maybe it’s a shortcut to where we’re all going, like we’re in line at Space Mountain at Disneyland and we see the rollercoaster through the glass but the wait to get on is still an hour. But like that analogy “real life” seems so empty in comparison. More than anything, LSD has further stoked my burning desire to be in this state all the time without drugs. It’s not an opium high, or a drunken buzz, or a heady bake, or even a coke-addled hyper reality. It’s what true beingness is. It stops cold the treadmill of our stark “do do do” mindset and bursts the walls around us to the world beyond. It’s the “Power of Now” in pill form. I’m fairly convinced that world peace is possible with enough LSD.

But it’s a crutch. It’s a consciousness steroid. Great for a snapshot in time. But for the long haul, I’ll just have to go to the gym of spiritual development.