Excerpt from the Introduction
Being and ego can be construed as two dimensions as illustrated in the Human Being Map depicted (to the right), although ultimately they are one, since consciousness is oneness of Source. Note that pure Being and ego cannot co-exist, just as darkness cannot exist in the presence of light.
You have always been you, throughout your life as a baby, a small child, pre high school, and teenager, adolescent, adult. Is it not the same unchanging you who is aware of all these changes? Your body cells too have changed so many times, and your current body reflects your current age. The real you is forever-Being. Chop off a limb, lose an eye or replace an internal organ … and you are still you ... change a thought, emotion or belief … and you are still you. Die to the human body and you are still you – assuming you haven’t experienced your own death before you may have to take that one on faith. Again we come to the notion that there is a difference between you and your corpse which is the life force itself.
Your awareness has been constant and unchanging throughout. So wake up! Realize that you are the awareness – the awareness that sees/ senses the external world and the internal world of temporary thoughts and emotions that come and go. Identification with these thoughts and emotions, especially painful ones is the main cause of psychological suffering and bondage of human beings.
ADDITIONAL NOTES: The expression 'Vertical Dimension' in the Human Being Map above is used in a similar way to that expressed by Eckhart Tolle in hs talks and writings. It is also similar in meaning to the Buddhist expression 'Ultimate Dimension' referred to by Thich Nhat Hanh and others.
The Vertical Dimension -heart qualities-includes the Values of Freedom/ Love, Adventures/ Gratitude and Service discussed in detail in Part 2 of the book.
Quote and Exercises from the Introduction
QUOTE: "When operating from ego, your Sense of Self comes from the stuff (or content) in one’s mind. When operating from (forever) Being, your Sense of Self comes from Presence, now – the natural flow of Joy, Love Light and Gratitude free of mental commentary and sufferings of your ego lost in stories of past or future."
Here are a few helpful techniques:
1. Byron Katie’s “The Work” for questioning the validity of thoughts and beliefs, and bringing in more joy
2, Eckhart Tolle’s suggestion of anchoring presence in the body – essentially diverting attention energy from our mind to our body, quieting the former
3. Sedona method for letting go of difficult emotions
4. If you are calm, or can get calm, simply stop thinking if you can, but don’t suppress thoughts/ emotions, observe them impartially, without judgment; and thereby de-energize them
5. Routinely check that your body is relaxed and that your mind is calm. Focus on following your breath, in and out, saying to yourself words like calm, clear, beyond
6. Ask yourself questions like:
(a) Am I calm and relaxed now?
(b) Am I feeling good now?
(c) Am I smelling the roses now? (i.e. am I present? And, a reminder to focus on your breath)
(d) What problem do I have right now? [Generally the answer is “none,” albeit you may have made a list and a schedule to deal with some matters of importance from a state of calm presence].
(e) Am I the “Body” or the “Animating Presence?” (If one choice only which will you choose?)
7. Surrender and accept “what-is” without resistance – if nothing fazes you, you are strong not weak
8. You have experienced difficult times and worried needlessly – remember that they never lasted. Remind yourself “This too shall pass.” And ask yourself “what am I afraid of losing?” But, do not ruminate. Get into the “State of Presence.”
9. Whatever has happened, have you noticed that throughout your whole life you’re still here? The ongoing observing awareness.
10. Say to yourself, ”I don’t mind what happens” in life since first, it has happened anyway so you can’t change that, and secondly, you have decided that it will not disturb your peace of mind and you will deal with it, if action or change is warranted, from a calm place.
Excerpt & Affirmations from Chapter 2: Awareness [Note Free Chapter 1 available]
Humanity has been advised for thousands of years to live in the now, in the present. In conjunction with this, modern spiritual leaders such as Eckhart Tolle are advising us to be in touch with "Being,” the spiritual side of us - if this seems like mumbo jumbo, just ask yourself whether most people would be aware of your spirit (life force or life energy) once you're dead! There must be something that makes us different from lifeless corpses!!
This recognition of forever-Being or Big Mind goes a stage beyond living in the now, to a state where we sense the life force itself. In this state, we are living in touch with the eternal, timeless, formless Big Mind (Being life force) in the present moment while the temporary form of Little Mind (Human ego) takes a relatively low place.
In a fully awakened or enlightened person the ego might hardly be running at all. This is the opposite of the typical human condition where our frail ego forms are running our lives, so, for example, we become our anger, our resentment, our guilt or whatever emotion we are feeling at the time.
In awareness, as you learn to awaken to Being or Big Mind, you observe the thoughts and emotions that emanate from the ego without identifying with, judging or getting caught up in them. As you awaken much more deeply you experience your true nature in the present moment as the formless spacious stillness, the silence out of which forms (including thoughts and emotions) arise.
How do you enter the state of presence? It helps first to relax, to breathe deeply and then to divert your attention from your head into your body, (or you might choose to think of shifting attention from your head into your heart). Feel the inner body energy. Ideally, there will be gaps in thinking, yet without consciously resisting thought, referred to as “no-mind” in the East. This helps to clear mental noise or clutter while at the same time opens you up to the far greater intelligence of the universe well beyond that of little mind or your ego thought streams. Your body has intelligence well beyond your mind, something which your mind knows nothing of. It is this intelligence that creative people like Albert Einstein have drawn upon. When you are fully present in the now you can feel Oneness with all that is, with Being or Big Mind – you sense enlightenment.
The Table below is one of many illustrations in the book that highlight characteristics of living from the perspective of forever-Being.
Buffeted and swayed by involuntary thoughts and emotions of the ego as they pop-up.
Assumes a heavy mantle of self that is entirely separate from everything else.
The heavy drapes of conditioned ego obscure the light of consciousness. Imprisoned …
Living in the here and now as forever-Being and witness of the mind – thoughts and emotions – without attachment.
One with all that is. Connected through billions of ancestors to Source/ God/ life.
“Light of the world” beyond the opaque screen of conditioned ego; sense “the kingdom of heaven within.” Freedom …
Conformist and slave to conditioning and whims of others; keeping up with the Jones’s; living in lack; ruled by unconscious thoughts and emotions; too vulnerable to be vulnerable to others; not comfortable with oneself; feels incomplete; too self-absorbed to help others
Living life on one’s own terms; meets own needs; living with a sense of abundance; living consciously and forging one’s own life; strong minded; comfortable in own skin. Whole, complete and enough. Warm appreciation for life. Lives to give. Motto: I’m here for you
Stress from continually judging, resisting and reacting to “what-is;” inability to let go of the past; fearful of a projected future. Unduly upset when things don’t go as expected. Unnecessarily pre-occupied with other people’s business.
Befriends the Present Moment with warm acceptance. Calm, yet bold in the face of “what-is.” “Doesn’t mind what happens.” Intelligent responses to situations as opposed to knee-jerk reactions. Gives compassion and forgiveness for human unconsciousness – “they know not what they do.” Non-judgmental. Surrendered to the Sunshine, not apathy.
Takes everything for granted; blind to blessings; focused on the bad rather than the good; experiences stagnation; inability to grow and move forward; victim and blame oriented; excuse oriented.
Feeling good about blessings; hopeful for the future, yet living and enjoying the moment and journey without undue preoccupation with results; focused on growth appropriate to life phase, life situation, strengths and personal values.
Additional Notes: Affirmations consistent with the above Table
I Am living in the here and now as forever-Being (or Buddha, or Spiritual Warrior, etc.)
I Am the witness of the mind – thoughts and emotions – without attachment
I Am One with all that is, connected through billions of ancestors to Source/ God/ Life
I Am the “Light of the world” beyond the opaque screen of conditioned ego
I Am sensing “the kingdom of heaven within.” Freedom …
I Am living life on my own terms
All my needs are being met
I Am living with a sense of abundance
I Am living consciously and forging my own life
I Am strong minded and comfortable in my own skin
I Am whole, complete and enough
I Am warmly appreciating life
I live to give. Motto: I’m here for you
I befriend the Present Moment with warm acceptance
I Am calm, yet bold in the face of “what-is”
I don’t mind what happens
I respond intelligently to situations
I give compassion and forgiveness for human unconsciousness – self and others
I Am non-judgmental
I Am Surrendered to the Sunshine of Source
I Am feeling good about my blessings
I Am hopeful for the future
I Am living and enjoying the moment and journey without undue preoccupation with results
I Am focused on growth commensurate with my life situation, strengths and personal values
Excerpts, and Affirmations based on Chapter 3
Behavior then, is an important starting point for generating beliefs and change. The difference between super-successful people and everyone else often boils down to their rituals or habits. These can include:
- Developing an effective mind-set
- Diet, exercise and sleep routines
- Paying more attention to our physiology and posture
- Learning new skills
- Paying attention to the environments in which we place ourselves
Great rituals lead to great results. Sloppy habits lead to sloppy results. It’s that simple. While simple, oftentimes we are stuck in our current habitual patterns in our day to day living. Moreover, for many of us, it is not easy to change to more effective habits that serve us and others better. Practices for changing habits are covered in Chapter 12.
The most important habits come under mind-set, especially developing a spiritual mind-set compatible with forever-Being, and ultimately this is what will provide the most fulfillment. Developing awareness, slowing and reconditioning automatic thinking, self-observation, accepting what-is, practicing forgiveness, compassion and gratitude are prime examples of habits conducive to forever-Being. Related thereto, it makes sense to ensure that your values contain elements consistent with forever-Being.
Affirmations and Behaviors based on Chapter 3
I feel warm appreciation for the awesome miracle of life.
I stay in touch with the sacredness of life: forgotten when living from the human mind’s perception of lack.
I feel spaciousness, stillness, silence and expansiveness in the Now, in the flow of life; relaxed and surrendered to what-is without resistance.
I get out of your own way and let go of some expectations
I feel Aware. I face and examine thoughts and emotions by identifying with Joyous true Self, not mind-based anxieties of the ego
I feel Bold, Calm and Detached anchored in the Now without clingy or fearful attachments
I feel relatively unconcerned with comings and goings, and observe how things come and go in nature
I express my whole life from the Joy of eternal forever-Being
I give forgiveness, acceptance, compassion, empathy & support to myself & others
I give without expecting return
I raise consciousness so that people can be less needy and help themselves
I live, love and experience every moment fearlessly, (assuming there’s no tiger in the room)
I live moments in situations of my choosing
I live moments with joy & enthusiasm
I feel good about my blessings every day
I feel good about perfection, beauty & miracles without overly labelling & judging
I contribute through:
Lifelong learning & skill development
Helping to provide products, projects or services that best express my talents & resources, while benefiting others. Funding of causes that aim to eliminate suffering
Excerpts from Chapter 4
While the foregoing BBB Map showed the incredible source of power available to you according to your beliefs, the simple CC Map depicted on the right concerns harnessing the power of Clarity and Commitment to keep you on track.
The worst case scenario with reference to the boxes of the CC Map is to behave like a Zombie. Lack of goal clarity goes hand in hand with lack of commitment, and the result is confusion and ineffectiveness.
The sweet-spot of course is the Highly Effective Individual, who is both clear on goals, and committed to appropriate action. There is Clarity on what one really, really wants as well as the determined Commitment to achieve or manifest it. A fusion of these two aspects means that you have made up your mind, pure and simple. It will happen and nothing is going to prevent it - there is no "Plan B" and all other bridges have been burnt!!
Let us look now at how some well-known personalities from the fields of business, sports and acting who have achieved notable levels of success in the context of goal clarity and commitment.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Have a clear goal and do whatever it takes to get there!
Believe in yourself; work your butt off
Sylvester Stallone: Keep moving forward – that’s how winning is done! Find your process; do one thing right
Bruce Lee: Commit fearlessly!
Will Smith: Commit! Be amazing at what you do; don’t be outworked!
Donald Trump: Never, ever give up; be totally focused; work hard
Steve Jobs: Build vision-inspired teams; have passion and do what you love; design for yourself
Tim Ferris: Have 1 or 2 focused weekly metrics; focus on your strengths; use failure to help you
Warren Buffet: Schedule for your personality, find your passion, give unconditional love
Bill Gates: Work hard; have energy, create the future
Hard Work or Effortless Manifestation?
It’s interesting to see the references to hard work. What happened to the “effortless manifestation” suggested by many Law of Attraction promoters, with resources lining up in alignment with our thoughts as broadcast out to the universe? ...