When we come into this world we lose connection with the Source – the source of where we come from and the source of who we are. This disconnection leads us into a world of separation in which we create a new identity for ourselves based on our body and mind. We become identified with the body-mind. Becoming disconnected from the Source has one significant side-effect: we stop being able to feel the love that would otherwise quite naturally arise within us. Having become identified with the body-mind we then seek love outside of ourselves. We learn that love comes from other people and that we will need to fight to get it. We learn that we will need to control our environment and other people in order to get the love we need.
Our early experiences in life cause us to feel either pleasure or pain. When we feel pain an emotional wound is created and this emotional wound will give rise to a mental program. This mental program, along with all the other mental programs which get created, will inform our experience of the rest of our life. It will draw to us more experiences which are vibrationally attuned to the essence of the program and it will also inform our interpretation of future life experiences.
An early experience of pain will give rise to a program whose purpose is to keep us away from similar experiences. But whatever we try to avoid eventually finds a way of gaining our attention. Whatever we try to run from hunts us down because whatever we resist, persists. All of our perceived problems stem from these emotional wounds and the subsequent creation of pain-avoiding programs.
To summarise, disconnection from Source leads to disconnection from feeling love and to body-mind identification. This in turn gives rise to a belief system of separation. We believe that we are separate individuals and that the love we need must come from other people. We believe we need to control our environment and other people and so we, unconsciously, create mental programs which are designed to avoid pain and move towards pleasure. The unconscious association is that pleasure equals love and pain equals the absence of love. All our life experiences will then become informed by these mental programs.
Until we heal our emotional wounds our lives will essentially remain the same. We may change the scenery, and characters may come and go, but essentially the drama of our lives will run according to the same script, with the same story being told over and over again.
If you do not feel love you are out of alignment with who you really are. If you are out of alignment it means you have programs running your life. If you want to come back into alignment the way to do this is to change your programs and this involves healing those emotional wounds.
Each of your programs has a mantra – a vibrating packet of energy within it which sets the tone for your experience. The mantra of a program could be: life isn’t fair; people are out to get me; people are always trying to rip me off; you can’t trust people; people are liars; plus many other possibilities. Your program mantras will reveal themselves in the way you behave, the way you respond to life events and the words you choose to speak. If you study these mantras you will see that they form a pattern and this pattern will describe your life. If you bring your mantras into consciousness and become aware of them, the emotional wounds behind them will come to the surface. You will then be able to see how the programs were created and what they were designed to protect you from.
Once your programs have been exposed and your emotional wounds revealed, you can set about letting go of the emotional pain from those wounds and choosing a new set of mantras by which to live your life. One key point to understand is that programs are created unconsciously – we do not realise when wounding occurs that we are creating these programs – but we can change our experience of life by consciously choosing new programs.
Are you ready to move forwards and are you willing to change?
Some therapists and teachers will say that some people are just not prepared to change or not willing to work on their programs. This often seems to be true, but in my experience, nearly everyone I have met who has shown resistance to moving forwards has done so out of fear – they seem unwilling to change because they are scared to. Saying that someone is not willing to change makes it easier for the therapist because it is quite easy to dismiss someone who does not want to change, but if we see people as being scared to change, rather than unwilling, it becomes more of a challenge because none of us finds it easy to abandon someone who is scared. If we see someone who is scared our natural inclination will be to want to comfort them.
Most, if not all, of this fear comes from ignorance – it is because we don’t understand how life works and what we are supposed to be doing that we form beliefs which are based on fear. Nearly everyone has early life experiences which give rise to pain which, in turn, creates fear, and almost all of us fall into the illusion of separation when we are young. So, unsurprisingly, most people are scared and don’t know how life works – and so we create endless strategies of control, all designed to protect us from other people. But in trying to protect ourselves from other people we are actually trying to repel the ignorance that we see within them which, in turn, reflects the ignorance within us. Separated from our true selves we live our lives in a hall of mirrors which is the programmed mind.
Simplicity & complexity
We make life complicated because we don’t know how simple it is in essence. We think that life is unjust because we don’t understand how it works. We don’t realise that life serves up experiences for us in accordance with our programs. We don’t realise that it is our programs which interpret what happens to us. As we give out, so we get back. So life does operate according to principles – it’s just that we don’t know what they are. And by the time we hear someone telling us what these principles are, we are so full of anger and fear from our wounds and programs that we refuse to entertain the idea.
Every problem we encounter comes from one simple fact: our disconnection from the Source. All of the questions we have about how we can change our lives are all different expressions of the same question: how can I feel connected to the Source of who I am? Every ambition we have is really the same ambition: to feel love and feel connected to who we really are.
We are asleep in the ignorance of false identity because we continue to tell ourselves the story of separation. We awake to our true identity by telling stories of reunion, connectedness and Oneness.
Being the change
In order to free ourselves from our programs we need to allow them to surface, be willing to release them, and exchange them for new programs which better serve our growth. It seems like more and more people are waking up now and it is by connecting with “conscious” people that we are able to expose our programs. If what you are reading here resonates with you, one way to expose your programs will be to ask someone who understands these processes to work with you and help to mirror your programs back to you. Writing our programs down and putting each mantra onto a separate piece of card can be useful as it allows us to move them around and create a pattern from them which may reveal further insights into how they fit together.
Once we have revealed the mantras of our programs we will then know exactly what it is we don’t want. This should tell us what we do want. From here we can begin to create a new identity for ourselves based on what we want and who we want to be. The idea is to create this new identity within our inner vision and to experience this new reality through all of our senses. It is a bit like creating a new version of ourselves in an alternate reality or parallel universe and then drawing that version of ourselves into this one. We can create this new identity by:
- Seeing it in our mind’s eye / visualising it
- Describing it and constantly refining our descriptions
- Feeling it – to really feel what it would be like to be this different version of ourselves
- Imagining it and dreaming it
Now this may seem like pretending to some people but it is important to realise that you are always creating your experiences of life by what is in your mind. If you don’t practise some form of conscious creation, your experiences of life will continue to be created from processes outside of your consciousness.
It is about being the change and feeling it in every fibre of our being. It is about totally “knowing” that every human creation begins life, not as form, but as consciousness. Consciousness is the raw material we use to create new expressions. The mind is our workshop. The craftsman or craftswoman is our intent or our will which focuses consciousness in specific ways within the mind. Our intent starts work by creating a new mantra for what we want to create. For example my new mantra could be “I know that everything I need always comes to me. I don’t need to know how it will come because I trust that it will”. This mantra might be created to replace one that says “I never seem to have enough and I’m constantly wondering where I will find the money to support myself”. As I breathe life into my new mantra and feel its energy in every cell of my being, it will begin the process of bringing to the surface any doubts I have – any thoughts which belong to the old mantra. When these surface, instead of seeing them as proof that my new mantra is not working, I can see them as part of a natural cleansing process – the inevitable way in which the old tendencies seek to reassert themselves and an opportunity to let them go in favour of new thoughts and feelings which are in tune with my new mantra.
So if you are working on creating a new reality for yourself and “stuff” keeps coming up, see it as progress being made. This is the necessary “clearing out” which needs to take place. If you were writing a book you wouldn’t try to print it on paper which already had writing on it. You need a clean slate, a blank canvas – a clear space in which to work. So we need to allow our unpleasant emotions to surface. When they do we can help the process along by fully accepting these emotions as part of our lives up until this point. We can say to ourselves “I fully accept that this is how I am feeling. I am feeling this way because I accepted a limiting belief about myself. I may need to stay with this feeling for a while so I can see what it has to teach me. I may feel sad at the prospect of letting this feeling go because it will feel like I am losing a part of myself, but I know that once I have fully released it, I will realise that it was not part of me after all – that it was simply a false belief I accepted about myself”. It’s no good chastising yourself for feeling bad. That bad feeling is your wound being revealed. It is telling you that on some level you have been hurting for all these years. It is important to acknowledge that pain and allow it to be until you are ready to move on. It is about creating a balance and finding the right time to let go. We need to be mindful of not running away from our pain and equally mindful of not indulging in self-pity. We must be ever-present to the energy of the life we want to create as we consider how long to stay with the emotions from our old life.
Inner & outer conflict
Disconnected as we are from the Source, our lives are always out of kilter and we are constantly trying to compensate by restoring balance. This leads us to experience any number of conflicts with other people as we jostle for position. The stories from our original wounding become battle re-enactments with other people. This happens because of the assumption that other people are somehow separate from us and that “they are not us”. We take, we fight, we accuse and we suspect others of cheating, dishonesty and theft.
But these conflicts are simply outer expressions of our inner conflicts and these inner conflicts exist because we do not know who we are.
Are we single-self organisms?
Recently I was grappling with something that had been puzzling me and so I decided that one way to try to get some clarity and insight would be to list all the assumptions I had made about the situation. I wrote down all of the obvious assumptions as well as some metaphysical ones such as “I am awake” and “I really exist”. A while later a strange thought popped into my head when I came back to the idea of assumptions I had made and this thought said “There is only one person in this body”. It’s true, I had assumed there was only “one of me” in my body and it seemed like a rather odd thought. A while later I remembered how I used to feel when I was in my early 20s. I remember saying to someone that I didn’t feel like I had one self. I felt like I was composed of multiple selves or multiple personalities, with some being more dominant than others.
I was pondering this the other day when I “accidentally” opened an article I had written in 2006 in which I wrote about assumptions, the nature of mind and the question of how many selves we have:
“When we refer to mind we often do so in a casual way without thinking about what we mean. Just as we tend to do things without thinking about why we do them – touching wood to ensure good fortune is a good example – so too we say things without really knowing why. We say things like “I don’t mind” or “I’ll keep it in mind” and even “my mind was all over the place”. It is the same with the concept of self: we say things like “he did it to himself”, “she was self-driven” and “the canteen is self-service”. Of course we can easily explain what we mean by these phrases: “I’ll keep it in mind” suggests that we have a container in which to keep our thoughts and considerations – it belies an underlying assumption that mind is in the head and cannot seep out. Many references to the self often mean that we acknowledge that it is we who have to do something and not somebody else: somebody who is self-driven will not rely on someone else to motivate him. But the use of the word self suggests an underlying belief that the self is a singular entity. We address ourselves with the word “I” and we talk about ourselves as “my self” or “myself” – singular. But is there such a thing as a singular self from which we form our sense of identity? Or might it be more useful and perhaps more accurate to consider ourselves to be composed of multiple selves? Perhaps we have one dominant self and a team of sub-selves. Or one dominant personality and a set of sub-personalities. Perhaps the existence of conflicts within our minds is due, not to a malfunction of the mind, but to a misunderstanding of what mind is. Perhaps the healthy functioning of a human being relies on reaching agreement and consensus between our many personalities. We may even find that the prevalence of conflict and disharmony in the outer world is in some way reflecting the inner conflict within each and every one of us.”
It is interesting to see that back in 2006 I was pondering the very nature of the Self and wondering if we really do have a true, singular Self. From my current viewpoint I can see that we do have a true Self, but that Self is not separate or different from the true Self of other people. The true Self is the innermost essence of who we all are. I now see that the mind of many personalities – the fragmented experience of Self – is the ordinary waking state for most people. Until we realise the true Self we do indeed live lives of fragmentation and inner conflict as we seek to create a consensus between our many sub-personalities. The personality of self-preservation needs to form agreement with the personality of compassion towards others. The personality of renunciation needs to get along with the personality of expansiveness who constantly wants to seek out new experience.
Working with our collection of personalities can be an effective way of “working through our stuff”. If working on our programs and bringing up our emotions feels too heavy we can switch our attention to creating a mind manifesto which will pacify all members of our mind. We can do this by creating inclusive statements instead of exclusive ones. Instead of saying “Do I want to own a house or renounce all possessions?” we can say “I would like a nice house to live in and I would like to remain unattached to it”. Instead of asking “Do I want to be positive and visualise positive outcomes, or do I want to spend my time being cautious and envisaging all possible outcomes” we could say “It is by spending a short amount of time considering various possible outcomes that I am able to choose which outcome I prefer and focus my energy on that. It is through the process of considering other outcomes that I feel more prepared to deal with any eventuality. This makes me feel stronger when it comes to envisaging the outcome that I do want”.
*** This chapter is taken from my book The Light Within ***