One of the greatest myths ever spread throughout the world concerns the influence of beliefs in our lives. The myth is that beliefs affect our destiny and determine what happens to us, and that our beliefs and thoughts create our life direction. People even suggest that our beliefs actually create our reality, so if we want to change our lives we have to change our beliefs. This usually means substituting negative, pessimistic beliefs for positive, optimistic ones. In fact, beliefs are merely a replacement for knowing. When we forgot who we really are and submitted ourselves to the directions of the human mind, beliefs were born. As such they are limited in their nature and limiting in their effects on us. Even the most empowering belief is still a weak replacement for knowing who we are and what our purpose is. For many years in my work as a counsellor and group leader, I would encourage people to confront their beliefs about themselves and the world and to face the experience that created those beliefs. I suggested that most or all of our beliefs come from our childhood, and that our negative beliefs emerged from painful experiences that we did not resolve at the time. I made a few mistakes when I delivered this model and I would like to correct one of them now.
The mistake was to suggest that we only needed to transform our negative beliefs, and, if we could not discover the Truth by doing so, at least we could experience more happiness with positive beliefs. The fact is that all beliefs – negative or positive – blind us to who we really are. So although positive beliefs are more comfortable, they do not bring us closer to the actual experience of who we are and what our purpose is. Believing in God does not give anyone a direct experience of God’s existence. In fact there are many stories of people who were atheists, who had incredible, transcendent experiences of an awesome power that they did not believe existed. There are also instances of people who fervently believed in God and had ecstatic experiences that later turned out to be psychotic episodes or hallucinations. I am stating these examples to make a point, and not to suggest that there is or is not a God. The point is that beliefs and thoughts are not in any way connected to Truth.
The fact is we don’t need beliefs in our lives. What we really want is certainty; a certainty that can only come from knowing the Truth. We want to know unequivocally who we are and what our true potential is. So how do we do that? Interestingly enough, the process of actually remembering begins differently for each individual. For me it started when I was driving in my car one afternoon and I began to feel a deep tiredness. I was alone in the car, but I spoke out loud, saying, “I’m just so tired of being afraid.” For another man I know, it began when he faced financial ruin for the fifth or sixth time in his life and he said angrily, “I am not going through this again!” Naturally many people have spoken those same words and nothing in their lives changed, so the magic ingredient is not in the words; it seems more likely that it is a conscious connection with a heartfelt desire.
For those who have experienced it – and some of you are reading this article right now – the beginning of the awakening process was initiated in individually unique ways, but no matter what form it took in the outside world, in all of us a spark was lit that changed our lives in less than a moment. For me it ended a forty year search for “Truth” that began when I was fourteen years old. I am no longer a seeker of Truth; I am a finder. I find it in my pain and in my limitations. I find it when I recognize the illusionary nature of the world and everything I thought was real. I experience the Truth whenever I penetrate a thick cloud of doubt, fear, pain, guilt or shame, and feel my light shining brighter than any sun. And I experience it in appreciation. I can appreciate who I really am; and I can also appreciate how I completely fooled myself in the forgetting stage and convinced myself that I was utterly small and powerless. Then I can appreciate how I woke myself up in the dream, and began to learn how to fly on the wings of freedom.
Perhaps what I have shared in this article will give you an introduction to the amazing power of the remembering process, for helping you unlock the secrets of your soul. Your sense of direction, your unique gifts, and your propensity for happiness will increase noticeably when you understand and apply the magic of remembering in every aspect of your life.
If you have already experienced that magical moment of awakening, I join with you in the celebration of shattering the glass ceiling that so many of us have come up against in spite of our most sincere efforts. Once that illusionary ceiling is shattered you can experience the freedom to do exactly what you want to do in your life with the certainty that you will be materially and spiritually supported every step of the way.