Creating a Conscious Self-Image

Who we are seems to be the most important issue in our life. Our personality is how the world knows us. It was created from the habits we learned beginning as a very young child. We developed those habits by the way people related to us, especially the significant people in our family. Also, the habits formed by the way we related to the external   world helped teach us who we are. The personality is like the clothes we wear; it covers us so we are accepted

Our self-image is how we relate to ourselves. This also was primarily developed by habits from our personality, but it is our self- image that is connected to the Wisdom of the Body. A conscious self-image was from conscious habits, where you were in the moment with a positive perspective. A conditioned self-image came from your conditioned habits and is not connected to inner wisdom. A conditioned self-image is not bad, but it is a negative self-image because of its limitations in connecting to the moment. A conditioned or negative self-image makes your awareness stop at your habits. The conscious or positive self-image allows awareness to go beyond conditioning and connect to the Wisdom of the Body.

As an adult, we have a choice with what image we relate to: the one conditioned by our environment or a self-image consciously created connected to the Wisdom of the Body. When a person faces a challenge they were not taught to deal with, they will ideally create a conscious self-image. This is especially true when dealing with a chronic illness. The Wisdom of the Body has powerful inner resources to enable you to become an active partner with the doctor and not become a victim. This is also true in having a loving relationship, having a job that challenges you and having a quality life, regardless of what you do or own.

Most people are so identified with their conditioned self-image, they don’t put energy into developing a new self-image. This can happen in many ways, but you need to be open to submit yourself to a change. A positive self-image can be developed in a loving relationship, a rewarding job or with many types of recognition in any part of a successful life. Success isn’t limited to being wealthy, for many people who are wealthy do not live a quality life as a whole person.

It is possible to create a positive self-image when you are trapped in the world of your negative or conditioned self. If you look back in your past and identify with the most positive experience you remember, you will find a time where your body experienced the effect of a positive self-image. Unfortunately, that part of you wasn’t reinforced over time, so you didn’t create the habits needed for a positive self-image.

It is never too late to build on that experience and develop a new conscious self-image. In fact, sometimes it is essential to develop a positive one, even though your habits formed in the past may not reinforce this change. Having the new self-image to fit into your life, you need to consciously re-condition your sub-conscious mind. This can happen if you consciously connect to the new self-image before you go to sleep and upon awakening. This is when the doors to the sub-conscious are open and strong habits can be developed. It takes about ten days to develop a strong habit, so you have to do this conditioning in the morning and at night. To do this, recall the memory of that positive experience and feel it.

In my book, The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life, I lead you through a technique that connects you directly to your positive self. There are many ways I show you to develop a strong habit. One way is to create a journal, where your negative self expresses itself to your positive self. This develops a habit of thoughts directed to your positive self and an openness to receive with your positive self. I show you techniques to switch quickly between your negative and positive self. I go more in depth on how to program your sub-conscious and how to connect to your positive self by just a word or a phrase. This book goes into depth with techniques using your positive self to develop qualities like confidence and the ability to complete unfinished business.

Here are the benefits of a conscious/positive self-image: In relationships, when the positive self of one person relates to the positive self of another person, there is a strong commitment. In a romantic relationship, the expression of the heart becomes very easy and the commitment becomes stronger. At work, you do your job more efficiently, more creatively and with a better attitude. In a spiritual sense, you have an easier time transcending to a depth beyond unfinished business and with a heartfelt approach connecting to God, or whatever you believe in. Basically, your conscious/positive self creates a high quality of life.

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The Formula for a Spiritual Quality of Life

The first issue in this formula is a complete breath. This breath has to be relaxed and free from stress. It has to travel beyond thinking and connect to the Wisdom of the Body, instead of  connecting to your thoughts. In a complete breath, you develop pure simple consciousness. Before you start, take a few moments and consciously breathe beyond your thoughts. Imagine your breath floating over your thoughts, instead of breathing into your thoughts.

This is beyond any anxious thoughts and connected to a freedom ego does not know exists. A complete breath activates the Wisdom of the Body, which empowers you to deal with any challenge. A spiritual quality is a complete breath minus anxious thinking:

Written as a formula, it is: Spiritual quality = complete breath – anxious thinking

The way you attain that is to focus on your breath as you ignore your thoughts. This is not a natural state of being for most people. It takes time to develop this formula into a habit. If you are in a health challenge, the alternative is to focus on thoughts of your interpretation of what is wrong with you and the future. That seldom helps you find quality. If you have unfinished business from the past, this would distract you from finding that spiritual quality and distort your efforts to participate in healing.

This is, of course, an evolved level to live at, but when in a health challenge you are forced to find that quality. People who are comfortable with their life are seldom forced to find this quality. This is the greatest benefit a health challenge offers. In this formula you live in, it helps you heal and cope with your struggle. Deal with any challenge with this Quality Formula and do not ignore your inner wisdom.

Spirituality and Healing, Discovering the Wisdom of the Body

Let me start by defining what I mean by spirituality and healing. Let me define spirituality not with words, but with experiential situations. First, in spirituality something greater than your conditioned ego controls your heart. That means your thoughts and past conditioning do not limit the expression of your heart. Just think of the quality of love shared in a spiritual moment. Your love for the people in your life exists without any mental resistance and puts you into a conscious moment.  I call this the Wisdom of your Body.  Your preconceived attitudes about things do not influence the expression of your heart. Preferences and what you identify with do not influence the simple unconditional love that spirituality provides. How you were taught to think does not change the expression of the heart in silence, where you are deeply connected to the Wisdom of the Body.

Now, imagine how your heart relates to different aspects of your life, such as meeting a stranger. Of course that expression of the heart is different from family, friends and the people you love. The Wisdom of the Body expresses love appropriately, which means the expression depends on how it is received and how it is pulled from your heart.

The same is true when you relate to yourself. In a spiritual moment, loving yourself has love pulled from your heart determined by your relationship to the Wisdom of your Body. That means that something greater than your habitual ways of thinking relates to you with compassion and the utmost care. When people believe in God, this naturally happens, but is limited by the way they habitually think. In Latin, the word “believe” comes from “to allow”. If believing in God comes from love, you tend to allow that to be   wisdom’s deepest expression. It does not matter what religion you believe in; you allow wisdom’s love to be expressed. For many, this quality of love comes from past conditioning from family or romantic situations that were loving.

Another main expression is connected to your work or what you “do”. What you do and specifically how you do it comes from the sub-conscious mind. Our spontaneous expressions happen without deep contemplation and totally express who we are. Where we have a spiritual connection, those expressions allow quality love to be expressed without even thinking about it.

Now think of having your heart controlled by a higher consciousness as you deal with health challenges. How you relate to your problem reflects that quality of love. That activates a strong will to live and empowers the Wisdom of the Body to assist in healing. Without a clear love, your thoughts and past conditioning can limit the healing process. Self-judgment can cause anxiety, which inhibits the immune system and our natural way of healing. I feel a spiritual quality includes this pure simple love and it is available to everyone if they simply step out of the picture and accept the Wisdom of the Body. Illness and physical difficulties may still exist, but they are dealt with more consciously.

Another quality of spirituality is giving your life or consciousness to something greater than your conditioned way of thinking. Imagine taking consciousness from your habitual way of thinking and becoming more conscious of the Wisdom of the Body. That is like removing the power from thoughts that limit you and, in the process, activating the part that heals you. This can happen in a simple breath when your sub-conscious mind is consciously conditioned. With an in-breath you active this deeper wisdom and with the out-breath you carry that consciousness to every expression. This quality of breathing does not cure every illness; but as you deal with a health struggle you improve the quality of your life.

To many, spirituality makes them think too much. The spirituality I refer to happens as a natural expression, just as if you were breathing.  Breathing holds the secret to how we face challenges. In Latin, the word “worry” comes from “choke”. When we worry, we cut our breath short and minimize our participation. Just think, if it were as simple as breathing a conscious breath, we would not have worry. We do have the power to control our inner environment, even in a health crisis. Of course it will not cure every illness, but it will change the way you deal with your challenges. Breathing controls how you use consciousness. Just think if you became conscious of what heals you and unconscious of limitations.

Spirituality and healing begin with a loving heart. This is where you activate your inner resources as you aspire to completion. Healing is the expression of wisdom’s self-correction process. It is a natural expression along the path of deep spiritual experience. It involves breathing and deep control of your mind.

My work strives for this consciousness in almost everything I write about. Read over 90 of my articles on Ezine.com/MarcLerner. I encourage you to capture spiritual experiences in articles, poetry and in any way you heart expresses itself.

© 2015 Marc Lerner

What is the Benefit of the Silence Beyond Thinking?

We live in a world where our thoughts define our reality. What if we were able to become aware of the reality beyond thinking, the reality that was created by a greater power? This is what I call The Wisdom of the Body, the home of powerful inner resources. Because we constantly focus on thinking, this wisdom is ignored by most of us. When we face a difficult challenge, we have to be especially aware of this inner resource.

We live in a world where value is captured in thoughts or it goes unnoticed. Imagine really desiring something without being able to express it in words. Desires have power when they are put into words. Because our focus is on thinking most of the time, we would seldom strive for what we wanted if thoughts didn’t capture it.

Thinking is the vehicle our consciousness travels in when our ego does the driving. That is how we get what we want…but that is actually a very small part of life. Attraction happens when our consciousness is not locked into our thought patterns. Let me share how the power of being attracted to more than your thoughts really serves you. Let us explore five aspects of life that improve when you are open to being attracted to the reality beyond your thoughts.

Relationships

Compatibility is often established when two people are attracted to each other and live in harmonious ways of thinking.  Thinking can become a shield that protects the heart, which can be touched when we let go of our old thought patterns. To let go requires vulnerability and real trust. A deep bond is established when your love takes you beyond yourself as you return to your old ways of thinking. The power of simple love is that it reveals the Wisdom of the Body and allows the best of you to emerge. Imagine if you were able to avoid limiting thoughts when you shared your heart; the quality of your life would naturally improve.

For example, you may be attracted to a person outside your typical way of thinking. This is when your consciousness goes beyond your habitual ways of thinking and touches your heart.  As in breathing, your consciousness goes in, touches your heart and returns to your old way of thinking.  The hardest thing in relationships is when the old way of thinking between the two people cannot be harmonized.  When you both connect to the Wisdom of the Body, your breathing transports your consciousness back to your heart. This is how both ways of thinking become harmonized.

In society, we interact with many people that we have not typically been comfortable with. We can develop habits that transport our consciousness to our heart as we breathe in. As we breathe out, we can deal with that interaction with our heart. For example, many people are uncomfortable interacting with disabled people. If their consciousness connected to their heart, instead of to their resistance, they would be able to deal with that person better. When the Wisdom of the Body controls our breathing, we naturally transport consciousness to our heart and deal consciously with what is in front of us

 

Health

Beyond your thoughts is the Wisdom of your Body. This is the home of powerful inner resources that you need to heal. Unfortunately, we breathe into our thoughts and worries and give them life and limit that wisdom. When we give life to thoughts that harm us, we inhibit our natural protection and we tend to become ill. I prefer to let the doctors answer the question “why” we become sick and how we are to heal from illness; my role in healing is to allow the Wisdom of my Body to express itself.  If I can avoid limiting thoughts and connect to the Wisdom of the Body, I can actively participate in my healing. as an active partner with my doctor.

I feel the Wisdom of my Body responds to medications better than does my anxious ego. I eat when I am hungry and drink when I am thirsty. I exercise my heart, mind and body as I aspire to reach for this beyond thought reality…but I am still dealing with a chronic illness. The patient’s role in healing involves all of the above as you become a partner with your doctor, but illness may still be there to force you to grow.

Spirituality

Spirituality is when the Wisdom of your Body connects to the reality beyond your thinking mind. Religious rights and rituals interpret that experience into our thinking mind, but the spiritual connection comes from wisdom and consciousness connecting. Spirituality is not an intellectual exercise; understanding doesn’t replace simple surrender. Instead of our consciousness resting in our thoughts…there is a real connection to a higher consciousness.  A spiritual experience gives life to religious understanding and creates a special tenderness in your religious practice.

Education

The word ‘education ‘comes from the Latin ‘to draw out.’  In true education, we draw from a child’s inner wisdom to bring out the best of them. Instead of indoctrinating them and committing education to memory, true education entails involving their inner wisdom.  Real education is experiential and involves the Wisdom of the Body instead of superficial learning relying on memory. When a child realizes the Wisdom of their Body is their best educational tool, the education process never ends.

Play

Children express play on a joyous level with few rules and limiting self-concepts. It is our thinking mind that limits our deepest expression. That can be in sports or music, writing or humor. If we were able to eliminate limitations created by our thoughts and past conditioning, our efforts and intentions would emerge from our deepest inner wisdom. Talents are easier to develop when we have free expression than when we focus on limiting thoughts. Just think, if habits of play were encouraged in children, how that would affect their adult life.  It would give them an unlimited expression of their deepest wisdom.

 

This article shows you how important it is to develop the expression of the Wisdom of the Body in every aspect of life. To see how it applies in health, go to: Amazon/Kindle.com for Marc’s books. The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life, explores in depth the reality beyond thinking. A Healthy Way to be Sick, explores the beyond-thought reality in the healing process.

© 2015 Marc Lerner

How Accepting Death Empowers You in the Moment

We all carry a lot of unfinished business along with us all the time. The more we accept death, the more in the moment we are.  Accepting death is possible, for it makes us reject the parts of us not living in the moment. That is a spiritual gift. If you looked at your life imagining you are going to die soon, unimportant things would fall from your character. Just do the following things and allow your imagination to be real to you.

  • Sit and become deeply relaxed. The deeper you go, death is more than an idea to you.
  • Imagine a realistic situation that brings you closer to death.
  • Identify people, work situations and philosophical questions that are incomplete within you.
  • Realize that a conscious approach to death completes your unfinished business, so death is simply the next step for you in life. Make your breath flow easily and smoothly. Your mind becomes empty the closer you get to death.
  • Here is a technique that teaches you The Easy Breath; Take 3 deep breaths and stop breathing after the third one. If you are relaxed, the Wisdom of your Body breathes you. Notice how easy that breath flows through you; that is The Easy Breath.
  • Now imagine the unfinished business you have and ask yourself “Do I want to hold onto this as my last possession?”
  • Go deep again and breathe the Easy Breath. Let this experience sink deep into you.

When you return to your normal state of mind, be grateful for the experience you just had. Capture this experience in a trigger (a word or a phrase). Say that trigger whenever you deal with that unfinished business. This doesn’t complete your unfinished business; it just puts you in the best state of mind to work on it.

For instance if you owe money; you still owe it, but working on completing this unfinished business from a conscious state of mind makes it much easier to deal with. The same is true for unfinished business with another person. In other words, you still have to work on it, but from a conscious state of mind.

There is no reason you have to carry your unfinished business around with you as a weight around your neck. Complete it while being more conscious. There is no magic in life; get to the point where you face death consciously and watch the unimportant burdens fall away. Facing death consciously can be a new beginning for you. Just trust your deepest wisdom to change you and don’t resist. You will be more conscious in the moment.

 

© 2015 Marc Lerner


Go to Amazon/Kindle.com to find all of Marc Lerner’s books: The End, A Creative Way to Approach Death, A Poetic View of Hospice, A Healthy Way to be Sick, The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life. Go to marclerner.com to read Marc’s blog and articles.

What Part of You Listens to Your Thoughts

The part of you that listens to your thoughts is the subtle consciousness which is the essence of life. Most people think life is represented by their thoughts, but this essence is beyond thoughts. From this consciousness, you interpret your thoughts and the imagery can communicate to your body. Most people think about their mind simply using their thoughts.

From this consciousness, intuition guides us. Intuition is to know without reason. This is connected to The Wisdom of your Body and has the power to embrace the moment and love from a selfless perspective. You may not be able to control your thoughts, but you can control what part of you listens and interprets.

Most people have such a strong habit of focusing on their thoughts that they interpret their life simply by the way they have been conditioned to think. We think to our self-image and, though our self-image has been developed throughout our entire life, it is possible to create a self-image that is based on the most positive parts of your life. Most people’s self-image is a blend of everything they learned and interacted with during their life.

Imagine having your thoughts interpreted solely by a self-image that was created in your most conscious moments. Just think; if you are conscious in the moment, with a heart full of love, your thinking and interpretations would be ideal. You would be free from your past and your interpretations of the events in your life would be an expression of your deepest wisdom.

 

We have the ability to create a self-image like that and trigger it whenever a negative self-image appears. This is what I mean by ‘what part of you listens to your thoughts.’ You have the ability to control your self-image and interpret your life from a conscious perspective. Nobody else but you can control that.

The simple fact of controlling what part of you interprets your life is an essential key in creating a quality life. It is essential to have conscious interpretations when dealing with a chronic illness or disability. Simple problems, like falling down, having your body not respond to your mind and difficulties communicating with people are significantly influenced by the way you interpret what is going on.

Most people focus on their thoughts and the focus of their awareness naturally goes to the object of their thoughts. In our culture, the value of thinking is a precious gift. Inventions and technological progress solve problems, but sometimes our problem exists in how we interact with a challenge. Through past conditioning and habits, our character is defined. We are taught to believe that that is who we really are. Sometimes, though, during the most difficult times of our life, we are forced to explore the inner reality that exists beyond that conditioning.

 

People who live a comfortable life are not often forced to this depth. This depth, though, is available to every person and would benefit everyone’s life if they accepted this inner reality. It is from this depth that the expression of their heart is pure. It lacks the thoughts and conditioning of ego and is purely an expression of their deepest wisdom.  The quality of their love would be selfless, not compromised by their ego.

In loving moments, that inner reality is there.  Unfortunately, the habit of focusing on thinking blocks us from staying in that consciousness. Too often, we think that if we change our mind and think a certain way, our problems will be solved. When we venture beyond our thoughts and experience this reality, that state of mind would serve us in everything we do. We just need to learn how to get there when we need it.

 

In all my books, I deal with developing a positive self-image. In The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life, I show how a conscious self-image can develop over twenty life skills needed for a quality life. In A Healthy Way to be Sick, I emphasize what part of you heals the best. In a health crisis, your positive self is connected to the Wisdom of your Body, which is a conscious link to what needs to be healed. In The End: A Creative Approach to Death, a conscious self-image takes away the fear and resistance, so you can rest in peace.  A conscious self-image does not change the challenge you face; it just faces how you deal with it. You will find these books at Amazon/Kindle.com.

 

© 2014 Marc Lerner

Learning How to Let Go of Your Life

This title might sound suicidal, but this is not my intention. When you look at your life as the consciousness that keeps you alive and allows you to be more active, letting go of your life is freeing your consciousness. You are freeing it from your thoughts and conditioning. This allows you to be conscious of powerful inner resources and develop a deep spiritual connection. This goes against the way most people live their life.

We have been conditioned to be very conscious of the way we think. Our conditioning is so strong that our consciousness is trapped in our thinking mind. Basically, this is another way of defining attachments. When your consciousness is connected to a thought, you are unable to connect to your deeper inner wisdom. On almost every spiritual path, you are encouraged to let go of your attachments, which allows consciousness to enter a spiritual realm.

I want to propose to you that this can naturally happen in every breath. When we learn how to breathe beyond our thinking mind, our in-breath is a way of letting go of the thoughts that define our life. This in-breath can create a habit that frees us from our thinking mind every time we breathe. Then, on our out-breath, our consciousness returns to our thinking mind with a clear perspective.

To the ego that naturally fears death and is what we identify with, this traps us in our thinking mind. For most people, their thinking mind serves them and makes them more efficient in this world. But, when a person aspires to an important goal, that beyond-thought reality is the home of powerful inner resources that they need. For instance, if you struggle with a health crisis, breathing into this depth is how you can become an active participant as a partner with your doctor. Not only do you activate your healing powers, you remove anxious thinking that limits your ability to heal.

If you want to express love to someone who is important to you, the ability to breathe beyond thoughts allows your heart’s expression to be pure. We limit our love by the way we think and were conditioned. If you had the power to transport consciousness to the silence beyond your thoughts, your love would be free from any limitations. Of course, this happens by a habit which can happen to most people naturally. But, for those whose love is limited by their thoughts and conditioning, they may need to put conscious effort into making this happen.

Another aspect of our life that this breath can serve is our work. When we hold onto our thoughts, we block creativity and our openness to new ideas. Creativity is an important part of work and can subconsciously be limited by the habits we create. Developing the habit of conscious breathing, where we let go of our thinking mind, has the ability to makes us more conscious on our job.

Focusing on breathing may sound insignificant, but it can add quality to every aspect of your life if done consciously.  I suggest that you take time and develop the habit of letting go of your thoughts. This can happen by practicing breathing into silence every night before you go to sleep and every morning when you wake up. This will allow you an instant escape from anxious thinking and, possibly, develop this habit in every breath.

In a health crisis, you need to learn how to let go, so that powerful inner resources can assist you. In my book, A Healthy Way to be Sick, you learn to apply this in a health crisis. In my book, The End: A Creative Approach to Death, you apply this same perspective to your final days, as you approach death.


© 2015 Marc Lerner

Is it Easier to Change the Cause of Your Stress or Your Interpretation?

When you face a challenge you cannot control (like a chronic illness, losing your job or the decision of another person), you can always control the way you interpret your perception of what happens.  Victims are people who accept what happens as the only reality they deal with. The empowered person realizes what happens is something they have to deal with; how they interpret what happens determines the quality of their life, their response and how their response is received by others.

Imagine the power you have in the simple act of how you interpret your reality. The person with an externally directed focus only looks outside for the solutions to his problems. The person with an internally focused awareness tends to look within for the solutions of his problems. Both inner and outer focuses have qualities for solutions, but with a conscious breath, the inner and outer harmoniously work together. We need experts’ advice in the area they specialize and we need our inner resources to consciously respond to their advice.

Think of our in-breath as the way we take in input and connect to inner wisdom. Then, in a split second, our body processes that input, which activates our powerful inner resources to respond.   It is not a matter of choice; our mind and body are previously programmed to respond in a specific way.  

Here is our biggest question: Can the conscious and subconscious mind and body be reconditioned? The answer is complex with many variables, but the main point is, if you really want it to. Most people do not even consider that question unless their life or what they value is threatened. People with chronic illness, facing the threat of death desperately strive to change, but some are successful and some are not.

The way we interpret our situation plays a significant part in how we deal with our struggles; that is the easiest thing to change. You can change a negative interpretation simply by changing the habit of what part of you interprets it. You can consciously condition habits that are connected you to your inner wisdom instead of the you that was locked into negative past conditioning. That does not change the problems you face; it just changes how you perceive and interpret your situation. Of course, you could be a victim to your past conditioning and simply respond as usual…but why?

By consciously conditioning a new self-image, the part of you that interprets thoughts and perception…you see the world differently. Now this new self-image is not purely fantasy; it can be made from your past so that you can identify with it.  Even though the self-image you want to change was strongly conditioned and may resist change, you can create new habits that make it feel like a special part of you. When that special part of you deals with your problem, you respond more consciously with a stronger quality of life.

If this can be done with a significant life skill like your self-image, why can’t it be done with skills like self-trust, confidence and how we utilize our inner resources? We do not have to rely on how we have been conditioned; we have the power to recondition our mind. Victims feel their past conditioning is their reality. Empowered people are free to recondition their mind. If this is an easy thing to do, you have no excuse not to do it.

You can develop a positive self-image in my book, The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life. Then, you can learn how to apply it to your health in A Healthy Way to be Sick. Find them on Amazon/Kindle.com.

 

© 2015 Marc Lerner

Trusting Your RealSelf

When we think of trust, we think of people, places and things. That kind of trust, even though you experience it within, is directed outside of you. When we face a health challenge, we need to learn how to trust ourselves. When we trust ourselves, we are open to receive powerful inner resources. When we do not trust ourselves, we can be resistant to inner resources, because they do not fit into our self-concept. We trust what is important to us. In my work, I teach people how to take the importance out of their thoughts and return importance to life and their deepest wisdom.

 

The “Zero Point” is the name I have given to the state of consciousness where we are free to “preside over” our bodies and create conscious programs in harmony with the wisdom of the body. It is where we do not trust our thoughts as much as we trust inner wisdom. Understanding the Zero Point is the key to understanding trust.  Too often, we are programmed during difficult situations, creating disharmony in our lives. Arriving at the Zero Point, we are free from habitual programs and can make corrections, programming harmony with our deeper wisdom. At the Zero Point, we are free from damaging thoughts and real change is possible.  When we are free from tension-producing thoughts, we can enter a deep relaxation that is always there, but otherwise covered by thinking.  Entering this depth not only feels incredibly positive and peaceful, it is the home of our inner resources.

 

One of my own recurrent problems in social situations has been the fatigue brought on by MS. The fatigue I have struggled with is an exhaustion that has nothing to do with lack of sleep. During the times I experience this difficulty, the only comfort I find is at the Zero Point, where my thoughts do not touch me.  My fatigue is often hard for those around me to understand, because it seems as though I am not interested in the social event or the people I am with. Probably the worst part about it is the thoughts I have about the circumstances. Again, I have been forced to find a shelter in Silence, which is free from thoughts and comforting. In Silence, I benefit greatly from not tuning into my negative thoughts. At those times, being is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

 

Many of the veterans that I worked with also suffered greatly from their thoughts. The Zero Point is easier to find in an extreme external situation, such as wartime, but this shelter is also needed in “peace.” A veteran who understood the Zero Point told me, “In combat, you can’t think about yourself, or else fear sets in and paralyzes you. In combat there is no past or future, just the moment.” Our perception of time exists as we know it when we replace the experience of the Zero Point with the ideas of self. In the intensity of war, close to the Zero Point, the only time is the moment.

 

The Zero Point has nothing to do with the world around us or our perceptions or conceptions about it. Our perceptions and conceptions are part of the illusions created by the brain.  When many of the vets came home, their memories of war were stored in their whole brain.  These memories stopped the veterans from re-entering the Zero Point because they avoided the traumas they buried there.  The Zero Point is not a “mind-made” reality; it is the purest consciousness connected to life. But the fact is, it takes consciousness to realize experience and to listen to our thoughts and memories.  The Zero Point, then, is the pure consciousness beyond both thoughts and experience.

 

From the Zero Point, we can understand how to “be.” When I became legally blind, the outside world was blurry. I put less importance into my visual perceptions. My awareness was freed from my thoughts, and I became more and more aware of the way I was thinking.

 

Imagine the human brain as a movie projector. The light of the projector is consciousness.  The film is our conditioning, so when light flows through the film, it projects the movie on the world we live in. Going beyond thinking is like taking film out of the projector, so that it is much easier to work on our thinking processes. Unfortunately, we act as the movie director and it is hard to let go of the film we identify with.

The Zero Point is a shelter from “bad movies,” for in that state of consciousness, no thought is more important than life. If thoughts bother us, we can arrive at the Zero Point and be totally free from the bothering thoughts.  If we find ourselves in a threatening situation, connecting to being may be the only door out of that situation. The ongoing trauma experienced by many Vietnam veterans has only one exit–they have to re-own the Zero Point and live in a reality beyond memories and thoughts.  In a way, this dilemma of the veteran is a gift, because it  forced him to become super-conscious, a state of mind he knows  very well. It is thoughts which trigger suffering and he is forced to find the Zero Point, a natural shelter.

 

One veteran who was having a wonderful experience of the Zero Point gave this example to some others:   “Say we were sitting somewhere in Vietnam and I said something that really pissed you off. Maybe I said something about your mother and you went into a rage. If at that time we started to get overrun (by the enemy), at the first shot you would still go to the Zero Point, just like that, instantly.”   In response to this, I said: “No thoughts would get you there, just your passion for life would connect you. But now, in ‘peaceful’ circumstances, you think you have to rely on thought to get you there. This doesn’t work very well.”

 

Instead of using the vehicle of thinking to “work” our way to the Zero Point, we can create habits that work without thinking, but take us instantly there. While talking about the Zero Point with a group of veterans, one veteran was focused on what he had to “do” to get to the Zero Point.  I told him that counting numbers was like “doing something,” but how do we count to zero?  We are already there, but the most difficult thing is accepting that fact. If we have to “do something” to get there, we lose the focus of the moment.

 

A seminar participant at “Step-Up on Second”, a day center for the mentally ill homeless, once said this when talking about finding himself: “You have to go through death to get to where you really want to go.”  Death is a reality where we can’t “do” anything.  To the ego, it is inconceivable, but at the Zero Point, it is possible.   Since our thoughts and conditioning have created the ego we think we are, going beyond those thoughts is like going through a “death.” We don’t want a laborious journey every time we want to connect.

 

You might think that trust only relates to the groups mentioned above, but we need to learn that trust in our daily lives. For instance, in the tender moments of intimacy, we do not want to think about “getting to” the Zero Point. Creating conscious habits allows us to connect without thinking about it.

 

The books of mine that support this article are A Healthy Way to be Sick and The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life  (Amazon/Kindle). These books will teach you all of the life skills needed to become conscious in the moment. Even if you are not sick at this moment, the lessons are extremely valuable. Learn them while you are healthy, so they will be there when and if you got sick.


THE WHOLE BRAIN

Once we understand how the brain works, we can use it to manifest wisdom. We travel through life in three main states of consciousness. The first stage I call “Innocent.” As young children, we do not know right from wrong–we are innocent. Older, we learn to distinguish between right and wrong and we develop the second stage, which I call the “Doer.”

 

The “Doer” performs actions controlled by the conscious mind, doing right and avoiding wrong and the punishment wrong actions bring. The “Doer” is focused on thoughts within the mind. This is a natural and very important learning stage, but many of us get stuck in this stage and do not go on to the next.

 

I call the final stage the “Receiver.”  In this stage, we receive from our own wisdom and accept its lessons with real openness. Many who are aware of the difference between these stages feel that it is almost an “either/or” situation; either one performs actions as the Doer, or he meditates and goes deep within and receives deeper experiences. But instead of either/or, both states of mind can exist simultaneously. We can perform actions and attain this depth by learning how to “be,” as we simply live our lives.

 

In the healing process, we need to use our whole brain. We need to do things that are right, like eating healthy foods and taking the correct medicine. We need to be receptive and listen to the Wisdom of our Body. Sometimes, a person does not learn to use their whole brain until they face a crisis, like a chronic illness.

 

When I began working with the combat veterans, they often thought I was “against” thinking. They told me that when they were in combat they had to think. My response to this was that thinking itself is not bad.  My own work obviously involves a lot of thinking. But thinking can take place in the Doer stage of consciousness, or we can learn to be receptive and receive thoughts from the deeper wisdom of being.

 

“Receptive thinking” is most likely the type of thinking that took place in a combat situation for the veterans. In those situations they were, by necessity, so connected to life that their thoughts had to come from a higher consciousness.

 

If we were to step back for a moment, we would see that the brain is the creator of every experience we have. Most of us  are conditioned to look first to external things for the experiences we want.  This happens automatically, but the external world can only activate the brain to create the desired experience. It is the brain itself that creates the experience. We can learn to use our brains to create experiences we want.

 

Once we enter the Receptive stage, we can learn a great deal from inner wisdom. The better we understand how the brain works, the easier it is to use it. Dr. Paul MacLean, a brain researcher, shows us that the brain is made of three main parts.   He calls the first part of the brain, the “Reptilian” brain. This part of the brain operates the bodily functions and is concerned with survival.

 

The next part of the brain is called the “Mammalian” brain. This is our emotional center. The third part of the brain, which is found in more evolved mammals, is called the “New” brain. The New brain is made up of two hemispheres. The Left hemisphere stores our thinking and speaking abilities. The Right hemisphere is the home of our creative and spatial awareness, as well as our connection to the Mammalian and Reptilian brains.

 

The New brain is the tool we use to adapt to society.  While these two hemispheres operate independently, they are both involved in many of the things we do.  When we speak, the Left hemisphere deals with the linear process of thinking and speaking, while the Right hemisphere can be involved with spatial awareness and creativity.  Each part of the brain is unique, but they cannot be separated into definite categories.  The fact that they work together means that analyzing the brain does not produce a “black and white” picture; rather, these two hemispheres work together.

 

In healing, we need to use the whole brain. The Left hemisphere is used to become a partner with your doctor. The Right hemisphere is a more receptive mind, which can creatively deal with uncomfortable situations. This part of the brain is connected to the Mammalian brain, which deals with emotions.

Many illnesses are affected by suppressing emotion. This makes the Mammalian brain ineffective and cuts down the connection to the Reptilian brain, which deals with the body’s functions. In a healthy brain, there is a natural flow between the New brain and the Reptilian brain and back again. This is where you communicate to your body and the Wisdom of the Body communicates to you.

 

Obviously, we do not think this way under normal conditions. When we face a challenge, like a serious illness, we have to understand this flow. It is easy to block the flow in our everyday life, simply by unconscious communications to the body and sensitivity to what the body gives back. Using the whole brain is essential in a health crisis, but it is also needed to live a quality life.

The two books I have written that will further explain this article are A Healthy Way to be Sick and The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life. (Amazon/Kindle)