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.


Advertisements

The Power of Intuition in Healing

Intuition is to know without reason. This means that you do not put your consciousness into your thinking mind, so a deeper wisdom replaces the conditioned ego. From this consciousness, intuition guides us. This is connected to The Wisdom of your Body and has the power to embrace the moment and love from an ego-less perspective. This is what I call your Positive Self.

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, 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; you could isolate specific parts of your life, when you were conscious in the moment and your heart was full of love, your interpretations would be conscious. 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 this.

The simple fact of controlling what part of you interprets your life is an essential key in creating a quality life and your ability to heal at your full potential. It is essential when dealing with a chronic illness or disability to have conscious interpretations. With my illness, I have balance problems. I found that simple problems, like falling down or having my body disconnected from conscious interpretations make my life complicated in negative ways.

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.

I have been teaching this for over 25 years with cancer and AIDS patients and veterans with PTSD. I have found the easiest way to make this transition is to connect to your Positive Self. My book, The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life, (Amazon/Kindle) teaches how to make this transition become an active part of your life. In this book, I develop over 20 qualities, like confidence, problem-solving and changing negative emotions into positive expressions.


© 2015 Marc Lerner

The Positive Self

You are basically described by the way you think and by the way you
act. This book is designed to have you consciously come from the best part
of you. In this book, “The Positive Self,” you develop habits that always
have you come from a conscious place. We think to our self- image, so if you
think to a negative self-image, you get negative thoughts and actions. You
interpret your trauma negatively, which only adds to the problem. If you
think to a positive self-image, you get positive responses, interpretations
and actions. Your positive self is open to external help because it
naturally falls back on consciousness, while the negative falls back on your
conditioned habits.
There is nothing that you identify with that can represent you as
accurately as your self-image. The greatest tool for a person that deals
with anxiety is to be able to control the self-image they identify with and
the ability to switch it whenever they need to. Your self-image was formed
by the way people related to you, for that taught you how to relate to
yourself. Your self-image is at the center of every memory, every idea and
every interpretation you make of your entire life. Simply changing your
self-image from a negative to a positive will not take away anxiety or any
trauma you may have experienced, but it will change the way you interpret
what is going on.
When a person has anxiety, they often have a difficult time
concentrating. Over time, it is often the case that an anxious person
develops a negative self-image. A positive self-image gives positive
interpretations and perceives exactly what is. A negative self-image
interprets based on past conditioning. A negative self-image is created by
past conditioned habits. It is difficult for a negative self-image to be in
the moment, for it associates every input to the past.

Your entire character is a relationship between your positive and
negative self-image. You can create valuable life skills through the
interaction between your positive and negative self. For instance, the
quality of confidence is the expression of your positive self being kind and
loving to your negative self. This is where you find ways to deal with your
anxiety by using inner strengths. A habit can be triggered by a word or
phrase, so that when a person faces an anxious state of mind, they can say
their trigger and at least interpret their situation from a conscious state
of mind.
Doctors and therapists directing their input to the positive self
find their input received consciously. If they direct their input to the
negative self, the input is received based on old habits the patient
identifies with. The habits can be negative or positive, but they block you
from being conscious in the moment. A patient connected to their positive
self is more receptive and connected to powerful inner resources: a patient
connected to their negative self is not open to new ideas and justifies
their life from the way they were conditioned.
The way you receive help is affected by what part of you, you think
to. This book is also helpful for people that help other people. It could be
doctors and therapists, teachers, parents those in a relationship, or anyone
who consciously deals with others’ personal development. Actually, the
greatest use of the “Positive Self” is personal development. The real
quality of life is when you look through the eyes of a conscious part of
you. This book gives you the tools to develop conscious life skills, a
positive perspective and the ability to better learn and correct yourself.

A Healthy Way To Be Sick

 

Have you ever seen a full moon in the sky at noon? That same moon at midnight is a very different picture. In physics, it says a light shines brighter in darkness and I feel that is a beautiful picture for the benefits of dealing with an illness.
I have multiple sclerosis, a struggle I have dealt with since 1981. I am legally blind with several other handicaps and in that picture the dark sky best represents illness or disability. That same situation has the power to force us into a wonderful self-acceptance. I feel my thoughts can be so depressing that my natural reaction is to avoid focusing on them; by doing so my awareness travels beyond thinking and I rest in a silence that comforts me. In that picture, that comfort shines like a full moon at midnight.
. What limits us from living in that state of mind? It is our thoughts. Positive and negative thoughts have the same effect; they create a man-made reality that covers the experience of life. Most people love their thoughts and feel that is their reality. My illness stripped me of my mind-made reality and forced me to really accept my life directly. In my e-book, A Healthy Way to be Sick, I share practical techniques that give you a direct connection to that inner wisdom.
For the past 20 years, I have worked with people who are in a life-threatening situation. I find those people are the easiest to share this inner wisdom with. A person with cancer or AIDS will release whatever they are focused on to do something that may help save their life. People who are happy with their thoughts and ideas may not be so open to let go of their thoughts to search for inner wisdom.
I don’t feel you have to be in a life-threatening situation to accept inner wisdom; it is there for everyone. I do feel if we were to take the darkest hours of our life to search for that depth, our struggles would turn into incredible opportunities to grow. I feel when we get good at this type of learning, we can turn any challenge into an opportunity to grow and better the quality of our life.
I need to tap that inner wisdom to just deal with my struggle on a day-to-day basis. When you deal with a health crisis, you are forced to participate in life with inner resources instead of anxious thinking. Basically, your expressions can come from a deeper wisdom than your thinking mind and that depth can help you heal and become an active partner with the medical profession. Now, living from that depth may not sound so significant, but look at a simple breath. Most people’s breathing is influenced by the way they think. In Latin the root of “worry” is “to choke.” The act of worrying has the ability to cut our breath off, making us choke with shallow breathing.
Have you ever been breathed by the Wisdom of the Body? That simple breath seems to float through you and gives you a beautiful, spiritual experience. It takes a lot of trust to breathe that way, but that is where your body heals the best and you perform with excellence. That is called the “Zone of simply being” and it is A Healthy Way to Be Sick.
Inner wisdom is found in the silence beyond our thoughts. At that depth, you are free from disturbing thoughts and fears, giving you a shelter where you are free from the struggle you are in. It is at that depth the Wisdom of your Body responds to your medication without the limitations from your thinking mind. Even when you are dealing with a chronic illness, there is an inner peace at that depth and this e-book develops that quality within you.
Doctors and medical professionals have gone to school for years to learn their profession, but the Wisdom of your Body has been developed over millions of years. Now it is time for you to learn how to use inner and outer resources together.The greatest resources available to man are found within every person. The greatest problem in our world today is the fact that we don’t know how to use them.

 

The Beauty of Approaching Death Consciously

Why wait till the end of your life to consciously accept you are going to die? We all will die. Most people have a hard time even thinking about their death, but that is their ego’s resistance. In your most conscious moments, you embrace life instead of your mind-made reality. I have had MS for over 33 years; I am in a wheelchair, legally blind with several handicaps that destroy the quality of my life. I suffer from intense pain. For these reasons, I do not resist death; in fact, at times I would welcome it. You could say this is a terrible situation, but it has given me the opportunity to really study death and the way I approach it

I find that life attachments keep me from going deep inside. They are like a life preserver I subconsciously hold onto. Letting go of them allows me to go deep — to a depth that is beyond thinking — where I connect to the wisdom of my body. Imagine the things we are attached to, such as the clothes we wear. This covering makes us feel secure (if we were naked in the middle of a public event, we would not feel so secure). Think of attachments as the clothes you wear and also the heartfelt joy you feel when getting in bed with your lover naked. Approaching death consciously is removing your attachments as you get closer to death. When you let go of these attachments, you naturally embrace life, like embracing your lover.

To help me prepare for this final journey, I wrote a book called The End: A Creative Approach to Death. The first part of this book helped me be clear about what is involved in approaching death. The second part consists of 40 poems that helped me to prepare from a creative perspective. Here are a few excerpts:

Many of us have lived a life where we have become proficient in accomplishing goals; we live our lives in that state of mind. When we are close to the end of life, what is our goal? In our lives, we have been “the Doer,” where we do things by focusing on our thoughts. Preparing for death requires us to also be “the Receiver.”

Of course, there are things to do to prepare for this ultimate journey, but we also have to receive to get valuable input from our deepest inner wisdom. The majority of our character was created by habits developed as children, but most children never learned how to prepare for death.

Consciously approaching death involves utilizing powerful inner resources in a selfless way. This inner journey does not serve your ego, but it definitely brings you closer to life. If preparation can give you a better connection to life, why wait until the end of your life to prepare? It would serve everyone to prepare for death, even when it was not yet a threat. My best preparation happens when I transcend my ego and surrender in consciousness. As Lao Tzu said: “It is best to prepare for death while you are still alive.”

Basically, we think to our self-image. If you think to your Positive Self, you will get positive responses. If you think to your Negative Self, you will get negative responses. As you read this book, the importance of the Positive Self will become clear, especially in dying, for you want to have positive interpretations at this time.

You will learn how to develop self-trust, which allows you to use inner resources to be in the moment consciously, ready for that passing. You will learn how your breath is a vehicle that can transport consciousness into Silence, which activates the Wisdom of Your Body and creativity as you pass.

Too many people view death as tragic. Their focus is in the rearview mirror as they mourn what they are leaving behind. Of course, mourning is healthy as long as you are aware and conscious of where you are going. This is a natural process. Sometimes when I say I want to die, it leads to mourning and I cry. I welcome emotional release, because I do not want my approach to death to be an intellectual exercise.

Unfortunately, most people resist freedom, as they hold onto what their ego identifies with; there is no freedom in holding on like that. “Confidence” comes from the Latin, “con fide,” or with faith, and it takes confidence to face death without holding onto your mind-made reality. Actually, it takes the same confidence to face death as it does to face life, where you are totally free, connected to life in the moment. It is difficult for the ego to comprehend real freedom, because we are attached to our ego and freedom comes when you are free from all attachments.

In Stillness Speaks, Eckhart Tolle said: “In the last few moments before physical death, and as you die, you then experience yourself as consciousness free of form. Suddenly, there is no more fear, just peace and a knowing that ‘all is well’ and that death is only a form dissolving.” You need to learn how to separate your consciousness from your mind-made reality. From this state of being, you will find passing to be easy and without fear, attachments, or resistance. I think it is good to work toward that as you master approaching death.

I have a formula that I will develop in this book that gives you control over the quality of life as you approach death: Anxiety = approaching death x your resistance. As you approach death, your anxiety increases as your resistance increases. If you learn the art of surrender, your resistance will decrease until you approach death without anxiety.

The Eckhart Tolle quote allows this to happen naturally. As you develop strong habits, you can allow this to happen without creating resistance. The quality of life does not depend on the health of your body; it depends on your focus. In your approach to death, develop the focus that serves you in creating the quality Eckhart Tolle talked about in passing.

When you do this work ahead of time, it also makes it easier for those who love you and care for you. It allows them to relate to you consciously in the moment and say goodbye. There is always mourning when you deal with death, but there can also be a celebration when it is done consciously. Join me in creating the conscious moment, where you pass into a new dimension and celebrate.

Forever

Time seems to be changing for me,

Minutes seem to be so long

And even 10 seconds seem to last forever.

Maybe that is it,

I must be getting closer to forever.

***

Marc Lerner, age 62, has had multiple sclerosis since 1981. A Michigan State graduate in psychology, he worked for 25 years with cancer and AIDS patients, veterans with PTSD  and the mentally ill homeless. In 1982, he founded Life Skills Institute and began writing and giving seminars. His books include A Healthy Way to Be Sick, The Positive Selfand  The End: A Creative Way to Approach Death. All are available on AmazonHis website is lifeskillsinc.com. Marc can be contacted at (734) 913-0868.

Posted on August 28, 2014 and tagged issue 58 marc lerner