Listen inwardly for guidance and then apply diligently.
Many of you will recollect Edgar Cayce, the famous American psychic whose advice was sought by a worldwide audience. Called the “sleeping prophet,” he possessed a natural ability to enter a trance in order to do “readings” for what turned out to be thousands of individuals over the course of many years. When told a person’s name and location, Cayce was able to diagnose the physical and/or emotional conditions of the individual and suggest the remedy needed. Aided by his clairvoyant abilities while asleep, a voluminous amount of practical assistance and teachings were given on topics as diverse as healing, reincarnation and past lives, astrology, dream interpretation, various esoteric subjects, and the Akashic records, to name a few.1
Perhaps the main point Cayce emphasized repeatedly was the need for application. It’s one thing to learn about a physical or emotional issue or a non-constructive past-life tendency brought into this lifetime, but it’s quite another to go into action and do something fundamental about it on a daily basis! Persistent patterns only shift by attentive awareness and lasting endeavor. Otherwise, it’s akin to the momentary zeal of declaring New Year’s resolutions, but the motivation and discipline wanes within a few days or weeks. And it’s back to the despair of square one as the original, good intentions dissolve! Always, there is the need to apply steadfastly the “intellectual” knowing so that fundamental change and regeneration can occur and endure on the “experiential” level. As one of the four paths to realization, Karma Yoga is the process of “discipline in action” in order to achieve perfection.
In today’s mass marketing wizardry, there is an enormous glut of all kinds of tantalizing “transformational stuff” available—much of it initially advertised as free—from a constant stream of the tele-seminars, to 10-day summits on this or that, to activations in awakening to . . . well, you get the picture. Endless enticements! I’ve participated in my share of these valuable offerings with deep and respectful gratitude. They have been a profound part of my journey. But, nothing is ever free, is it?
Many people on the evolutionary Path are already habitually overloaded, overdosed, and addicted to the multiplicity of these seductive offers, afraid they’ll miss out on something. So, they hasten to yet another “special offer” that purports to take them to the Mountaintop.
Nevertheless, the churning and discontentment within them remains overfull and unprocessed as they dash to the next great leading edge transformative process, analogous to the sad state of affairs
Carolyn Myss described in her book, “Why People Don’t Change.”
This sort of constant bombardment and consumption is a form of psychic gluttony that is subtly fostered through skillful marketing, such as join our special inner circle or membership site with its exclusive choices and benefits before the prices increase. It’s a psychological and spiritual paradox (as well as financial drain!). These revered individuals teach and promote autonomy, on the one hand, but foster dependency, on the other, by the constant promotion of their latest books and wide array of dazzling, must-have products, retreats, and cruises.
The current “microwave mentality” is thus all about hurry, quicker, constant texting, and getting onto the next glittery gadget or thing. Standing still in moments of peaceful solitude and applying—through actual effort, sacrifice, devotion, and love—what has already been downloaded into our circuitry seems to be the missing ingredient that eludes so many, like Cayce pointed out decades ago. But in time, all outer resources are simply external crutches, because no actual change in our own consciousness has occurred. We remain at the same, comfortable, entrenched level—skin- and ego-bound.
Another way to say this, as explained by Joel Goldsmith, is: “All the truth that we read in the Bible and in books of spiritual wisdom [which includes the massive amount of current technological offerings and products] is only true in proportion to our realization of it: We may have beautiful demonstrations [meaning some form of an outward manifestation] through the spiritually illumined, but we are only borrowing their oil and benefiting by their state of consciousness. That is legitimate for the new or young student, and it is effective up to a certain point; but if we do not awaken and ourselves become spiritually illumined, we shall be among those who will be saying twenty years from now that at one time we had wonderful demonstrations, but it does not happen to us any more.”2
It is impossible to “get” anything outside of our self. We seek out these modern spiritual leaders, who have attained a measure of their own self-realization, hoping they can magically transfer it to us. And, in some cases, as with the Master Jesus, being in the range of their heightened consciousness does translate to our elevated but ephemeral state in the moment. However, we have to be prepared through applied discipline, for such a grace-given shift—or it’s only a temporary fix. The sense of peace and wholeness eludes us, remaining external and conceptual. We know only with our minds. Yet, it doesn’t internalize and become cellular on the level of the heart, where experiential, direct knowing resides. We know because we have in fact been momentarily to the Real Mountaintop within our self.
At some fork in the road, we have to stop the outward search, select something definite to focus our whole attention on, and then follow through to mastery. By settling on a particular pattern of action, we comprehend why the Spiritual Masters and Teachers point to inner fidelity to a specific Path of Truth, with its special vibratory Note, versus dabbling and dissipating our energies. Choose a “practice” or “discipline” that resonates deeply with you—a natural fit for your temperament and spiritual inclination. Only then will it be authentic and at some point no longer require a mental, emotional, and physical effort. It will be spiritual joy, because it fits like a custom-made glove! You’ve arrived at the door of your True Self, and entered the place of quiet stillness to “hear” the voice of Spirit.
According to author Jean Houston, recent research shows that, for most individuals, it takes about 21 days of consistent behavior to change a habit or pattern or to create a brand new one. In this time period, the brain is rewiring itself and creating new pathways. As we keep on to 66 days, moving toward the desired habit or practice, we make an actual groove that is the gateway into freedom and authentic being. We’ve done the groundwork with our diligent attention and mindful application—moment-by-moment, day by day.
In essence, any such personal practices of internalization work at the level of loving our self from the inside out. The only alchemical workshop we will ever require is within our own consciousness. In her inspirational manner, best-selling author Louise Hays encourages us to “practice, practice, practice!” She suggests making it a step-by-step process. To give an example, her most famous “practice” is the one wherein you daily look in the mirror and, with as much sincerity as you can muster, say, “I love you.” And use your own name after “I love you.” More than one mirror session a day accelerates self-acceptance!
If you keep on, the effort of sincerity will be replaced with a genuine love and appreciation for ALL that you are—that exquisite being looking back at you in the mirror. Louise assures us this single practice can radically alter our life in a mere 21 days!
Whatever transformational choice that may emerge from within your serene heart, honor it—and then “apply, apply, apply!”
If your everyday practice is to open to all your emotions,
to all the people you meet, to all the situations you encounter,
without closing down, trusting that you can do that —
then that will take you as far as you can go.
And then you’ll understand all the teachings
that anyone has ever taught.
Pema Chrödrön, Buddhist teacher
• Master Healer: Dr. Edward Bach
• What Value A Gold Nugget?
• It’s Already Present
• Inner Signature
• The Lily-Work
• Colors of the Divine
• Divine Seeds
2. Joel S. Goldsmith. The Art of Spiritual Healing. HarperCollins Publishers. 1992. Page 169.
Text © by Zane Maser, 2013. Photos gratefully used from Wikimedia Commons. All rights reserved worldwide.
My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.