The Circle of Existence: Chapter 7 – The Background Trend

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by DCH Park

monarchy-153404_1280“Reality is not a function of the event as event, but of the relationship of that event to past, and future, events.”
– Robert Penn Warren

“The frame, the definition, is a type of context. And context, as we said before, determines the meaning of things. There is no such thing as the view from nowhere, or from everywhere for that matter. Our point of view biases our observation, consciously and unconsciously. You cannot understand the view without the point of view.”
– Noam Shpancer

I read Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There when I was in eighth or ninth grade. I remember taking it with me when my class went on a field trip into the city to see a play. I have no memory of the play but I have an image of the lot of us standing outside the theater. I took the book with me to pass the time when we were waiting on line. I remember because some of my classmates saw it and teased me for reading what they knew as a children’s story. I smiled at their teasing and returned to my reading. I had picked it up because I read somewhere that Lewis Carroll’s stories were an excellent exercise in logic.

In it, the Red Queen is initially cordial to Alice, explaining the rules of chess. The narrative at one point says, “Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else—if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”

“A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” (Carroll, Lewis, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, Chapter 2, http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=CarGlas.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=2&division=div1, retrieved 15 JUL 14.)

The Red Queen’s Race, as it has come to be called, has been used to illustrate competitive adaptation in evolutionary biology, the “Treadmill of Production” in environmental sociology, and other concepts. In engineering and physics it can be likened to a DC offset, though the Red Queen’s Race, which is run as fast as you can, is probably overstating the matter a bit.

A DC offset is a background level that affects everything the same way so that relative differences between one point and another are unaffected because both the beginning and end points are affected by the same amounts and in the same direction. It is expressed mathematically by adding a constant to both inputs and outputs. The offset can even change over time. If it does, of course, the offset becomes a more complex function than adding a simple constant, but relative differences will be unaffected as long as both end points are affected the same way.

I have always been puzzled by Dodgson’s (Lewis Carroll’s “real” name) inclusion of the Red Queen’s Race in his novella. For one thing, it would seem that you only have to “run at least twice as fast” to make progress if you’re going in the same direction as the offset. If your goal is in the other direction, the offset brings you closer to it. If the offset is increasing over time, even if the increase is imperceptibly small over the course of a day or a week, then you may not have to run at all. You may be able to reach your goal by simply standing still. The background trend will bring you and your goal together.

Nevertheless, the race itself is an intriguing concept with vast implications but it doesn’t seem to impact the rest of the book or characters at all. The characters all walk about normally and the landscape stays put afterward. Is it possible that Dodgson was alluding to a background trend in the real world and not a fictional trend at all? Arguably, all of the fantastical things that Alice encounters in Wonderland are rooted in real world experiences. Their outrageous appearances serve to distract and disarm you but those outrageous elements begin in truth. The next question then would seem to be, “What is the truth? What, if anything, is true about the Red Queen’s Race?”

It surely isn’t literally true. We would probably notice if the landscape moved relative to our places in it. We would probably end up saying something very much like what the Red Queen says. Instead, we think it strange.

Is there a background trend that we don’t notice but that very powerfully affects us? Even something intangible can nevertheless be real. A moment’s reflection finds that even non-physical things can be felt through their effects. (This is not to say that everything that is intangible is real. Rather, those things that exert real effects are real, even if we can’t see them directly. We can ignore them but we do so at the risk of also ignoring their effects. Those effects may be small, but taken over a whole lifetime or several generations, their cumulative effect can be decisive.)

We can measure and feel their effects even when we can’t perceive them directly. This has been demonstrated even with physical things, for example, with things that are very small, like a bacterium or virus and things that are very big, like in plate tectonics. Perhaps the effect is very small. Perhaps the effect is only readily apparent over generations. Perhaps we are taught to simply take it for granted or not to notice it. Perhaps something else is going on or a combination of things is happening.

Certainly if the effect was very slow, it could be taken for background noise. It might not even be noticed but its cumulative impact could be very powerful. For example, a tree grows so slowly that its growth is imperceptible. It appears to be immobile, like a stone. However, over decades and even centuries the impact of a tree can be enormous.

How much more potent might a social bias be? Such a bias might be small and only noticeable over many generations but its cumulative impact on history might be huge. Even if there were a bias, one can imagine that it would still be possible for notable individuals to do remarkable things. They could “run … twice as fast” and achieve something remarkable. However, in a situation in which there were a background bias, the tendency would be for individuals and institutions in general to conform with the bias, especially over time. For example, once the founder died, you’d expect the institution(s) left behind would tend to fall more and more in line with the background trend.

Regardless of why the offset hasn’t been widely noticed, the question remains, is there one? Is there a general tendency in one direction? For example, are there corporations which are widely vilified and hated today, that have a long history of being consistently hated and vilified, that were nevertheless loved and embraced in their communities in their early years? Corporations that had a founder who was charitable and devoted to good works in the community but that changed after the founder died?

Alternatively, are there corporations that went the other way? Companies that had founders who were hated and vilified but whose influence was limited to the early years of the corporation? Companies that became widely loved and lauded after the influence of the founder waned?

If there is a background tendency, what is it? Is the tendency consistent or universal? How does the tendency affect your life and the decisions you make? Such a tendency would be like swimming across a river. Your aim may be to reach the other side and you may picture some point directly opposite your starting point. The relative motion between you and the water might put you on that heading. However the motion of the water itself means that you actually end up much farther downstream. The motion of the water is like a background trend. In order to reach the point that you envisioned, it may be necessary to swim much farther and harder and to swim at a different angle than the one you originally had in mind.

What is your experience? Is there a background trend? If so, which direction is the bias in? Where is the current going?

###

More of the book, The Circle of Existence can be found at www.smashwords.com.

© 2015, David Park. All Rights Reserved.

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The Circle of Existence: Chapter 4 – A Poser

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by DCH Park

poser“Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty.”
– Stephen King

“One of Satan’s most deceptive and powerful ways of defeating us is to get us to believe a lie.”
– Charles Stanley

A man woke up one morning to find his spouse already awake next to him. That was unusual. Usually, he was up first. It was turning cold again so the days were shorter and the sun was coming up later but after the long, hot summer, he was used to the earlier waking period. It had become a habit to move about the house, going to the bathroom, getting dressed, and making breakfast, all in the dark. He relished the cool morning hours during the summer.

This morning though, a heavy silence greeted him. Lying in bed, he could picture the look of distracted pain on his partner’s face. The tension hung over them both like a palpable thing in the dark. He could feel it in the air.

“I had a bad dream.”

He mulled this over. Two possibilities were chasing each other in his awareness. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“No.”

Silence.

“I just want to be held.”

He could remember times when he had simply held space. He’d been asked to make soothing, nonsensical sounds while being there and holding. He had said “Dere, dere,” and made comforting, noises. He did none of that now.

Instead, he reached out for a hand as they both laid there. He touched it in the dark. “The reason I hesitate is that I’m not sure how I will be taken.

“I’m happy,” he went on, “in fact, I’m eager to be there with you as you evolve and discover more of yourself. I’m ready to lend you my strength to do that, though you don’t need it. You may want it but you don’t need it.” Pause. “I’m grateful for that. For both things.

“You’ve been there for me and raised questions that have led to insights, healing, and growth for me. I’m happy to do that for you, too. But this feels like something that’s been with you for a long time. It feels like something that has come back again and again, not always with the same face.”

“Yeah,” came the reply. “It feels like it’s connected with something very old. Something that’s been in my life for a long time. It scares me.”

“That’s not a bad thing,” the man said. “In its role of protecting the wound, Ego uses anything it can. Fear indicates that you are going in the right direction. Any strong emotion means that you are going in the right direction. I remember an old lady character talking about the ‘protective ice’ that would form over ice cream. You had to break through the protective ice to get to the sweet prize inside. Emotions are like that protective ice…

“I’m happy to celebrate your discovery and healing and growth. I’m happy to be there for you and support you in getting through to the other side. But I don’t care to be a party to enabling you, if that’s what you’re asking for. I’ve become aware that we can enable our loved ones to ignore a festering wound by continuing to act normally even though…” He let it trail off into silence.

“It’s an old wheeze in some circles,” he picked up again, “but ‘As above, so below.’ If it is true in treating physical wounds and raising children then might it not be true generally? Might it not be better to suffer the pain of an operation now than greater pain and possible disablement or death later?

“Would I be enabling you or helping you by holding you? Would I be lending you my strength and being there as you discover more of yourself and heal or would I be enabling you with my strength to continue to ignore the pain of your dream?

“Remember – ‘Everyone in your dream is you.’ You dreamed it for a reason. You said it yourself. There’s something that you are carrying or some way you injured yourself a long time ago that’s coming back up now. What is it?”

Silence.

“If I have enabled you, haven’t I been part of the problem although my intention has been to be part of the solution? If I have enabled you, how has that worked? What have I helped to cover over? What is the problem?

“It can go either way.”

Silence.

“No, it can’t. I want to be held.”

###

More of the book, The Circle of Existence can be found at www.smashwords.com.

© 2015, David Park. All Rights Reserved.

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The Difference – IV

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by DCH Park

There is a further subtlety at work in choosing arbitrarily to “prove something,” including to yourself. It’s not immediately apparent. This may be due to its invisibility, which is also why so many people get drawn into it, either as an advocate or as an opponent.

For what it’s worth, my practice is to notice what is said and how I react to it. My reaction comes from me. By noticing it, I can notice myself. My practice is to notice what is said and my reaction to it to better understand my own private view into what is true and to express what is true.

I find that in that way, I am able to experience more freedom and joy within myself and hear others around me more clearly. To be sure, reacting to what I hear and say is a part of that process but my goal is to be more aware of things, not less aware of them.

I thus try not to use those things and reactions as shields or excuses. I feel them and at the same time practice being aware of myself feeling them so that they can serve as bridges into the deeper part of me rather than as blockades.

What I have also found, to my delighted surprise, is that the more I share what I find to be true with others, the more truth there is to share. This can take many forms. One of these is that the more I share, the more I have to share. Another is that the more I share, the more I give permission to others to do the same. A third is that other people see and voice pieces of the puzzle before I do but I can recognize what they say as the truth.

Another, which is always unexpected and delightful, is that someone may say something which no one had ever heard or even thought before, yet as soon as it is said, its truth is recognized. I can say it, so can others. The list goes on.

In every case the recognized truth provides a solid stepping stone to another truth and often to many truths. Such honesty also leads to freedom. In the cases when apparently solid truths have led to wounds, healing those wounds has led to even greater truths that would have remained hidden if the wound had been allowed to block the path. If I had seen the wound as a barrier, a tender spot to be avoided instead of as what it can always be – the shortest path to the other side – I would have stopped on the near side of the wound and whatever I saw it as, anger, fear, numbness, a small annoyance, or something else, would have become simply a part of the backdrop. It would possibly become invisible. In my experience, healing something always leads to something more.

What I notice is that many people have heard that one thing or another leads to wealth and that as long as you “toe the line” and follow one set of rules (their prescribed set) wealth, ease, and health are the inevitable or logical outcomes.

When I take a step back, I notice that all such systems are saying the same thing. Details differ from system to system, but the goal is usually defined in terms of wealth. That wealth may be yours or it may be someone else’s. Either way, the worldview that lies at the heart of such views is that:
The material world matters (as revealed by material wealth, for example); and
You don’t have a choice about everything in the material world.

Thus, taken together, these attitudes toward the material world have various implications. One of these is that healing is impossible. It is impossible to experience the world differently by doing nothing more than heal yourself because you are completely separate from your surroundings. Therefore what affects one cannot affect the other or if both are affected, those effects are unrelated and/or complex.

This runs counter to the observation that it is possible to experience change in the world by doing nothing more than healing yourself. The implication is, of course, that you contain the whole of existence, which only makes sense if the world is a reflection.

This means that it truly is fruitless to try to effect change in the world while holding yourself constant. At best, you can change yourself as you change the world. However my tendency has been to change myself in order to change the world.

The things I lament in the world, the disease, war, poverty, etc. are reflections of me. They must be if I can find the world in me. This means that as I find those things within myself and heal and fully release them, the world will be transformed.

On the other hand, if I accept the reality of the world and insist on the separateness of the world from me, such wounds and strife are inevitable. They are inevitable as long as I accept them as part of the world.

Thus, choosing what you want and trying to exercise Law of Attraction in this way is the same thing as trying to hold down a good-paying job, a house in the suburbs, two cars, and a family with a spouse and a couple of kids. They are both ways to emphasize the independence and reality of the material world. They are both ways to deny or reduce the power of healing yourself.

Another view would be that you are born to have a certain shape in the universe. Some people have called it your mission but that sounds like something you do rather than what you are. In the same way that you are born to have a certain color hair, a certain look in your face, etc., you are born to have a certain shape in the universe. What is your shape? What is your truth? Not what you want – which often determined or influenced by material reality – what is your being?

© 2014, David Park. All Rights Reserved.

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The Difference – III

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by DCH Park

This may sound mean. In fact, in a way, I hope that it does. I also hope that you will ask the next question and seek out the deeper truth reflected in the (apparently mean) saying rather than sitting with the surface meanness and dealing only with that.

The mean, unexpected thing is that you make no progress toward your true self by choosing something arbitrarily. The idea is usually that by choosing arbitrarily, you choose unpredictably and that if your arbitrary choice is fulfilled, that must mean that you are powerful.

However, one lesson that can be extracted from modern shamanism is that no choice is arbitrary or unpredictable. If you gravitate toward something or even imagine something, the question to ask might be, “Why did you gravitate toward that thing or why did you imagine that thing?”

If you imagine meeting a dolphin or gravitate toward holding $1 Million, why did you imagine that? You could have easily imagined a completely different animal but you imagined dolphin. You could have gravitated toward a new house or a car or boat. Why did you gravitate toward your imagined goal?

We choose the things we choose because they have some significance for us. That significance is unique – even if someone else makes the same choices, that person will have different associations with those choices and even the same choices will thus have different meanings.

Therefore, each choice provides an insight into the chooser – you. By being aware of your choice (and perhaps the other choices available) and knowing why you made the choice you did, you come that much closer to healing yourself because you come that much closer to realizing you apart from your actions and the choices you make.

There is a difference between who you are and the choices you make, between your being and your actions or doing. Realizing that difference is critical and powerful. Healing comes in between them. It becomes possible to embrace your being without getting distracted by your doing.

Conversely, Ego sees itself as benefiting from confusion between being and doing. Ego sees itself as benefiting whenever doing is confounded with being. It sees itself as benefiting when doing disappears into being. When it becomes invisible.

Healing only becomes visible as a choice when being is separated from doing. That’s why Ego loses healing. Ego tries hard to confound the two.

My teenaged son was surprised to learn that you are just as controlled by something when you fight against it as when you accede to it. This leads me to suspect that this idea, though a reflection of a deep truth, is not part of current culture. Part of me notices that I am controlled by something to the extent that it is invisible to me.

To what extent can this be found in culture? To what extent is everyday life controlled by invisible things? How can invisible things be seen?

The answer is simple and also maddening. Look.

Contrary to popular belief, the human visual system is an amazingly subtle and accurate one. It can also be trained (or the human brain can be trained) to “see” things that aren’t there and to ignore things that are. Look. Dare to see what is truly present. Amazingly, the simple act of actually seeing what is there can be a subversive act. It is subversive only in that it gives the lie and the lie is only effective as long as it seems like the truth. It is effective only as long as it is invisible.

As a child, you saw things more simply but you also saw them more clearly. You saw more directly what was right in front of you. You had to literally spend years learning to see what trusted adults said you should see. Dare to see like a child again.

###

There is a further subtlety at work in choosing arbitrarily to “prove something,” including to yourself. It’s not immediately apparent. This may be due to its invisibility, which is also why so many people get drawn into it, either as an advocate or as an opponent.

For what it’s worth, my practice is to notice what is said and how I react to it. My reaction comes from me. By noticing it, I can notice myself. My practice is to notice what is said and my reaction to it to better understand my own private view into what is true and to express what is true.

I find that in that way, I am able to experience more freedom and joy within myself and hear others around me more clearly. To be sure, reacting to what I hear and say is a part of that process but my goal is to be more aware of things, not less aware of them.

I thus try not to use those things and reactions as shields or excuses. I feel them and at the same time practice being aware of myself feeling them so that they can serve as bridges into the deeper part of me rather than as blockades.

What I have also found, to my delighted surprise, is that the more I share what I find to be true with others, the more truth there is to share. This can take many forms. One of these is that the more I share, the more I have to share. Another is that the more I share, the more I give permission to others to do the same. A third is that other people see and voice pieces of the puzzle before I do but I can recognize what they say as the truth.

Another, which is always unexpected and delightful, is that someone may say something which no one had ever heard or even thought before, yet as soon as it is said, its truth is recognized. I can say it, so can others. The list goes on.

In every case the recognized truth provides a solid stepping stone to another truth and often to many truths. Such honesty also leads to freedom. In the cases when apparently solid truths have led to wounds, healing those wounds has led to even greater truths that would have remained hidden if the wound had been allowed to block the path. If I had seen the wound as a barrier, a tender spot to be avoided instead of as what it can always be – the shortest path to the other side – I would have stopped on the near side of the wound and whatever I saw it as, anger, fear, numbness, a small annoyance, or something else, would have become simply a part of the backdrop. It would possibly become invisible. In my experience, healing something always leads to something more.

What I notice is that many people have heard that one thing or another leads to wealth and that as long as you “toe the line” and follow one set of rules (their prescribed set) wealth, ease, and health are the inevitable or logical outcomes.

When I take a step back, I notice that all such systems are saying the same thing. Details differ from system to system, but the goal is usually defined in terms of wealth. That wealth may be yours or it may be someone else’s. Either way, the worldview that lies at the heart of such views is that:
1. The material world matters (as revealed by material wealth, for example); and
2. You don’t have a choice about everything in the material world.

Thus, taken together, these attitudes toward the material world have various implications. One of these is that healing is impossible. It is impossible to experience the world differently by doing nothing more than heal yourself because you are completely separate from your surroundings. Therefore what affects one cannot affect the other or if both are affected, those effects are unrelated and/or complex.

This runs counter to the observation that it is possible to experience change in the world by doing nothing more than healing yourself. The implication is, of course, that you contain the whole of existence, which only makes sense if the world is a reflection.

This means that it truly is fruitless to try to effect change in the world while holding yourself constant. At best, you can change yourself as you change the world. However my tendency has been to change myself in order to change the world.

The things I lament in the world, the disease, war, poverty, etc. are reflections of me. They must be if I can find the world in me. This means that as I find those things within myself and heal and fully release them, the world will be transformed.

On the other hand, if I accept the reality of the world and insist on the separateness of the world from me, such wounds and strife are inevitable. They are inevitable as long as I accept them as part of the world.

Thus, choosing what you want and trying to exercise Law of Attraction in this way is the same thing as trying to hold down a good-paying job, a house in the suburbs, two cars, and a family with a spouse and a couple of kids. They are both ways to emphasize the independence and reality of the material world. They are both ways to deny or reduce the power of healing yourself.

Another view would be that you are born to have a certain shape in the universe. Some people have called it your mission but that sounds like something you do rather than what you are. In the same way that you are born to have a certain color hair, a certain look in your face, etc., you are born to have a certain shape in the universe. What is your shape? What is your truth? Not what you want – which is often determined or influenced by material reality – what is your being?

© 2013, David Park. All Rights Reserved.

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What Is The Akashic Record?

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by DCH Park

I will no doubt upset many people with this question or with my answer. I am aware that there is a large base of people installed who make a living by the Akashic Record. They charge for classes, readings, etc. Similarly, there is a large number of people invested in accessing what they call the “Akashic Record,” who are convinced that they must find its wisdom outside of themselves. They believe that they have to go outside of themselves, into the universe, to find this wisdom.

Elaborate techniques exist to access these memories and bring them out or into life. However when I look at these techniques and what is brought back, more importantly, when I feel into what the “Akashic Record” itself is, my sense is very different from what I hear others saying. Specifically, I cannot access a record of what has been done and experienced in this universe other than life itself.

It is possible that there may be a technique or techniques of which I am unaware that would allow me and others to access these records and that they are distinct from life itself. It is possible that if I learned them, I might be able to access these records and I might say the same thing(s). However (1) I feel no draw toward these records; and (2) I find that the truth can be accessed intelligibly without them.

Occam’s Razor states that given a choice between two “explanations” of the universe, the simpler one is usually the better one. In spite of the fact that Occam proceeded from reason (or at least his Razor is presented that way), I find the principle is sound and useful. If nothing else, it is an invitation to notice what is absolutely necessary and to eliminate anything that is not. This awareness in itself is worth more than the price of admission.

Why would a universe that called forth someone like Occam have also created a separate record of events when one already existed? If it is possible to revisit any point in time, if time itself (as we “understand” it) is an illusion and we can actually visit time periods that are different than our own, why would the universe create and maintain a means to visit or view only time periods from the past with no ability to interact with or change what is experienced?

Such a creation would imply (by Occam) that we cannot travel back in time and that there is a fundamental difference between future and past. Otherwise, the record would be ultimately meaningless. Not only is the idea that past and future are fundamentally different questioned by modern physics, it seems to negate claims from shamanism, Huna, the Law of Attraction, and meditation. According to shamanism, for example, it is not only possible to travel to alternate (and past or future) time streams, it is possible to change them. In fact, this is a major healing technique available in shamanism.

It may be possible to imagine a situation in which a separate record exists and certain rules apply to the record that don’t apply to life, or what it reflects, but how much simpler and straightforward would it be to suppose that those who claim to be accessing the Akashic Record are actually accessing life and have a limited view of their access?

It seems easier, but it may not be. There may be a reason to support an Akashic Record that I don’t currently know of. I invite anyone who knows of such a reason to let me know it, but please be aware that while I assume that I may be wrong, I also assume that you may be wrong or that we may both be wrong. I also assume that we may create together.

© 2012, David Park. All Rights Reserved.

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The Nature of Miracle

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by DCH Park

I sometimes hear people objecting to lessons contained in Napoleon Hill and the Law of Attraction on the grounds that if everyone only did what they wanted to do, nothing would get done. This point of view strikes me as valid from a certain perspective and funny from another.

To someone who is thoroughly immersed in a daily struggle to keep trudging forward, the prospect of being free from the drudgery seems as bright as it is unsustainable. When I have been in that perspective, the only thing that I could think of as a desirable alternative was to sleep, eat ice cream, spaghetti, and sushi (probably not all together), read, and watch movies and TV. Naturally, if everyone were to do things like that and only things like that, the world economy would grind to a halt. With no one to make and deliver the ice cream to my local store, how am I supposed to get it?

However, my experience is that this perspective is a temporary one. It is predicated on the prospect of distancing myself from the drudgery I am escaping. It only has appeal due to the sense of contrast it promises with respect to the drudgery. Once the drudgery is no longer salient, the appeal of eating gallons of ice cream on the beach fades as well.

Once that happy glow diminishes, the question arises naturally: What do I do now? To answer that question, it helps to note that mystics from many traditions have noticed that we each have an internal compass that unerringly guides us toward what we most love to do and what we do best. It is invariably true that these two things are actually the same thing. In every sphere of human endeavor, the ones who are the most successful and talented are the ones who enjoy the endeavor the most.

The popular characterization of the wannabe who loves something but has no talent for it regardless of how hard he or she practices is a cultural myth. In real life, the situations in which this seems to be true are actually situations in which the person doesn’t actually love the thing. Rather, he or she generally loves something else. The thing symbolizes what is loved or represents a means of acquiring it.

For example, someone who tries very hard to build a business but is unsuccessful may in fact be focused on developing sufficient income to set her own schedule so she can write a book. She doesn’t love the business or business in general at all. It is a means to an unrelated end.

Someone else who grew up playing catch with his father in the back yard may feel love for baseball but not be able to play well. He might actually be loving his deceased father and responding to baseball because it symbolizes his relationship to his father. He doesn’t actually love the game itself, with all of its intricacies, the feel of the bat, catching a line drive, or the taste and feel of the dirt as he slides in to steal a base.

Those who do love the minutiae of baseball or any other activity can’t help but improve as they engage in it. When they do engage in it or simply observe it, they have a heightened awareness the whole process and their engagement in it that results in a level of insight and performance that is summed up with the term “talent.”

This is one aspect of miracle. That we are composed in such a way that we have an unerring internal compass. This compass is accessed through our awareness of what we respond to with happiness. The activities that make us happy – the things we love to do – are the things that we tend to do well and improve on quickly. They are therefore also the things that represent our greatest gifts to the world.

How amazing that the things we love to do are the things we do well and the things that represent our greatest gifts to the world! This is what lies waiting patiently for us to discover on the far side of eating gallons of ice cream on the beach – exercising our greatest gifts and loving it. By choosing to pursue those things that we most want to do, we actually do good in the world.

As if this were not miracle enough, consider that each person has a different point of view and a different experience of what he or she most loves to do. The universe is so composed that as we each step out into the world to honor and offer our gifts, existence conspires so that everything works. Things that otherwise may not have been reasonably expected become effortless as other people who are also doing what they most love to do show up and connect with us. Their talents align with our needs and our talents answer their needs.

Miraculously, the universe is so constructed that everything that must get done is done. If we choose to do what we love, our experience is joyful. As everyone moves toward doing what they love, everything will still get done. The difference will be that everything with get done joyfully.

It may seem incredible, but someone will choose to pick up the garbage, grow the food, manage the books, organize files and drawers, and clean the streets, not because they have to or they are getting paid, but because they love to do those things. The world probably won’t look quite the same once (most) everyone chooses from love and joy instead of from fear and lack. Some things will probably fade and disappear, but things that go away will mostly be things that are rooted and sustained primarily out of fear, anger, and other manifestations of ego. Other things and dirty jobs will probably be replaced by new jobs that are created by those acting from joy.

This is a third aspect of miracle. It is stable. The world tends toward greater and more common expressions from joy. As more and more individuals practice this and anchor their awareness of themselves and their power in joy, the world itself will shift. Part of this shift inevitably involves release of old patterns, institutions, and ways of doing things in favor of new ways grounded in joy. As we establish these new ways, the tendency to revert to the old ways vanishes.

© 2012, David Park. All Rights Reserved.

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Feedback Over Feed-Forward: Awareness and Acceptance

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by DCH Park

I have noticed over the years that there is a tendency for people to hold on to old ways of seeing and defining things – even of defining and seeing themselves – as they learn about who and what they truly are and begin to relax into themselves.

For example, one person may focus on studying the Law of Attraction and principles of success while holding on to a concern about making enough money to pay bills. Another person may find serenity and relief from stress in meditative practices and yoga and nevertheless struggle with getting the inconsiderate jerk who cuts him off in traffic or the selfish bastard who voted for the wrong candidate to see the light.

It is also not uncommon for some people to struggle with understanding new concepts and ways of being in terms of the old ways of being that didn’t work. After all, why else would someone explore a new philosophy unless the old philosophy felt somehow restrictive, incomplete, inaccurate, or otherwise unsatisfying? Even simple curiosity is an expression of a possibility or desire for discovery of something exciting, new, and possibly better.

If that’s the case, why hold on to the lenses and definitions of the old philosophy when trying to understand or evaluate the new philosophy? I remember reading a psychology paper once that focused on presenting and validating a new measurement tool. The new tool, it claimed, was superior to the old tool. The paper’s authors went about constructing elaborate statistical analyses of test results from using the new tool and claimed that the new tool was clearly superior because it yielded results that were statistically equivalent to those from the old tool.

I couldn’t believe it. A new tool is superior because it gives you the same results as the old tool that it’s intended to replace? How can a new tool be new if the yardstick for validating it is the old tool?

By the same token, how can a new concept or philosophy be evaluated from within the paradigms of the old philosophy? By definition, the old philosophy would be unable to make sense of the new paradigm. If it could, it would already contain the new philosophy and thus, there really would not be a new philosophy.

Columbus’ idea that the world was round was a new paradigm that didn’t fit into the world-view of flat-earthers. They couldn’t understand or evaluate Columbus’ idea because it didn’t fit into their pre-existing worldview. They had no way of understanding it except to label it as silly. This is exactly what mainstream society still does with New Age and metaphysical philosophies.

Ironically, even those who try to embrace new philosophies also do these things to some degree. The blind spot that these points of view have in common is that they don’t take themselves into account. In other words, they don’t see themselves as philosophies and paradigms that can be articulated, evaluated, altered, or rejected and replaced as appropriate.

This sort of self reference or self awareness can form a kind of feedback loop that helps to stabilize and strengthen the whole conceptual framework. Without self awareness, the mind can fall into a feed-forward crisis in which its assumed model of the world leads to erroneous outputs that worsen the situation rather than improve it.

This is a natural mistake that the mind is prone to make. Without practice, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that philosophies and points of view are tools that can be useful in creating a better life and that the tool can always be replaced if a superior way to create a better life comes along. The trap is that the mind begins to see or define itself in terms of the philosophy. It identifies with the world view contained in the philosophy. It’s as if a carpenter were to forget that his hammer is a tool in his hand and see his hammer as his hand.

Dare to take charge of your own perceptions, recognizing that they are your perceptions. You own them. You create them. They are your responsibility. You can change them. They don’t dictate the world. They don’t control you. You are in control.

Just as the carpenter can (remember or re-learn to) lay his hammer down, you can (remember or re-learn to) lay your perceptions down. Until he does, the carpenter would have a hard time petting a dog, caressing a cheek, or washing his face. Until you do, you will struggle with appreciating and exercising the potential of your own creativity.

© 2012, David Park. All Rights Reserved.

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Positive (or Negative) Expectations

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by DCH Park

It is popular in some circles to embrace juicy displays of excitement and joy as part of the creation process. Perhaps partly due to a widespread misunderstanding or too literal interpretation of lessons in The Secret and other texts, the notion that joy, gratitude, and excitement about your creation should be strong and palpable is very popular.

If this is your natural mode and it works for you, then by all means, continue. Some people are very joyful and excited. They veritably vibrate with excitement and appreciation. Their energy seems almost tangible. They are able to pass that excitement on to others, which can be a powerful motivator for action.

The emotional impact of such individuals is almost physical in its effect. In fact, the Huna view of such raw emotion is that it is felt through the Basic Self, which is associated most closely with the body and subconscious. Huna also suggests that since the Basic Self is equally capable of feeling negative emotions, these same people are as prone to strongly feel and radiate their negative emotions as they are their positive ones.

However, there is a full range of emotions and wide variety in the ways that people experience and express them. Notice that there is another way to feel the reality of a new creation even before it is ready to be experienced in the physical world. Notice the sense of certainty you have in taking a step in the dark. You can’t see the floor before you, but you step out with a sense of surety that it is there. Beyond that, you have a sense for what it feels like and where it is. On those occasions when the floor wasn’t where you expected it to be, the moment your foot passed through the space where you expected to find the floor, your sense of surety instantly passed into alarm.

By the same token, if the floor was where you’d expected but felt different than you’d expected (for example if it was carpeted instead of hardwood or if it was wet), you probably felt surprise. Not alarm to be sure, but the swiftness and dynamics of change in your emotional state was probably nearly identical.

This sense of certainty is a subtler thing than the keen, body-felt excitement of the Basic Self. It is also very powerful, arguably more powerful than the excitement. Napoleon Hill identifies this sense of certainty as the single most powerful emotion in creating new experiences. Hill calls it Faith.

The story is told of a man familiar with the Law of Attraction who had befriended a powerful Native American shaman in the southwest. They were experiencing a drought, having already gone many weeks without rain. The shaman announced that he would perform a rain ceremony to bring rain.

The man asked his friend if he could come to witness the ceremony. The shaman agreed. The man was very excited. He was eager to see how the shaman, who was well known for his ability to bring rain, would pray for rain. Would there be long meditations, chanting and drumming, exotic rituals?

They walked up onto a high plateau. After a long time the shaman announced that they had arrived at the proper spot. He drew a circle in the dry dirt and took off his shoes. Then he stepped into the circle and stepped out again. He put on his shoes and motioned for his friend to follow him back down the slope. The ceremony was over!

The man was startled. Had he missed something? Was his friend pulling his leg? Maybe they would do the real ceremony after they’d both had a good laugh.

He asked the shaman what had happened. The shaman answered that he had pictured in his mind the rain falling and felt the mud between his toes when he stepped into the circle. He believed that the mud was there instead of the dust. That was the creation.

The next day, it rained.

This quite certitude is characteristic of the High Self in Huna. In contrast to the broad flush of excitement and joy that are like blunt instruments powerfully wielded by the Basic Self, quiet certainty and faith are like a fine instrument – a surgeon’s scalpel. When handled with deftness and precision, it can do much more in less time and with less effort than the blunt instrument can. It doesn’t take a gigantic effort to bring down a giant. It only takes a small stone applied to the right spot in the right way.

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Forming Powerful Resolves

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by DCH Park

Consider the manner in which powerful resolves are made. Also called manifestations or creations, resolves are statements about what you desire and choose to call into your experience.

Whether you embrace Abraham and the Law of Attraction, Napoleon Hill, Wallace Wattles, and the principles of success, Huna, or any other philosophy of success is immaterial. The ability to compose powerful statements about what it is that you intend to create in your life is useful, even if it’s only to firmly set your goal in your mind so that you don’t waver as you proceed.

Of course, many schools of thought and philosophies of success recognize the importance of taking action to reach your goals. The ability and readiness to recognize and act on opportunities when they arise is a vital part of creating success. You can never know ahead of time from which quarter a new opportunity may arrive and often situations that present themselves at first as burdens, disappointments, or distractions lead to or morph into huge opportunities later on.

Action in the world is no doubt a key component in successfully realizing your creation(s) in the physical world, however, the creation of whatever it is that you may prefer begins with your resolve. Napoleon Hill was neither the first nor the last person to note that “thoughts are things.” All success and all failure have their beginnings in the thoughts that we cultivate long before either success or failure are realized.

There are several principles or guidelines that may prove useful to keep in mind as you form your resolve. In no particular order, these are:

  • Be clear and definite.
  • Be simple and direct. Use as few words as possible.
  • Define your desire in positive terms.
  • Be aware of the feeling tone that accompanies your recitation of your resolve.
  • Believe it. If you don’t or can’t believe it, it won’t happen.
  • Begin with baby steps – “Crawl, Walk, Run.”
  • Use images. Images that evoke strong felt experience are best.
  • Powerful words that evoke images are good. Excessive verbiage disconnected from images is poor. Language can actually impede the creation process.
  • Express your resolve in the present tense.
  • Include yourself in the picture.
  • Relax. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It is yours. You can refine it, restate it, or change it altogether at anytime as you learn and grow.

Clarity and definiteness sound obvious, but in practice, achieving them can be challenging. Generally, it is better to be as specific as possible about the desire while at the same time releasing all notions about the manner in which your desired creation will appear in your life in the physical world.

The classic interpretation of this principle emphasizes specificity about worldly details, so instead of saying, “I have lots of money,” the principle is taken to be a recommendation to be specific about the amount, “I have $10M in the bank.” Extraneous details about the desire, especially about how it might be achieved, are revealed in this way as being counterproductive.

However, as worded, the desire that “I have $10M in the bank,” in its focus on the physical details, entirely misses the context which gives that $10M significance. For example, $10M in the bank sounds good unless you owe $20M. Alternatively, consider that 50 years ago $10M would have seemed like an impossible sum and 50 years from now, $10M, though still a lot, may seem more like what $500K seems now or what $100K seemed like in the past.

One common response to this shortcoming is to add more words to describe the context, but this rapidly deteriorates into long, wordy statements that would be more appropriate in a legal contract than in powerful manifestations. This practice is reminiscent of trying to reason back to the object that casts shadows on a wall from nothing but shadows. To even have a chance of being accurate about the object, you have to take into account any imperfections and irregularities in the wall as well as in the light. Is the light bright, steady, dim, or flickering?

Even after adjusting for all of that, you still have no way to knowing from just the shadow if the object is a dog or someone casting a shadow that looks like a dog or even if there are several objects that line up to cast a composite shadow. You may not have any idea at all of what the nature of the object is.

In a similar vein, perhaps the statement “I have $10M in the bank” is definite but not clear. The focus on the $10M might be like focusing on the shadow. Is $10M really what you want to enjoy or is the $10M simply a familiar cultural proxy for something deeper, truer, and more personal? Incidental details shift as the context changes, just as the shadows on a cave wall shift as the fire dances, but the inner truth is constant, just as the object casting the shifting shadow remains unchanged.

The unchanging truth that you might be reaching for through the proxy of $10M might be a sense of wealth and ease firmly rooted in the felt knowing and embodied experience that when you need or want something, it is there for you. That, in other words, the experience of privation and self-denial that characterizes a lack of resources is as abstract for you as the temperature on the far side of the moon might have been to the Ancient Mariner.

Embracing clarity and definiteness about this deeper reality – the personal, felt experience of wealth and ease – not only makes your resolve much more powerful and immediate, it opens up possibilities through which you can enjoy its realization that you would probably have otherwise remained closed to. Letting go of your focus on $10M allows you to explore and appreciate the true abundance and variety of your wealth and the richness of the universe.

It is best to state your resolve so that your desire is directly identified. Stating your desire in terms of its opposite actually defines the opposite more than the desire. One person, tired of always fighting with his spouse, focused on “not fighting all the time” rather than something like “I love and appreciate my wife.” They ended up divorcing each other. Although divorcing his wife did ironically provide a means to realize his resolve of “not fighting all the time,” it was precipitated by continued and escalating conflict with his wife. By focusing on “not fighting,” he actually manifested more fighting.

To understand this, most success and attraction gurus content themselves with hazy statements like, “the universe doesn’t understand (or respond to or accept)‘not’ and ‘no.’” Although these statements are accurate observations, they have very little or no power to illuminate. They merely articulate another rule to remember and follow from the mysterious rulebook of life.

I have personally always had a hard time accepting that. In my experience, when rules are put forth with little, weak, nonsensical, or absent explanation, it indicates that someone is hiding something (like an agenda or ignorance) or that I am missing or misunderstanding something. Happily, Huna provides a philosophy of success that illuminates the situation.

As mentioned above, images are very powerful. Huna makes clear that images are the means by which messages are sent and received outside of and beyond what people commonly experience as physical reality. Thus, the resolves that you formulate are communicated to your High Self and the universe beyond in the form of images. Notice that it is impossible to negate an image. If you picture something, say an apple, and then try to negate the apple, you end up with the apple or something else instead. There is no negative apple.

Negation is a function of language (the trope of a circle with a slash is culturally defined and thus a linguistic artifact). Since spirit communicates with images, there is no negation in communicating with spirit and resolves defined in terms that negate something actually convey a desire for the thing being negated.

As with anything, you must crawl before you walk and you must walk before you run. It may be too much of a stretch to go directly to your ultimate goal. In that case, it can help to start small and build up a track record of relatively smaller successes. For example, if you are very ill or badly injured, it may seem like nothing more than wishful thinking to resolve to be fully healthy with full use of arms and legs.

However, smaller goals, such as not feeling so achy, being able to eat and hold down a meal, or just sitting up in bed may be good places to start. As successes mount, your expectations will naturally shift so that bigger and bigger things become possible. Soon, things that once seemed impossible become natural.

This is an interesting subtlety. The emotional tone with which you state and hold your resolve is critical. If you are negative and pessimistic when you embrace your resolve, the net effect is to delay realization of the goal or in fact to create the experience of lack, which naturally engenders greater pessimism. You can ride the spiral down as easily as you can ride it upward. Some people take this to mean that feelings of joy and exuberance are important in making resolves. However, others note that the feeling of certainty or faith is the most important and powerful feeling tone.

When you go to a distant place full of beauty and wonder, especially if you have been anticipating being there for some time – for example the Grand Canyon or Disneyland – there is a sense of reality to the place that only serves to underscore the impact of being there. It is akin to the knowing that water is wet and fire is hot.

This is the faith or knowing that can transform a resolve into reality. Emotionally, it is already real. From this point of view, it makes no more (or less) sense to be exuberant or bubbly over your resolve than it does over the fact that fire is hot or that Disneyland is. Holding a resolve in such faith has amazing power. It can instantly transform your perspective. Actions can suddenly seem possible, even matter-of-fact. Success can become as inevitable as the morning sun.

As Annie sings, “tomorrow is a day away.” It tends to be self-defeating to resolve that you will have, be, or do something “some day.” It can be equally frustrating to resolve that you “want to” be, do, or have something. Resolving to want something is immediately self-fulfilling. You already want it. Ta-da! You’re successful. You created what you desire.

Instead, state your resolve in the present tense. Rather than “I will create a fortune,” state “I have a fortune.” What is even better, focus on the experience of having the fortune. What does it feel like? This also has the virtue of putting yourself in the picture. It does little good to picture piles of money if you aren’t there to enjoy it. Similarly to creating in the present, picturing piles of money, a new house, new car, or new spouse without including yourself in the picture is easily realized. These things all exist in the world. Focus instead on your experience of yourself enjoying these things.

In conclusion, remember that words are generally not the best vehicle for making or stating your resolve. They can be helpful as tools to explore how you want to define your resolve and for accessing it quickly. However words are a poor vehicle for capturing and conveying your resolve. Images and body sensations are far more powerful. Beyond the emotional and physical solidity of faith and belief, body sensations can help make the resolve more vivid and immediate.

For example, if you desire a vacation in Hawaii, an image of a white sandy beach may be potent but compare that to imagining yourself on that beach. Feel the weight of your body as you sink into the sand, the warmth of the sun and sand on your face and back. Smell and hear the ocean.

If you are having challenges in forming your resolve, begin with what you have and be aware of what does and does not work well or feel right. Use it. State it. This is often quite helpful in uncovering lacunae that you don’t see because a conceptual blind spot hides it. If this happens, you can always refine or change your resolve. It is yours.

For example, one person felt that she had a good idea of what she wanted because she had always had a sense of what success would be like or look like and she felt successful, at least on paper. However, when she did an exercise that called for her to state her resolve clearly, she discovered that she did not have a succinct, powerful statement. She had only vague and poorly defined notions of what she wanted.

Yoga Nidra is an excellent practice for this sort of realization. The name translates as “the sleep of the yogis” and it is a means for putting the body to sleep while remaining awake in order to gain conscious access to the creative imaginal mind. More information about Yoga Nidra and other practices will be available in these pages shortly.

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Holding the Space

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by DCH Park

The basic principles of creating success, and attracting what ever you prefer into your life, are very straightforward. If you have seen The Secret (or you read last week’ s newsletter), then you are familiar with these basic concepts.

Specifically, the idea that the things that you think of and expect create a sort of vibration that people and things – the very universe – respond to and that this response is in the form of delivery in physical reality whatever it is that you thought of. Like attracts like. In this case, the thought attracts the thing. This may seem strange, even unbelievable, but it is true nevertheless. Certainly, every new creation begins with a thought.

What is perhaps even more amazing, is that our emotions can supercharge our creations. When we are very happy and excited about something new, the excitement and joy are contagious. They spread to those around us, and pretty soon they get excited too. The effect snowballs as excitement builds.

So why is it, you may ask, that things always seem to take so long to manifest? One woman I know has diligently studied success and the Law of Attraction for many years, yet she still, after all this time, struggles with the speed (or lack of speed) with which she can realize her creations in her physical reality.

One of the things that this woman is struggling with (and that many of us struggle with) is her sense of frustration and disappointment. Just as positive emotions like joy, appreciation, and excitement can supercharge a creation and make it tangible much more quickly, negative emotions like frustration and resignation, indicate that you are blocking receiving all that you ask for.

It’s not as if you’re putting up a roadblock that prevents your creation from coming to you. Rather, during your moments of frustration, what you are actually focusing on is the fact that you don’t yet have whatever it is that you want.

In other words, instead of creating what you desire, you are in fact creating the lack of what you desire. This is a subtlety that’s very important. Once you clearly decide what it is that you desire, the best thing for you to do is to release the thought altogether. The more that you can “let go and let God” the cleaner and more powerful your creation will be, if only because in doing so, your level of frustration and impatience will be minimized.

It’s been said that the universe is not only richer and more surprising than we imagine, it is richer and more surprising than we can imagine. By letting go of our requests, we are effectively opening the door to any and every means of delivering our creation to us. It’s often true that the route or means by which our creation comes to us is something that we would never have imagined in the first place.

In a very real sense, when we forget or fail to let go, we are effectively trying to tell the universe not only what we desire, but how we will receive it. We are in truth, limiting the scope of all possibilities to the very narrow range that we can see ahead of time.

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