We, humanity, are more attuned to danger, bad feelings, than we are to good feelings… And it is natural, given our size and defenselessness in the natural world.
In order to get anything done, you cannot rely on your natural inclination, it won’t be helpful. Your natural inclination is to do nothing much, reserve your energies, unless you are hungry, you are horny, or you are in danger.
Given the natural inclination, do you think that a person who is good at something gets the results automatically?
I am finding, especially with the unaccomplished majority of my students, that they think that a capacity, a tool itself will do the work for them without them doing anything different.
We are not training geniuses here, genius is born, not made. but even if we did: I know more unaccomplished geniuses than accomplished ones.
Here are a few examples of what you need to do to benefit from a spiritual capacity:
- The humility capacity 1 is assuming the attitude that you don’t know what you don’t know, and therefore you are going to listen. It’s a decision that pretty much only possible if you have the humility capacity open. Even when it’s open, (i.e. you attitude follows your words, not just words… and not listening as usual… ) it takes something of you to listen and hear and not try to say your bit instead.But as I said: what you know has gotten you to exactly where you are. If you don’t like it, there is something that you don’t know. Among others, a lot of what you know is untrue.So humility, the capacity, the attitude, will be mandatory, if you want a different life.You always cause your own life, and your “I know everything” attitude is at least partially responsible.
- The detached capacity, the capacity to step out of the thoughts, step out of the emotions, step out of the urges won’t turn on unless you say “step out”. Where do you step? Into your observer position. Where you can hear what the mind says. Where you can feel the emotions, But where it doesn’t concern you. 2
When I am thinking something through
When I am thinking something through, I won’t step back, I will stay in my intellect, and think it through. I won’t fight it, I won’t think it’s wrong: the intellect has its own uses, and one of them is to think things through.
I shut out interruptions, I don’t multitask, I take thinking things through seriously. But, interestingly, I will have fuzzy focus: my cone of vision stays wide… I remain in the Big Picture view, so I can connect the dots.
Once I am done thinking it through, I am done. Then I can step back and float through the rest of the day.
The detached capacity needs to be called on too… it is not automatic. It is a personal decision:
Where you want to live your life from: from the hubbub or the world or from the quiet of the Observer’s position.
- The courage capacity, like the previous ones, needs to be called on. The condition you need to recognize, the clue, the trigger needs to be fear. Fear is the opportunity to summon courage.You feel afraid, and fear seems to stop you from moving ahead, doing a crucial step, saying what you need to say. So you summon courage.But if you are just feeling vague sensation of dread, anxiety, anguish, trepidation, courage can do nothing for you. Those feelings need a different capacity.
As you may see,
The average person’s only concern is to get away from what they don’t like. Their life has no direction.
Even if the unpleasantness disappeared, they would not make anything of their lives, they would not move.
DNA capacities, aka spiritual capacities are needed only by the expanding person, a person who is up to something.
They are up to something with their lives. Not just up to something in a project, or a task, temporarily.
Nature is economical. It only allows a capacity to stay on if it is needed, otherwise nature turns it off.
A student who was using capacities for a project, but not for her life is quite painful: the woman needed and used about 45 capacities to train herself in art. And then she visited her daughter a short flight away. Grandchildren, arguments with the daughter about who calls the shot, power struggle… All the capacities she was so proudly using for her “normal” sheltered life turned off. All.
Another woman was using capacities to start her own seasonal business. The moment winter came, she returned to her normal housewife life, and all the capacities turned off.
Heartbreaking, isn’t it?
Truth be told, if you want to have a temporary solution to build a business, or get a degree, you can do it… but the problem will be, that to run a business, grow a business, or perform with your degree after you got it, and be really successful, you need to keep the capacities on.
How do you do that? By inventing your whole self to grow, not just a project.
You need to look at yourself and your life as a whole, and not live a fragmented, compartmentalized life. I am this way for my friends, that way for my family, a third way for my work.
You can only do that if you start living for yourself and not for others. Not for show, not for approval, not for accolades.
If I am not for me…. who is for me?
If not now when?
If I am only for myself… who am I?
Only if there is a person inside, a Self to whom you can go home to. A person who knows which direction your life should go, who can and have the power to decide.
Deciding on a direction does not happen all at one time.
I decided my direction through many declaration, most of them sounding negative… i.e. who I am not going to be, which direction I am not going to go. The strait and narrow method.
A teacher I attended classes with some 10 years ago suggested that we decide on a general direction, like East… a horizon, and then look, carefully, attentively, curiously, to see what obstacles you’ll encounter on that road. She called them boulders.
Horizon is hard to articulate. It is more like a feel… It is actually better not to articulate, lest you accidentally create a destination. Destination is easy to define, but it will make you unhappy, every step of the way. You cannot be happy unless you keep your attention on what you are doing while doing it, not on the goal.
A student of mine has been struggling with this. Setting a direction felt too risky for him, what if I make a mistake?
So instead he set his eyes at small accomplishments, and he failed all, or struggled with all… because he wasn’t interested in the doing, he was interested in the results. He was unhappy, and procrastinating all the time.
Then, by some happy accident, he was invited to a jam session of some people, who asked him to join in with singing. He had no idea where he was doing, he was creating it moment by moment, the opposite of what he had been doing, and it was an amazing experience, and a success.
If he can consider this a learning experience, he is going to be a happy person from now on.
So, what I am saying is this: your boulders define the direction.
I’ll share two boulders of mine:
- I declared some 20 years ago, that there is no way I am going to be anything less than magnificent.Pay attention to what boulder is defined by that declaration:this boulder is the tendency to want to be comfortable, to stop doing something when it’s hard, when it looks like a struggle.That is a boulder.Boulders are inner barriers.No one can remove them but you. You cannot go around them, you have to pulverize them.I’ve worked on that boulder for the past 20 years, and it’s been blown to pieces, but the pieces are still there… But I haven’t given up.When I find myself not wanting to do something that is hard, or unpleasant, I know it’s my boulder… and I can re-declare “there is no way I am going to be anything less than magnificent.” Then handle it… or not.
- I declared about the same time that I won’t do anything for money, unless I would do it for free.Two days ago I caught myself in an argument. I was shouting. I was angry. I was frustrated.I realized that I was violating my principle of not doing anything for money… because I could not see that money can be replaced by benefit. Even ego benefit.I realized that the boulder was my mother’s saying to me, when I was three: you are a whore.Whores take money or benefits for work they would not do for free with that person.In that relationship where I was always shouting, always angry, always frustrated, I was being a whore.Wow… shook me to my core. I ended the relationship. There will be some cleaning up to do, but I am done.Big boulder…
I came up with the direction, somewhat verbalized 24 years ago. I used the technique of turning things upside down. The inverse method.
I looked at my life and I was looking what I hated about my life the most. And what I hated is that my life was like a roller coaster, up and down, left and right, always in the extreme. Not a quiet moment, never any coasting, no peace. I hated it. But…
But when your life is repeating something, then something inside is fueling it, and it won’t stop because you don’t like it. It won’t stop because you invent something better.
Had I invented: a steadily growing life, like a tree… it would have made no effect: that is not how my insides drive my life.
So I invented to give rhyme and reason to how it already was, I invented usefulness to the hellish life I lived.
And that, the context, ultimately, made all the difference.
I said: the purpose of my life is “living on the edge, generating distinctions for transformation for humankind”
It’s a direction. The direction of transformation of humankind. And me doing my part.
You never come up with any distinction in the quiet bucolic phase of your life. You see distinction when it’s stormy. When your life hangs in the balance.
Then you come back and share it with people who never go to the edge…
Like capacities… But, and this is what this article is about, unless you have a direction to your life, where you need those capacities, they will not stay on.
So start working on it.
If you want to work with me on it, privately or in a group, let me know. No promises, I can only help…
And if you are not willing to set a direction to your life… what are you? a 99%-er?
Then this horoscope reading is for you:
Any time you feel a sour thought impinging on your perceptions, say, “To hell with my suffering.” And then immediately follow it up with an declaration “It’s all too beautiful.” Be ruthless about this. If you sense an imminent outbreak of pettiness, or if a critical voice in your head blurts out a curse, or if a pesky ghost nags you, simply say, “To hell with my suffering,” and then, “It’s all too beautiful.” In this way, you can take advantage of the fact that you now have more power over your emotional pain than usual.
Will it work? Maybe. But standing water gets stale… and lots of pesky nasties grow in it.