Heaven and Hell... Heaven on Earth... Can you get to heaven while living on earth?
Let me start with a story from my favorite novel, The Journeys of Socrates:
...a proud and hot-tempered young samurai who routinely cut down any peasant who gave the least offense. In those days, samurai were a law unto themselves, and such behavior was accepted according to custom.
But one day, after another killing, as he cleaned the blood from his blade and returned it to his scabbard, the young samurai began to worry that the gods might disapprove of his actions and send him to a hellish realm. Desirous to know about eternity, he visited the humble abode of a Zen master named Kanzaki. With expected courtesy, the samurai removed his razor-sharp katana (sword) and set it alongside him, bowed deeply, and said, "Please tell me of heaven and hell!"
You have read about Werner's butler, and how he got to see what, by putting the cap back on the toothpaste, he was building. You have seen that the joy returned to the butler's work, and his life will never be the same.
So, let's see when I do this exercise with you. Standing in for you are my four "core" students.
This is exactly how the exercise goes: there are two people, the speaker and the questioner.
The questioner's (B) job is to ask the question:
OK great. What are you building with that?
No changing, no embellishing, just that. Word by word. Do not get creative with that. I have warned you.
The speaker's (A) job is to pick one of their small projects, like taking me to the post office. Or washing the dishes. Or canceling a subscription. A to-do type of project, nothing big. Not: I have a project that I'll be a published author, if you have never had anything published. That is not a project, that is pie in the sky, daydreaming, never going to happen type of dream that you justify not doing anything with your life.
Question: Dear Sophie: your tone is changing. It is more demanding, and I wonder what's going on... you are wielding a stronger demand on the students... did something change?
Answer: Let me answer with a story:
A Pig and a Chicken are walking down the road. The Chicken says, "Hey Pig, I was thinking we should open a restaurant!" The Pig replies, "Hm, maybe, what would we call it?" The Chicken responds, "How about 'ham-n-eggs'?"
The Pig thinks for a moment and says, "No thanks. I'd be committed, but you'd only be involved!"
Sometimes, the story is presented as a riddle:
Question: In a bacon-and-egg breakfast, what's the difference between the Chicken and the Pig?
Answer: The Chicken is involved, but the Pig is committed!
No matter on what level you are on the evolutionary scale, the percentage of knowledge that you didn't know that you didn't know stays at 99%.
Sometimes it overlaps with what you know that you don't know, but mostly not.
All breakthroughs come from that 99%.
There is a certain way of being in the world that triggers the 99% to "release" that hidden knowledge to you. Seth Godin calls that "certain way of being in the world" poking the box.
Most people poke their nose into other people's stuff (gossip) but never poke the box. So the breakthroughs are few and far between, though they could be frequent. I love the sound of popcorn popping: that reminds me of the sound of the breakthroughs.
Anyway, I habitually poke the box, and my breakthroughs are frequent, but this past 10 days I had big breakthroughs, and even one of my students almost had one, though she doesn't know it was a potential breakthrough.
Soul correction is the soul's purpose. No matter what activity you choose for your life, you can use it to be perfect for your soul's correction.
This particular soul's purpose is to find the diamond inside the rock: it's there.
When life gives you rocks, they contain the diamonds. You did get rocks from life, and it is consistent with this soul correction.
So far you have been behaving like a victim, but the truth is that your soul really trusts you to turn it around.
You can do it, and this program is here to guide you through it.
On the other hand you may be the one who is the Diamond in the Rough... maybe you have the diamond inside you and you have been thinking that what you see is all you have.
But like with any diamond, the value in the removing the parts that are not diamond, and then the creating the lots of surfaces: that is what makes a diamond a brilliant cut diamond... that people pay all that much for... because they reflect the light in so many beautiful ways.
Which is true for you? My guess that it's the second... So get going, get chiseling, get yourself out of the prison.
DAILY PRACTICE: Push hard to get better, become smarter, grow your devotion to the truth, fuel your commitment to beauty, refine your emotional intelligence, hone your dreams, negotiate with your shadow, cure your ignorance, shed your pettiness, heighten your drive to look for the best in people, and soften your heart -- even as you always accept yourself for exactly who you are -- with all of your so-called imperfections. ~~ Rob Brezsny