Caroline Myss on Prayer and Mystical Experiences – The Shift Network

Angel of The Future by Terese Nielsen @ DeviantArt

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Interview with Caroline Myss by Phil Bolsta

Watch Caroline Myss’ interview:

Welcome, Caroline. Thank you for joining us today.

My pleasure. My pleasure.
Allow me to introduce you. Caroline Myss is a bestselling author and globally respected speaker in the fields of human consciousness, spirituality and mysticism, health, energy medicine, and the science of medical intuition. Caroline, you will be co-teaching one of the seven modules in Andrew Harvey’s upcoming course, The Fierce Feminine: Reclaiming the Gifts of Your Radical Divinity. Why did you agree to participate in this program?

Well first, Andrew is a very, very close friend of mine, one of my dearest friends, and he lives almost next door. So, that’s a personal reason. I would do anything to support Andrew. I had a number of conversations with Andrew about this subject, which is very dear to Andrew. So he asked me to participate in it, be in his program, which I find very significant. I think the subject matter Andrew’s approaching is very vital, very important. And probably he asked me because we’re close friends, and probably because he sees my particular position on the feminine to be more, I would say, mystically radical than most people, most people I imagine. Yeah, that’s why.
Well, I’m glad you’re part of Andrew’s team.

We already recorded it. Andrew and I have a way of engaging each other’s radical nature. As I said to Andrew many times, I don’t relate to the feminine in the sense that he does, which is interesting because in Catholicism or in the Catholic tradition, the role of the Madonna plays a very significant part. He always talks about the black Madonna, the emerging feminine. And my position with him is, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” So we have a really interesting discussion. Anyway, that’s why I participated.

Well, that sounds like something that will be very valuable to listen to. Thank you for participating in there. Well, today in this interview, we’ll be talking about prayer and contemporary mystical experiences. But first, let’s establish who we are praying to. The ancient rishis of India define God as that supreme intelligence which governs everything. What is your concept of the Divine?

Law. My concept of God is law. To me, the manifestation of the Divine is law and nature, and the governing system of nature. All of the laws that operate the life force to me are a representation of the nature of the Divine. So I see the Divine as a system of what is constant, what is reliable, what is equal to all life, what has no religion at all, what transcends life on this planet. I do not see an earth-centric God at all, certainly not one that looks like us, walks like us, and holds court in the earth legal sense. I think any God that is represented by a religion is erroneous.

So for me, the mystical traditions are, in all religions, are the jewels that contain the mystical laws. That’s what makes them so precious and valuable, because what they have in common is that they speak of the laws of the universe, whether you’re dealing with Buddhism or Hinduism, Sufi, the Christian mystical traditions, they’ve penetrated past the illusions of religious dogma and doctrine, and they’ve made it through the veil to the cosmic teachings of law.

So for me, the Divine lets its nature be known through the consistency of law which carries on through galaxies and orbits and is consistent as you go out well past the boundaries of the Milky Way and into the other systems of life. And as we stand on the precipice of entering a galactic era, we can no longer afford to hang onto earth-centric religions that have as their fundamental doctrine concepts, teachings that divide human beings from one another, because at their core, that stands in contrast to the laws of nature and to the primal mystical teachings that say all is one. That is one of the primary laws of the universe, and that’s one of the governing laws of your own bio-spiritual ecology — that all is one in your biology, your bio-spiritual ecology.

So if you hold to a spirituality doctrine or an idea that your religion makes you different than another person, right there, that illusion is a crisis with your bio-spiritual ecology. And that right there tells you that holding to a spiritual creed that separates you from others is an illusion. So for me, God is a universal law system. And that law runs our biology; it runs our bio-spiritual ecology, as I call it. It is the same with nature. Our bio-spiritual ecology runs on the same laws as nature, and the ecology of our individual planet is identical to the ecology of the planet as a whole, and that is the teaching of that primal law: what is in one is in the whole; what I do to one, I do to all; as above, so below. And that to me is the order of the universe.
I haven’t heard it quite put in those terms, but I have to say it’s very close to my understanding, too. I like the way you phrase that. As far as prayers, whether we’re talking about prayers of supplication, prayers of gratitude, or intercessory prayer, why do you consider prayer such a rich subject for exploration?

Well, I think that that’s the mystical mystery. Because this universe is two things simultaneously that can appear to be incongruent, but in fact are deeply harmonious, and that’s that the universe is incredibly impersonal. And that’s where law comes in. The law of gravity… no matter who you are, no matter what you believe, no matter how old or young, tall or short, if you jump off a building, you’re going to fall. If I jump off, I’m going to fall. It doesn’t matter if you’re an atheist, a believer, a Hindu, Buddhist, or Druid, you’re going to fall because the law of gravity governs us.

It’s impersonal. It doesn’t matter if you’re a good person or a bad person. So that childish creed people cling to, that bad things should only happen to bad people, and if I’m a good person, a bad thing should not happen to me, has no relevance. At the same time, though this is a completely impersonal universe governed by laws, gravity, and cause and effect, and the law of sensation, the law of change. Change is constant, says Buddha; there’s nothing you can do about that. The universe is deeply intimate. Somehow, in ways we will never understand, we are personally known to whatever the system of divine being is. Somehow, our actions matter. Somehow, our intentions matter.

We can make up stories about why that’s so. And we can make up stories about how significant we think we are. I hear people say all the time, “I know I was born for something special,” though that’s just their way of being important, and because we’ve become a people who disdain being ordinary. You know, their primary prayer is, “God, make me anything, but don’t make me ordinary.” They have no idea in their head what they’re saying or how they’re cursing themselves by thinking that way, and how they’re mapping a life of true suffering for themselves by searching to be extraordinary, “other than ordinary.”

But in ways, the idea of intimacy is a mystical concept. It’s a mystical position, because it is a mystery, in that every choice matters. Every act of goodness is somehow calculated. It’s somehow calculated. Today, I was listening, as I’m sure many people have been, to the latest slaughter in Texas at this church. It strikes me again that it’s in a church, yet another church, like the church in South Carolina, like the Amish girls that were killed several years ago. These holy places where evil goes and strikes out at innocent people. Here, all of these people are struck down, and yet a five-year-old who was hit with five bullets, I believe, survived somehow. And I cannot help ask the kinds of questions that I tell people not to ask, yet I find myself asking, which is how is it that this little five-year-old was somehow saved and eight members of another family were not?

As soon as I ask that, I say to myself, “These are not the questions you should ask. These are the questions you would tell another, ‘Don’t ask what cannot be answered; that is a way of putting yourself on a path of endless torment.’” And yet, I find that that is exactly what I cannot understand about the universe, and the nature of God, these great mysteries of how it seems such miraculous effort will be put into saving one amongst a holocaust, and yet the holocaust happens. I don’t know why things happen like that, Phil, but they do… but they do. And yet at the same time, I believe that the power of prayer is so extraordinary.

I also look at the world now, and I know we’re spinning in vortexes of unbelievable darkness and madness, but I think that prayer, and acts of goodness that really are in themselves a type of prayer, offset innumerable acts of darkness that generate psychic free radicals in our energy field, that become the fodder for collective dark acts that form the psychic fields that breed collective dark things like that madness that makes people want to go to war, that get behind politicians when they suggest that the way to solve something is to bomb it, that somehow that suddenly becomes a positive idea, when in fact nothing could be more preposterous.

Prayer, in a way, comes to the rescue in the unconscious of the collective, and shines a light on… and stops people from thinking, That’s a good idea. It’s not a good idea. It brings enough people to the realization that that’s insanity, that we may come very close to our own annihilation. And maybe if people stop believing in prayer, maybe we won’t save ourselves. But I believe that prayer is essential to offset the constant generating of dark energy for exactly that reason, that somehow it seeps into the unconscious of human beings so that… in ways of seeping in and maybe inspiring them to think that that’s not a good idea.

I just don’t buy that one day, the light goes on and they think, “I don’t trust that man anymore. I just don’t… this is insane. I can’t… hatred’s not working.” This is because darkness works in exactly the opposite way. Darkness makes people afraid of their own countrymen. It makes people think that guns are a way of resolving their pain, that, “I’m in so much pain, I get to kill a church full of people because I’m so unhappy.”

This is the insanity: “I’m so entitled to feeling good that when I’m feeling bad, I get to beat people up. I get to bomb them. I get to go into a church and blow people away, because I’m entitled to that, because I’m so unhappy, and someone’s responsible for my unhappiness. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And that’s how exaggerated entitlement has become.
What you just said reminds me of a beautiful phrase that you had said earlier in something I read that really jumped out at me. You said, “People who are mourning the absence of perfection in their lives.” That applies quite well. As far as the questions you said earlier, I think I would say beware of anyone who says they have definite answers to those questions, because we cannot know.

Precisely; we cannot know. What is the nature of faith? Faith is not that you believe that impossible things are going to maybe made possible. That’s a child… that’s a child. It’s no wonder people find it difficult to have faith, it’s because they don’t understand faith. But part of what makes it also difficult is that we’re the first society… in these last decades, we, the people of the nuclear age, are the generations that have taken down the pillars of human society that have always, always stood strong. We’re the ones that took them down… we are… pillars that people never really even thought about because they never considered they could come down.

We took down the pillar of the structure of family, the structure of community, the backbone of church as community, or synagogue. The backbone of faith as community. The backbone of the structure of family as community. We took all of that down. It’s very rare for people to have this sense of habitus maximus in them. It’s a Latin phrase. It means the maximum habits of the heart that are passed down by learning through the continuation of education from the same elders to the children, which would include the solid passing on of traditions in a sequence of time, and the passage of time that includes rituals such as bar mitzvah, such as communion, such as confirmations, such as the rituals that say, “This is your passageway into your young adulthood, into an age of more responsibility,” so that the marking of the significant passageways… moving into, and this is the critical word, accountability…

We are now gradually holding you more accountable, not responsible, but first comes accountability. We want you to account for how your day was. What did you do? What choices did you make? I listen to people say… as adults they have to go to therapy to learn to say, “I know I’m responsible for this.” Suddenly, in their 40s and 50s, they’re learning to say, “I recognize I’m responsible for my actions,” as if that’s an accomplishment to say in their 40s and 50s that they’re responsible for something. And they act like the light bulb goes on: “I’m responsible for what I feel, and what I say.” But beyond saying it, they have no concept.

First of all, they’re about 25 or 30 years late on conceptualizing, getting, what responsibility means in terms of habitus maximus. They’re about 30 years late. Secondly, saying that you’re responsible means nothing unless it’s backed up by, and as a result of getting that I’m responsible. “These are the three things I am now going to do or not going to do, because I realize these actions are something I can no longer participate in, or do, or think, or say.”
I share your amazement at that.

“I’m responsible. I realize now at age 56 I’m responsible.” Holy… my god. Anyway.
Anyway, back to prayer. Did any particular experience awaken you to the impact that prayer can make in our lives, or is this a gradual realization?

No. I’m uncomfortable talking about that. I’m extremely uncomfortable, Phil, because I’ve never been out of the prayer. I’m not somebody who had to learn how to pray when I was older. I was always praying. I mean, I grew up in a prayerful household. Then I went to a Catholic school. And I was educated in a convent, blah, blah, blah… c’mon, my whole life was that. But in addition to that, I did not have… I never had that sense that I was a… My issues with Catholicism were dogmatic. And in order to deal with that… and doctrinal… and I then went to graduate school to resolve that. I didn’t just walk away and say, “The hell with that church.”

I was never scarred. I had magnificent professors. I had magnificent teachers, both the nuns and the Jesuits. The people who educated me were brilliant and wonderful scholars. I observed the consistency of faith versus hypocrisy, so I did not see the side so many people saw. And yet, even through that, I realized the limitations of the Vatican part of it, so I sought the mystical part and became fascinated with miracles and mysticism and the transcendent path.

So, I left the, as I said, the doctrine, and pursued the miraculous, because that has no religion to it… that was something entirely different. And it was through that that the power of prayer… I was fascinated with what was it like for these people, these wondrous human beings, like Francis of Assisi, and these marvelous, marvelous human beings, to experience being called. What was that voice? What was that voice? And what was it like to… the mystical experience when… that anguish people have when they want their life to mean more than it does, and yet they are so often afraid to pursue that. What are they afraid of?

And I understand that. I understand that people are afraid that somehow if they pursue their spiritual life, that their physical life will disintegrate like dust in front of them. They’ll become celibate. They’ll lose their financial… Like somehow, it’s always a choice between heaven or earth, the body and soul, that somehow they sacrifice one world for the next. I understand that because that certainly has been the way it has been. I mean, if they look back, the model of these last centuries has been… the pursuit of the inner life has been a monastic one. So I get that.

But the contemporary mysticism now is… how do I say it… is morphing, is adjusting to the contemporary mind, to the high-tech mind. And just like religion, all religions, there’s a collision with the gods going on. All religions are dismantling all their mythologies. We no longer fit into the mythologies of traditional religions. It’s not a fault of the religions. It’s this moment of evolution. It’s quite a profound time to be alive.

Those mythologies, the virgin birth and the mythologies of following an angel to a cave, and all of the mythologies, that there’s a piece of real estate in the desert that somehow was promised… I mean, all of the Abrahamic religions… all of them, all of them no longer can sustain the consciousness of a planetary community that must learn for its own survival, for its next evolutionary spin, to base its consciousness on the laws of nature and bio-spiritual ecology, that divinity must become organic and cosmic in proportion. And that these stories that have sustained humanity through its planetary era, through its sovereign era of forming nation states that mimic forming getting to know the organs of the body, that era is over.

And now, it is the time of… we no longer need to have gods that look like us, that are half god and half man. From going from the gods of the Romans and the Greeks, to a half god, half man, Hercules, to a physical half god, half man, Jesus, to incarnating that divinity into us so that we think we’re half god and half man. It is over. Now, we have to shed all of those myths that the gods look like us, walk like us, talk like us, to an organic divinity that can extend into the cosmos so that we can finally, finally stop with the religious wars.

And they’re all religious wars, all of them, from the Middle East to no matter what part of the world. We finally can find a way to become a global community, like it or not. That we finally get the law, that what is in one is actually in the whole. The way Buddha said it, the way Jesus said it, the laws of the universe, the way that match our biology and our ecology and our environment, that they are one and the same. We will not heal our environmental issues; we will not heal the environment itself until we are able to recognize that our theology must become a bio-spiritual ecology, because they’re one and the same. That is how we must worship, in that whole sense that we live this bio-spiritual ecology as our new monastery. This, this life, this planet, this humanity is our monastery. Humanity is our monastery.
We are certainly on the cusp of a profound transformation, which is why, as you’re talking, there’s so much resistance to it. People don’t want to leave what they know behind.

Well, this won’t be the generation that accomplishes that, Phil, by any means, by any means. Let me tell you something, when they discovered electricity, the people who had candles in their home died with candles in their home. They weren’t the ones to get electricity. You got it?
I got it.

Okay. When you grow up in a world, you don’t want your world to go. You don’t want your world to go. Look, I did not grow up with computers. We did not. We’re the same age. We didn’t grow up with computers. We didn’t grow up with any of this high-voltage technology. I look at the kids in my family and they were not educated the way I was with Latin and with Greek and with the classics and with music and with… I’m a dinosaur, as far as they’re concerned. I’m a dinosaur.

The other day, I quoted something from Plato, and they were like, “Who?” And I was mortified, mortified that they didn’t know Caesar’s Gallic Wars, that they don’t know Plato, that they don’t… But for them, it is of no use; it has no relevance… Wait a minute. There’s fingerprints on these glasses, I can’t stand it… It has no relevance, nothing. Has no relevance. It has only relevance for me. But that’s my generation, my era.

I listen to their music and I thought, If that plays one more second, I will confess to Abraham Lincoln’s murder. I will do anything to turn that off. I think no one will remember their horrible music one year from now or two years from now. But the music of my generation, the music of the Beatles, the music… people still play it because it’s gorgeous. That is not music.

But I will never adapt to their world, never. I will not do it, because I feel my world was, is superior, and I’m not letting it go. I’m not letting go of parts of my world. So I am not accommodating their world in many, many ways. And they won’t accommodate the world of the next generation. They’ll be much about the world that they grew up in, that they will hold on to themselves.

Because that’s the way it is. I am not letting go of your oatmeal raisin cookies that you send me. I’m not letting go of a lot of the ways I cooked. I don’t care if they say, “Oh, it’s so…” Hell with them. I still make certain things with a lot of butter, and I’m not interested in those cookbooks that say, “You’ve got to do this.” I don’t pay attention to that. I cook a lot of the ways that I grew up with, and guess what, I’m healthier than a lot of people I know. So, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right?

Forget it. A lot of the old ways and a lot of the modern stuff, a lot of contemporary thinking… I’ve absorbed obviously into my life a lot of contemporary thinking, but I do see that all is one, and I apply that, and I see where the world is going. And I am in support of that. I’m completely involved in that evolution, but I’m not on the first car of that train. I’m somewhere in the middle, but I’m not on the caboose, because I don’t fight evolution. I don’t fight evolution. So I see where it’s going.

And where prayer comes in for me is I don’t pray for things to not be so. When I say to people… I’ve had questions like… and I love this one. I’ve had it so often: “Do you have any prayers that work?” Because I think people think prayer is like magic or something. And they are very disappointed. I’m not sure what they think God is, if it’s some kind of off-planet being, like an isolated being that somehow lives somewhere out there, up there, over there. I’m not sure what they think.

But if there was a way to explain the Divine, I think the divine is this whole system at a different vibration. Like when people have near-death experiences, they always describe the whole place that they land as a whole bright light… a bright tunnel appears, and then they’re completely absorbed into light. There’s nothing else but light. So in a sense, if you thought that through, they’re not up there in light. It’s as if where you are somehow shifts to the vibration of its light content, as if life is like a block of ice, and dying is when that ice shifts to mist. It’s in the same spot, it’s just that you are now in its mist proportion. You’re now in the mist vibration of ice. You’ve melted through the density, and you’re in the light, but it’s light everywhere.

So you’re in the mist of what a tree looks like; you’re in the mist of the tree. So you’re in the mist form of a tree. You’re in the mist of everything. The galaxy’s become mist. You are in the mist of everything that if it gets reduced to, or if it gets frozen in time and space, you can see it frozen in time and space moving at the speed of what we call time, of what we’ve come to know as time, densification. But when we are not dense, we perceive it in its light form, but it must be everywhere. All that is must now be at light… converts to light instantly, including us.

And all of this is an expression of the Divine, because it is all a compound of the nature of that one force. So it is in all things, and it is everywhere. And I think when the mystics have had experiences of this… Buddha had that. Teresa Avila had that. I think Jesus had an illumination like that. The one Jesus had was he, that illumination blasted through him, whereas Teresa visited that illumination… Teresa of Avila. And when she came back, that’s when Jesus was standing with the prophets… he was now way into that orbit… he was now amongst the heavens… of that equal status.

When Teresa was exposed to that, her body became like stone on earth. And when she came back, her sister said, “Where did you go?” And she said, “My brain wanted to come with, but it can’t. It can’t go there. There aren’t any words, and it can’t. It simply cannot go there.” What prayer is… prayer is a soul language. It’s a language that is beyond the mind. So, you can keep yourself in the mental world by saying, “God, take care of me. God, protect me.” And all you do is you keep yourself on the hamster wheel of ordinary experiences, while thinking you’re born to be extraordinary. But in fact, you are terrified of any truly extraordinary inner perceptions.

You want extraordinary gratification, but there’s nothing in you that’s strong enough to sustain a truly extraordinary inner experience. You simply want extraordinary gratification. You want extraordinary recognition, but you’re not extraordinary. You are so ordinary because what you seek is so… it’s for a weak person. A weak person wants extraordinary recognition. But the truly extraordinary soul ventures into these waters that say, “Show me. Show me the truth. What is this universe made of? And if I need to change, if I need to be taken into a place where I see something so extraordinary that I can’t explain it to another person and it changes me so profoundly that I must stand alone in that reality, I cannot verify it for anybody. I can’t explain it. It will change the way I see the world. And I must stand alone in that. I must stand alone in how I will then understand the world.”

One has to be extraordinarily strong to stand alone in a perception of truth, to know for example if… It is one thing to stand with a bunch of people who say, “The trees are conscious. The birds are conscious. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” It is another thing entirely to actually be taken into that consciousness, and to feel, sense, hear, smell, taste, and sense the vulnerability of a dying tree in you, or hear the animals say, “We’re terrified. Where are we going to live after this pollution gets our trees? What are we going to do?” To actually sense, to actually know their consciousness and have them wrap you into their pain.

It’s one thing to observe it. It’s another thing to actually comprehend it within your consciousness so that you can now interpret their bird song. It’s not just pretty little music that we hear in the morning. You understand that they’re speaking a language, but you can’t tell anyone that. And you no longer get to say, “Oh, they think I’m crazy.” You actually get the communication system of nature, because nature doesn’t waste a beat; it doesn’t waste a sound. Every sound is part of an integral communication system, every single sound. Those sounds are not out there to amuse human beings. Every sound is part of an integral communication network among all creatures.

Human beings think the whole of nature was set up to amuse us. Its sounds, its vision, everything, it’s all about us. That’s how self-centered we are. When in fact, it’s an integral communication system. You’re exposed to that, you get it, and you come back into your body. You have to stand in that knowledge by yourself, because you can’t communicate that. This is the same reason a lot of people don’t heal instantly, Phil, because in order to sustain a miracle… a miracle is when God bends the laws of nature for you. So instead of healing at the speed of ordinary time, or healing at all from an illness that is considered terminal, heaven bends those laws and you heal in six seconds instead of six months or six years.

But what happens for most people is they can’t take the phenomenon. They can’t withstand the response of having experienced a phenomenon when a lot of people say, “Why did that happen to you? Well, I don’t understand why it happened to you.” Or, “You were never really that sick.” Or, “I don’t believe you.” Or the responses that happen to a person who experiences a miracle, or what’s called a miracle, are often so harsh that that person ends up sicker as a consequence because they’re not able to stand in their strength and say, “I detach from the need for approval.” They’re not able to do that. Instead, they reach for approval, and they say, “If you don’t approve of this, how dare you? How dare you not approve of my miracle? How dare you get me this kind of response?”

They end up sicker from their rage and their resentment. So, it’s really in God’s compassion that they are denied an experience that they are not strong enough to sustain because they live in a world where they are so woven into the need to have other people approve of their experiences that they’re not yet strong enough to be given an experience in which they have to stand alone. Do you see?
Yes. They also need to detach from the need to know why the miracle happened, as you’ve talked about.

Right. And what prayer is is, “God, give me the strength to endure a truth.” And it is an endurance, to endure an experience nobody else has had. That’s why you pray. “Give me the grace, the grace to endure a truth that nobody else has seen.” That’s why you pray. You don’t pray to get stuff. You don’t pray to, “Make this easy on me, will you, God, because I’m not having a good time here.” It’s, “Give me the strength here to get through this, because…” Wow. You don’t pray to have your path taken away from you, because that’s never going to happen. You pray to figure out the wise way through it. That’s always going to happen.
Well, I certainly agree with you that all is one, all is divine, except for rap music.

Oh, God! Oh!
We’ll just have to be the generation that is satisfied with just taking the first few steps towards lasting transformation.

Yeah.
What fascinates me about prayer, and here’s kind of a long question, is we often tell people, “I’m praying for you,” or “I’m sending you love.” However, Larry Dossey, who’s written extensively about scientific studies that have validated the power of prayer, says that mental and spiritual energy operate beyond the scope of what science can measure or language can explain. But given that we can reach and affect each other through the complex web of divine energy that we call the universal or unified field or whatever, the word “energy” in this context can be considered a metaphor for the instantaneous effect of compassionate human intention. How does that explanation of the mechanics of prayer resonate for you?

I think he’s right. I think absolutely. As I say, I think love, positive intention… they all qualify. You’re just playing a word game if you want to define prayer. Anything that’s positive, anything that comes from the heart, anything that is of good intention qualifies as a prayer, as a prayer. Any kind thought, any kind action… and a kind action is a prayer. It’s action prayer. I mean, anything. Believe me, it’s monitored. It’s monitored. It’s paid attention to, the slightest thing you do towards someone that’s positive, just like negative.

And I have to tell you, angels manifest themselves. Angels show up. They’re in disguises in life all the time. A homeless person on a bench could be an angel. And I am not kidding you. I am so not kidding you, so not kidding you. You walk by that, and you think, “Oh, get a job, you dirty creature.” Yup. You’re gonna hear about it.
Couldn’t agree more.

You are gonna hear about it.
Do you consider intuition a form of divine guidance? And is that a channel through which prayers may be answered?

Well, there’s levels of intuition. There’s organic divinity, which is your animal instinct. Then there’s gut intuition, that sort of, “Should I buy this or not?” That inner instinct that says, “You are so in debt, you don’t need this, no.” It’s sort of gut response. That’s not higher guidance. That’s just common-sense gut reflex that says, “No.” You’re reading through a menu and say, “God, this looks good.” Then you think, You’re diabetic. Duh, you don’t eat that.

That’s a cross between gut and guidance because you always get guidance to maintain your health. You always do. You always get guidance to maintain your health. That’s part of the bargain. That’s part of the operating system. That’s just because your operating system is in the business of keeping you healthy, keeping you alive. That’s what it does.

But higher guidance is another thing. I think that kind of, what I would call inner dialogue, when you say, “God, grant me counsel. I need to know what to do here. I need to know. Grant me guidance. I need to hear from you on whether… What do you want me to do with this person? What should I do here? Should I divorce? Should I marry?” I mean, these types of deeper, deeper questions, this type of deeper guidance is… requires a bit more, because you’re not able to say, to tell yourself, “Well, I don’t like what I just heard, so I’m going to tell myself I didn’t hear anything.”

When you ask for counsel, as in the order of St. Benedict, as in Benedictines, the way Benedict was so clear, as was Teresa, as was Francis of Assisi, you are wide open. Oftentimes, you ask for this guidance. You may not like what you hear, but you don’t have the option of saying, “Therefore, I did not hear it.”

Number two, you don’t have the option of not following because you didn’t like what you heard. You have to be a very strong person to… and have a lot of faith to say, “This is what I heard, and I need to do that.” In all my career, I think I can count on three fingers the number of times I have heard someone say to me, “I got this in guidance. I don’t want to do this, but I need to. I was told to do this.” All the time what I hear are people saying, “I was told I need to do…” It was always what they want to do, always a fantasy, always what they want to do. It was always conveniently what they want to do.

I mean three times in 35 years, I had someone say to me, “I got this in guidance. It woke me up. I don’t want to do this, but I guess that’s what I need to do.” Only three times. And those are the three times that I thought, That’s the real thing. All the rest, nothing but fantasy, nothing but a way to say, “I don’t want to take responsibility for how this comes out, so I’ve decided to say it’s guidance.”
It’s often been said that the most powerful prayer is “Thy will be done.” Do you agree with that assessment, and why?

Well, because I think you really have to go to the garden of Gethsemane and see the whole lay of the land there, which is that the prayer took place on the Holy Thursday as Jesus said… mind you, there wasn’t anyone taking notes, so we have to remember that. But it was as he was about to begin the worst ordeal in his death, and he said… And remember, Jesus was living out a drama that was all about living through every single thing, every single action that human beings have always used as an excuse to strike out at other human beings. He was about to do that. He was about to go through every single action that always gave human beings permission to harm another person.

He needed to go through betrayal, abandonment, being brutalized, being falsely accused, be undergoing a trial, being arrested for things he didn’t do. You name it, all of these are the crimes of the earth that position a person to strike back and be with righteous hatred. And yet, he said, “Look…” his message is clear… “you have no idea why things are as they are, but I’m going to tell you, if you strike back, all you will do is continue this endless cycle of self-righteous hatred. And I’m here to tell you that it’s like a crucifixion. You’ll just keep it up and keep it up and keep it up. It’s you I’m trying to save from this, not me. You. So, I’m going to show you that it is a crucifixion. And the pain of you trying to stop it is going to be this crucifixion. You are going to feel like you’re crucifying yourself, because you are. But you’re crucifying the hatred in you. You’re killing it. You’re killing that part of yourself. You have to sacrifice that part. That’s what you’re going to do.”

So I’m going to go at it in the extreme. But the first thing he said was… because this is the first thing you’re going to do; you are going to say, “I don’t want to do this.” And you’re going to pray to God, and you’re going to say, “Get this cross away from me. Is there any other way through this?” And you’re not going to hear a thing. So, I’m going to tell you that right now. And not hearing a thing is an answer. It is God’s way of saying, “I don’t waste my words. If you don’t hear from me, it’s because I’m not changing my mind. Proceed as ordered.”

Silence is a response. If you don’t get any other directives, it’s because there are no other directives. So, don’t say you’re not getting an answer, you got an answer. Silence is an answer. No answer means you’re exactly on the right course. So stop playing stupid and just keep going.
One last question. When a certain outcome is desired, some people choose to pray, “Let go and let God,” while others adopt an aggressive do-it-yourself mindset. I like the way you reconcile this “free will versus divine will” conundrum by explaining that you should do what you feel guided to do while staying open to unanticipated outcomes. Can you elaborate on that?

You just did. I mean, what else can I say? I mean, I think do everything that you feel guided to do, but I never push the river. I think it’s folly, it’s folly to have expectations of what you hope to achieve… of what you want… to pray for certain outcomes. “Please, God, make me happy. Please, God, find love for me. Please… blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” I mean, you’re only going to fall flat on your face because what that presumes is that all the people in your life are there just to make you happy, just to serve you, and you’re always, always, always going to be disappointed.

Because it’s not that people disappoint you. It’s that you just don’t get how life is set up. Life is not set up around you. That’s what you have to understand. Any more than your life is set up around anybody else. And that’s what you have to ask yourself, “Was I born to serve another person? Is my life all about serving someone else? What’s the likelihood that’s true?” So don’t think anyone else was born to take care of you, because that’s just not true.

So your best way is to become very reflective and pay attention to your conscience. The word “consciousness” is of no value to you. But the word “conscience” is. Monitor your conscience and pay attention to the quality of your choices and your motivation, your agenda, why you make the choices you do. That is a form of inner prayer, a contemplation, reflection: Why do I do what I do? What motivates me? If you’re motivated by anger, by the need for attention, by the lesser choices in life… if you lie, if you don’t tell the truth, a.k.a. lie, and you think it’s okay… if you ever tell yourself it’s okay because other people do it, then you need to seek someone for a confession, because you have to tell yourself, “I’m very comfortable in darkness, and I need to do something about that.” Because nothing, no one else’s life, can be used to explain your decisions. And being okay with telling things that are not true is… if it’s become a habit, you have to do something about that.
Thank you so much, Caroline, for sharing your thoughts and wisdom with us today. This was extraordinary. I loved it. I always look so forward to hearing your unique perspective on such complex topics. I very much appreciate your time.

My pleasure, Phil. My pleasure. And I look forward to my cookies?
I suspect there may be a batch with your name on it arriving soon.

Thank you, darling.


Caroline Myss is a five-time New York Times bestselling author and internationally renowned speaker in the fields of human consciousness, spirituality and mysticism, health, energy medicine, and the science of medical intuition.

Caroline established her own educational institute in 2003, CMED (Caroline Myss Education), which offers a diverse array of programs devoted to personal development and draws students from all over the world.

She developed the field of Energy Anatomy, a science that correlates specific emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual stress patterns with diseases.

Caroline maintains a rigorous international workshop and lecture schedule. Her books include Anatomy of the SpiritEntering the CastleWhy People Don’t Heal and How They CanInvisible Acts of PowerSacred Contracts, and Defy Gravity.

To visit Caroline’s website, click here.

 

The Catalyst is produced by The Shift Network to feature inspiring stories and provide information to help shift consciousness and take practical action. To receive The Catalyst twice a month, sign up here.

This article appears in:
2017 Catalyst, Issue 23: The Sacred Feminine

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The Fifth Mystical Law: Maintain Spiritual Congruency – Caroline Myss – CMED

Artist appreciation

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The Fifth Mystical Law: Maintain Spiritual Congruency

Whether you strike out on the path of consciousness in order to heal yourself or to engage more profoundly in matters of the spirit, one way of describing your goal is to say that you want to become a congruent human being. Congruency can take many forms, but in essence you are congruent when your beliefs match up with your everyday actions and your spiritual practice. Say what you believe and believe what you say; act on your belief and follow through on guidance that comes from inner reflection. In this way, body, mind, and soul finally come into an alignment that allows for the harmony of the graces to flow through you as naturally as your breath. You maintain congruence by honoring the spiritual truths that you have consciously made a part of your interior life.

Truth is its own monitoring device; that is, you can never lie to yourself about compromising a truth. Your biology itself will show signs of the stress when you become incongruent with a truth. Part of us realizes that acknowledgment of a belief – whether private or public – stands as an official commitment to it, if only before our own conscience.

A consciousness left in a fog is incapable of creating any clear path in life, much less of healing anything. There is nothing easy about living a conscious life, but it’s even more treacherous to live an unconscious one.

Simply being as conscious as you can be at each moment is a full-time job, because becoming a conscious person is all about realizing the full potential of the power of choice. Of all the choices that you can make, none is as empowering as the decision to live in a spiritually congruent way.

What you can do:

Practice spiritual congruence by living these truths:

  • You should say only what you believe and believe what you say.
  • Power originates behind your eyes, not in front of your eyes. Once power becomes visible, it evaporates. True power is invisible.
  • Thought precedes the creation of matter. Therefore, your thoughts are instruments of creation as much as your words, deeds, and finances. Become conscious about the quality of your thoughts, because each one sets patterns of cause and effect into motion. Every thought is a tool. Every thought is a prayer.
  • Judgement anchors you to the person or thing you judge, making you its servant. Judge others too harshly and you become their prisoner.

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Wishing Versus the Power of the Imagination Alice Time – Part III -Caroline Myss

Living in a world of Distractions and the Reality of your own Soul’s Journey – Caroline Myss @ CMED

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Living in a world of Distractions and the Reality of your own Soul’s Journey

Every person wants to find a way to live in tranquility. Every person is overwhelmed by chaos. We are not creatures who strive for chaotic, confused lives, at least not when we have our heads on straight. Rather, our inner nature thrives when we find the courage to become congruent, when our heart is one with our mind and through that union, we find the key to our soul.

The great mystics of all traditions offer us enlightened teachings that remind us that many pathways to the soul exist – through the Christian tradition, through the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Jewish, the Sufi – all of them wise paths to soul illumination.

Living in a World of Distractions

Revered spiritual teachers tell us that we are consumed and controlled by distractions. Have you ever really noticed how loud your environment is? I know so many people who cannot tolerate silence. They have to have some sort of background noise on at all times, whether it’s the radio or television. This irritating blast of sound bites and commercials and endless horrible television nonsense broadcasts all during their dinners instead of conversation or while attempting to have a conversation. The kids race through dinner so that they can return to their on-line life.

I observe people who are so insecure about being alone that they cannot even do gardening without their cell phone hanging from their side. And if there was ever a place to enjoy the sound of nature itself, it’s your garden. Or what about taking a walk just to reflect upon your own thoughts? Nothing is as irritating to me, however, as dining with someone who places a cell phone on the table. Trying to have a conversation with someone whose eyes are constantly shifting from you to a cell phone has raised the bar on the definition of what it means to be socially rude. I have often excused myself giving the impression that I am headed to the Ladies Room when in fact I am headed right out the restaurant door. I then send a text.

And what is this value we put on “multi-tasking”? I don’t admire that. I always picture someone who claims to be able to multi-task as having a spinning head on his or her shoulders. Since when is not being fully conscious and attentive to what you are doing something to be admired? Why is driving yourself faster and faster and faster and faster the standard of admiration? (Will someone please tell me how we got to this insanity??? ) Is it any wonder then, how, in the midst of a culture that admires speed and doing more and more and more and living in an electronic wonderland, that there is little if any time for self-reflection on a daily basis? Quiet time is something that many people get only when they are on the verge of a breakdown or they have to flee their residence and take off for some cabin in the woods somewhere because they think it’s city life creating the stress – (I don’t think so, folks).

Distractions are a product of attachment to a sensory-driven life without values strong enough to control the choices your senses compel you to make. Your five senses are in charge of your reality. You know you’re alive and in charge of your life because you can see, hear, touch, move, control, pick up a phone, hold on to your lap top as if it were your life preserver, speak to another person, get reports on this and that, sell this, buy that, be with this person or that person – any one, just as long as you are not alone. Consider all the data coming at you nonstop and the noise.

And now – more importantly – consider the content of that data. What is flowing in and out of your mind and heart just on a daily basis? Think of all the choices that you are confronted with each hour of your life, never mind during an entire day. If you were to believe all the nonsense of every television commercial and so-called medical report on what you should or should not consume for your health – every morsel of food that you put into your mouth is now a life-or-death decision, not to mention where you live, walk, and what you wear. I look all these other countries in the world that do not have advertising companies promoting vitamins and health products and cannot help but notice they have millions living to a ripe old age…and I wonder, “How’d ya do that without all your vitamins and three organic veggies per day and just the right amount of omega fish oil and avoiding certain toxic movies.” Then I realized, they just don’t listen to American pharmaceutical commercials – that’s how they survived – they don’t suffer from American neurosis. For what reason do nations with a population of over a billion people need viagra? Maybe it’s us…duh.

Distractions. Our culture is dripping with the most outrageous distractions that have ever been manufactured – from noise to electronics to advertising propaganda. But then, life is a journey of distractions. And the first one to point that out was the Buddha. He called the world of form and everything in it “illusion”. Few jewels are as liberating to your inner life and soul as understanding the core teachings of the Buddha, beginning with that one. Distractions are illusions – and what is not a distraction?

It took me a long time to understand the Buddhist teaching on illusion (not that I fully understand the anything the Buddha taught). I remember thinking that the rock that just fell on my foot is not an illusion because illusions cannot possibly hurt that much. But I was missing the key ingredient to this mystical truth. I did not yet understand that power was the fundamental ingredient of the human experience. – a topic for another discussion. Briefly, however, Buddha was referring to the danger of developing an illusion with an object, person, place, thought form – anything – in life that causes you to negotiate your inner power and form an attachment to that external object in the belief that you require that attachment for your survival or happiness or security. Any such attachment for Buddha qualifies as an illusion. That illusion, in turn, becomes a distraction of consciousness. We create narratives in our mind about its significance in our life and how our life would crumble without it.

Buddha included relationships as illusions. All of us have close and loving relationships and none of us would refer to those we love as “illusions”. And yet, though we all have suffered terribly at the loss of people we have loved, the truth is life has gone on. We did not evaporate in our pain, though we perhaps thought we would for a while. It was an illusion that we could not go on without that person – because we did.

And people can and will go on without us. Many have already. We were illusions in their lives. Imagine that.

Distractions and illusions are powerful things. But they are clutter, talking mind clutter. Go for a walk and listen to your clutter. Anger, stress, things your worry about – it’s all clutter. You may tell me that a mortgage payment is not an illusion. Fair enough. But the stress around it is. With or without stress, you have to find a way to make that payment. Does stress help you? That is the illusion.

Observe your distractions and illusions and see how many you can detach from just by realizing you are captive to them. Turn off the television. Read a good book instead of sitting at the computer. Change your life habits. Break out of your routines. Stop multi-tasking – give yourself a break.

Slow down and become conscious of your life and the world you live in.

Love,

Caroline

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ARTIST APPRECIATION – Gratitude to unknown artist 

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The Wisdom of Reflection – Caroline Myss @ CMED

unknown artist

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The Wisdom of Reflection

Essential Life Wisdom Part Five

 

One of the habits that I have developed as a result of writing an (almost) monthly Salon is that I am constantly listening to and observing the world around me, because it is my source of inspiration. People and their ideas, comments, or concerns become warehoused in my mind. Eventually – I hope – some of the thoughts find each other, generating the alchemy for an interesting Salon. Sometimes articles form slowly, but other times an inspiration downloads, so to speak, because of what a person says or the way he or she says it. That experience happened to me the other day during a luncheon with two individuals visiting family in the Chicago area for the holidays.

The psychic background: Now, by psychic background, I don’t mean “to do a reading” psychic. I am referring to the energetic dynamic that occurs when individuals who do not know each other very well get together and enter into the tribal ritual of laying out the power patterns of their lives as a way of immediately establishing their turf, so to speak. Sometimes this includes the need to project the superior lifestyle pattern or, if they are more secure, finding mutual comfort zones. For my part, it happened that the luncheon I referred to occurred at the end of a very rigorous year. Not only was my workshop schedule extremely intense, but I also completed writing my new book, ENTERING THE CASTLE. The pressure of this year was immense, and I can say without exaggeration that I have absolutely no memory of having had a summer vacation. I was a bit overwhelmed by the realization that I had worked almost every weekend this past summer and that yet another lovely season had passed in which I had not even had enough time off to get away for a few days in August to meet someone very dear to me. And from that I concluded, among other things, that the art of reflection is one that is worthy of discussion and perhaps practice in your life.

Let me first define “reflection” and then I’ll bring you back to my luncheon where the inspiration for this topic began in the first place, or rather where the final piece was added. To reflect means to set time aside to think clearly and deeply about the choices you make in your life and their long-term consequences. You reflect on the past and present influences in your life and the stress factors as well as your values, all of which are constantly evolving. Time to reflect allows you to consciously slow down these influences so that you can assess the impact they are having on your life, and make decisions about what changes you need to make as the years go by. Sometimes you’ll discover that you are being pursued by a reptile, as Teresa of Avila would say, that needs to be confronted, such as a fear. Or you may finally come to the conclusion that you need to change the way you’ve been living – period. You may realize that you can no longer go on living a certain way because you are far too unhappy, lonely, or exhausted, or simply that the time has come to reset your life’s compass. Perhaps you want to become more creative or get your body in shape before it really is too late.

Time spent in reflection is the opposite of acting in panic or without thinking. Everyone has had experiences in which they have had to ask themselves, “What on earth was I thinking when I said this – or did that?” Acting too soon or making promises you can’t possibly keep are indications of a lack of reflection. So . . . back to my luncheon.

While at lunch, one of my companions said, “Well, we are all multitaskers, and you know how people like us are. We just don’t have time to go to the movies.” The Multitasker is a new type of archetype – not a major league one, by any means, of course. It’s more of a social wannabe archetype, but it’s definitely related to the Social Climber archetype. The Multitasker is a product of the high-end energy culture we live in that values the art of speed: constantly communicating with someone via Blackberry, cell phone, and laptop computer. The promise of the techno-world is that everything can be done not only better, but also faster and faster and faster – without thought, introspection, or time to reflect on the consequence of the actions initiated by all this high-end, light-speed technology.

I realized as I heard this woman say with great pride that she and her husband were non-movie-going mulititaskers (and they were both very nice, mind you), that I had reached my “speed peak.” I said, “I don’t think I admire multitasking anymore. I think it detracts from the capacity to think deeply about what you are doing and, perhaps more importantly, why you are doing it.” I said that I realized, of course, that we have built our lives around a particular speed zone, and that a certain amount of multitasking is essential to our survival. But I don’t care to see that as something to strive for as a value. For me, the time had come to withdraw from an adoration of doing things faster and more efficiently to choosing what I want to do with more thoughtfulness and care.

A part of this is the result of growing older; of that, I have no doubt. Time does become more precious, like each passing summer, and we can’t afford not to appreciate the gifts and beauty of each season as it comes and goes. We can’t afford to lose months off the calendar each year as if we had thousands to spare, because we don’t. These are thoughts worthy of reflection. I often think of a line that the great mystic Thomas Merton wrote: “This day shall never come again.” That is a truth worth reflecting on, slowly, deeply, and more than once. In fact, it is a truth worthy of becoming the first thing you say to yourself when you rise in the morning: “This day of my life shall never come again. How shall I use this day? What thoughts shall I dwell upon this day? Who will I meet this day? What surprises does life have in store for me today?” And then tell yourself to be mindful, to remain alert to “God in the details of your life,” as Teresa of Avila would say, because God is hidden in the backdrop of your life. The Divine is in the shadows and in the silence and in the noise. It is for you to notice the design of the events of your life and to reflect on the meaning and significance of that design on each particular day – for each design will never come again.

Poetry is the perfect companion for the practice of reflection as it lifts your soul and helps you to withdraw from ordinary life. Poetry inspires and enchants you with a weave of words and perceptions that can make chills run down your spine. Emily Dickinson, the great mystic-poet, is my favorite. Any of her poems is worthy of hours of inner reflection. Many of her poems are mystical love sonnets to God, written in solitude from her home in Amherst, Massachusetts. For example, in, “Love’s Baptism,” Dickinson writes:

I’m ceded – I’ve stopped being Theirs –
The name They dropped upon my face
With water, in the country church
Is finished using, now,
And They can put it with my Dolls,
My childhood, and the string of spools,
I’ve finished threading – too –
Baptized, before, without the choice,
But this time, consciously, of Grace –
Unto supremest name –
Called to my Full – the Crescent dropped –
Existence’s whole Arc, filled up,
With one small Diadem.

My second Rank – too small the first –
Crowned – Crowing – on my Father’s breast –
A half unconscious Queen –
But this time – Adequate – Erect,
With Will to choose, or to reject,
And I choose, just a Crown –

Dickinson boldly writes about her own baptism by choice, rejecting the unconscious act of infant baptism and electing to be baptized into consciousness, fully accepting the power of grace. Such an act of individual choice and the consequence is worthy of reflection, both as she writes about it and because what she writes about – the act of consciously choosing cosmic love and grace – is the ultimate choice of the illuminated human being.

Kahil Gibran’s great work, THE PROPHET, is replete with rich jewels that are pure delight to reflect upon, all of which enhance the richness of your life:

And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
Gibran reminds us that we must save the best for those we love and not the worst of us. How often do we turn to our friends because we are in need of support or because we, as he writes, have hours to kill? But we should come to those we love first and foremost when we are bursting with love and sparkling with delight. And – taking this to the deeper level of reflection – we should think very clearly about what we bring to our friendships. What type of friend are you? Are you reliable? Dependable? Trustworthy? Reflect on yourself as a friend and the quality of choices you make in terms of how you nurture your friendships. These are worthy thoughts to reflect on.

THE PRACTICE OF REFLECTION

Let me recommend that you introduce reflection time into your life once a week. Once a day is just not practical for most people, so go for once a week. Select some exquisite reading material, like poetry or sacred literature, and read through it and then apply it to your life. Reading alone is not enough. Bring this luscious material inside of you. Feed your soul.

Especially, let me encourage you to take time to practice reflection when you need to make decisions and significant choices. The adoration of speed and multitasking leaves a great deal to be desired when it comes to managing the needs of your conscience and your soul.

Love,
Caroline

unknown artist

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Mystical Insights into the Experience of Healing – Caroline Myss @ CMED

Art: Dorina Costras

Mystical Insights into the Experience of Healing

Essential Life Wisdom Part Four

 

Essential life wisdom is grounded and practical information, data that can be used every day. Every day life gives us something to heal, if only to release a judgment against something we thought was negative about our own life. We are never going to run dry of something to heal, or someone who needs our prayers for healing. And we are never, ever going to cease learning more about the mystery of healing, most especially when it comes to the mystical content of healing experience. I am referring specifically today to reaching the wall, the point at which we utter these questions:

  1. What is the reason for this illness?
  2. What more can I do?
  3. Is there anyone else I should see?
  4. Are there any more techniques, healing practices, nutritional programs, vitamins – anything – that I should introduce into my healing routine that will make a difference?
  5. Have I reached the moment at which my only hope is a miracle?

Ultimately who heals and how we heal and why we heal is a mystery. And if the healing is dramatic enough, we call it a miracle. I have been an observer of people involved in healing practices, both as patients and practitioners, for almost twenty-five-years now. I deliberately avoided any hands-on healing work because during all of these years, hands-on healing was not my skill. My own work began in phases: Phase One: investigating why people became ill. These were the years when I actively worked as a medical intuitive with my dear friend and colleague, C. Norman Shealy, M.D. We wrote an excellent book, THE CREATION OF HEALTH, in which we listed the energetic causes of almost 80 illnesses along with the physical, launching the field of medical intuition.

My next phase was studying why people didn’t heal. That consumed me for a few years as I interacted with thousands of people around the world, gathering my data on how people sabotage their healing processes through emotional, mental, and various other methods of behavior. As a result, I wrote WHY PEOPLE DON’T HEAL, as many of you know.

Phase three took me into archetypes and Sacred Contracts, where I became completely absorbed in our more transcendent lives, including the more subtle influences of our lives, namely our archetypal patterns. I thought I had – symbolically speaking – fallen down the Rabbit Hole. I was absolutely enchanted with being able to perceive the archetypal patterns at work within the psychic fields of individuals. I felt as if I was able to hand people the key to their cosmic codes and with this key, people could begin to interpret the “latitude and longitude” locaters of their lives. I marvel as I listen to people “speak archetype” and they don’t even realize it. It is our common, symbolic language and without a doubt some of the most fluent purveyors of this language are advertisers and governments press agents. But anyway….

Phase four has opened up and it is the one arena I would have preferred to sidestep in my career. Healing as a subject matter to write about or to lecture about is one thing, but field work is quite another. And yet, as a result of writing INVISIBLE ACTS OF POWER, which was my bridge into mysticism, I wrote ENTERING THE CASTLE. I was a graduate student in the study of mysticism, but the study of mysticism is hardly the experience of mysticism. And no amount of study can “cause” a mystical experience to occur – certainly not a genuine one. The mystical experiences that the great medieval mystics, like Francis of Assisi and Meister Eckart or later mystics like Teresa of Avila, wrote about are out of our control – “control” being the operative word.

But I am getting ahead of myself a bit. Let me say that I wanted to avoid any direct contact with “healing in the field” because I saw it as too emotional, too difficult, too painful, and I did not want to feel as if I was responsible for finding out “why” a person had become ill. And we are relentless about needing to find out “why” things happen as they do to us – including illness. We have been sculpted by the minds of rationalists like Descartes who believed in the power of “reason” and the natural laws of the Universe. Cause and effect rule the natural rule and therefore that same law must rule the spiritual world. We have applied our love of reason to healing and now we are so rooted in our love of the rational mind that we have long believed that IF we can find the REASON for something, THEN we can find the SOLUTION. In fact, though we are loath to admit this at times, deep down we believe that are OWED a solution to our problems – a resolution (ie, a healing) IF we discover the reason why a system, such as our bodies, broke down. Who or what exactly “owes” us this answer or insight is another topic of discussion; suffice to say we believe in this logic this as the mechanics behind great scales of cosmic justice. Others consider it the working mechanics of the “mind” of God as we have determined that God must have a “mind” – because we do – and that this mind must follow the rules of reason and rationality because this Universe is built upon reliable laws of nature. Simple as that.

That way of thinking does not, however, fit into the reality of the world of healing, prayer, faith, miracles, and the will or mind of God, if you can even transfer such terms to the Divine – and I doubt very much that you can or even should. Reason and faith “X” each other out, as a matter of fact. Just read the Book of Job to see how far back this argument goes. Yaweh made it clear thousands of years ago that the Divine does not owe humanity a reason for anything – not our suffering, not our losses, not our misery, and perhaps not even our good fortune. (Never thought to ask God about that, did you?????? Bet it’s because you’re afraid all your blessings will evaporate if you said, “Why me, God? Why did you bless me with so much wealth? Come on, admit it…a little superstition never hurt anyone). No one is owed anything at the level of “earth logic and reason”. But that does not stop us for ordering our life around a system of order that simply does not exist and does not function. This is the core reason why we are control freaks and are driven to control others, to make people do what we want them to in our external world. It is a substitute and superstitious-based method of attempting to do what cannot be done – which is to outrun the random “mind” of God. However useless this is and regardless of how many times we fail in our efforts to control others – and scream betrayal when they break out of our loop of control – we must attain a life ruled by “reason” and “logic”. And when that system fails us and perceived injustices occur, then our need for personal justice, sometimes vengeance, and sometimes a need to put something at rest, takes possession of us. Ultimately, it is our need to have endings to our stories that work for our personal sense of justice that make us search for reasons and more reasons and more reasons. And if we can’t find those reasons in this life, why, we’ll go hunting into past lives, by God, but we’ll find those “reasons” somewhere – anywhere, just so long as we find an agreeable, livable, suitable, justifiable reason why we were “violated” with “just cause” – according to how we see our world. Period.

For many people – that one quest is their entire life quest. Never mind their highest potential. Never mind the pursuit of an intimate dialog with the Divine. Their pursuit is finding a self-satisfying (and sometimes self-righteous) story to fit the crime. You can call that quest healing if you want, but I haven’t seen those life quests heal very many people. I’ve seen hundreds of support groups form, but very little full, robust, complete, return-to-life with exuberance healing occur. I have witnessed a continuation of psychic support, to be sure, but not an encouragement to “get on with your life now. Enough and don’t look back. Go forward now and get on with the business of building a healthy life.”

THE POINT: Healing is NOT a journey of the mind. It is NOT solely a “who done it”. The mind is incapable of healing the body. All the visualizations in the world are mind games that are best employed for relaxation and stress reduction. Visualization alone can is hardly the equipment required to handle cancer in your cell tissue, leukemia, diabetes, AIDS, MS, and all the other illnesses of the body. Few people – and I mean very few – have minds disciplined enough to hold an image in a solid position in their minds for thirty-seconds much less long enough to manage it slowly penetrating into their cell tissue and melting a cancer cell. I observe people in guiding visualization or meditation exercises constantly – the slightest sound causes half the people in the room to open their eyes. At least thirty percent nod off and enter dreamland. The mind has to be a trained instrument to take on an illness, not a sleepy, weak, undisciplined instrument that is unaccustomed to hardcore instructions with life or death consequences.

During the writing of ENTERING THE CASTLE, the subject of healing once again showed up on my radar. I had joined a healing prayer group at the Episcopal Church that I attend and as a result of INVISIBLE ACTS OF POWER, I had initiated the practice of channeling grace as part of my own healing devotion by creating a healing network via this Salon. The circle of healing began to grow as did the feedback from people who reported extraordinary experiences of Divine intervention and healings. There is far too much to write about in terms of my experience with healing now – far too much. I am discovering as I am writing this newsletter that I want to tell you more and more and more…..Bet me just get to the point of this newsletter.

THE GOOD NEWS:

Bet you didn’t think there was any good news after all of the information on why people don’t heal…and there’s more about that, but enough for today.

What I am discovering is that healing is essentially a mystical experience – not a mental one, not an emotional one, not a psychic one, but a mystical one. Healing is just what the word “mysticism” implies – it is a mystery. The soul is the healing vessel, not the body and not your past. Your soul and the present moment of your life and your capacity to embrace grace and channel that grace to all the participants of your life, past and present “without the need to know why things happened as they did and do” is the key. Healing is an act of mysticism and it requires that you accept the mysteries of your life without question and in faith. Nothing is more difficult and nothing is more liberating. Nothing is more difficult because in order to do that, you have to do battle with the forces of reason and logic, your internal ruling gods….and they do rule, make no mistake about it. Therein lies the blocks to forgiveness and transformation. The way through this, by the way, is what I write about in ENTERING THE CASTLE. I take you into your soul, room-by-room, deeper and deeper, and you do combat with the relentless power of reason. Nothing is easy about this journey. That is why full healings are so rare and true acts of surrender so difficult – they are completely and thoroughly “unreasonable”.

And let me be clear about something. When the word “healing” is used, people tend to think image serious illnesses. But we need to change that or create a new word entirely. The word “healing” should apply to a lens through which we decide to “re-view” a situation or relationship or an attitude or a memory or a trauma or a whatever that is causing us to enter into negativity. We need a healing lens. We need to live with in a fluid relationship with that lens as if it functions automatically: first you see things through your need to have everything work according to your system of logic, your need for order, and your personal world of cause and effect, your need not to be humiliated and your need for security on this earth. But all of that is illusion and no one is a servant or slave to your fears and insecurities. Re-viewing life situations in order to remind yourself of that one truth is simply

Essential life wisdom is the practice of re-viewing any situation that ignites imbalance. These situations require immediate attention as you have just entered the perception that the world is not working according to (Garp) your reality, your need for control, logic, order, reason, self-protection….and therefore someone is about to get hurt. It could be you. It could be someone else. But someone will pay the piper when a person loses control of his or her Universe…make no mistake. So get it through your head – you have no control. No one is her to make sure your Universe does not shatter. Everyone is here to make sure their OWN Universe works – and even then, they are going to have a rough time.

Life is a mystical experience. It is a mystery. The best and the perceived worse things that have happened to you and that will happen to you, you have never seen coming and you never will. Remember that.

And bless you all. (If you only knew how much more I wanted to write about as regards healing….on and on…I forgot this was a Salon and not a book.)

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Art: Dorina Costras

https://www.myss.com/about-caroline-myss/

When is it Time to Evaluate Your Goals, Habits, Attitudes, and Lifestyle? Caroline Myss @ CMED

Art by Ginette Beaulieu

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Essential Life wisdom Part Three

When is it Time to Evaluate Your Goals, Habits, Attitudes, and Lifestyle?

In our last salon, I included a survey entitled, “The Fact-Fiction-Fantasy Life Survey” for your personal enjoyment. It was intended to generate thoughts around one essential question: Do you invest the majority of your creative energies into productive enterprises or does most of your creativity go into postponing your future, your dreams, your health and well-being, and the life you would prefer living? Many of the questions were deliberately light-hearted, yet the intention underneath them was not. Ultimately the entire quest represented by this survey could be reduced to a two-part question: Do you respond to intuitive directives and are you able to then manifest what you are being directed to do?

In truth, the real object of this survey goes far deeper than that question suggests. Manifesting dreams or manifesting health or shifting the direction of your life path represents a cosmic paradox of archetypal proportions. Our contemporary spiritual culture has been saturated for decades now with the perception that we can manifest anything and everything we want “just like that”. Books providing what amounts to dusted off alchemical rituals of manifestation in usually three or seven easy steps assures readers that by following these procedures, their life dreams and ambitions – including drawing a life partner to themselves! – will just happen. Now people, if getting what you wanted out of life were really that easy, don’t you think everyone would be a lot happier than they are? And they certainly would be far more fulfilled and content…so where is the glitch in this thinking??? Let’s call it an absence of a combination of common sense and knowledge of basic life wisdom.

It’s time to discuss the deeper impulses behind the cosmic dynamic of manifestation in the APRIL SALON because it is these impulses that also influence your habits and patterns of choice, even when it comes down to simple choices like whether to clear out a closet. You may think such choices have absolutely no significance to your cosmic compass, so to speak, but there you are completely mistaken. Every choice you make influences the vibration of your life’s direction, which is why you struggle so completely with fulfilling even the smallest or what is really the most effortless of tasks. You have soul instincts that are inherently aligned to the archetypal process of creation that recognizes, like the famous story charting the impact upon the cosmic design generated by the flutter of the butterfly’s wing, that ever choice you make sets profound changes into motion.

(FYI: By the way, ever notice that “wisdom” is simply not emphasized as a value these days…Have you ever noticed that no one does a TV special on “How parents pass down wisdom?” In fact, it’s never mentioned. Wisdom – as a force, as a substance of the psyche and soul – has absolutely no street currency – which is why I decided to devote a year’s worth of articles that include wisdom in the orbit of the subject matter.)

MANIFESTATION AND COMMON SENSE

First of all, manifesting your dreams and making changes in your life is not entirely in your hands; in fact, let’s apply a bit of common sense right off the bat. Consider how much of your life ingredients are set in motion from the second of conception: the whole of your DNA, your sex, your astrological data, and your body. By the time you are born, the “package” you came in has already determined a fair percentage of the choices around which you will live your life. That is not to say you do not have “choice”; what is a given, however, is that you arrive within parameters of choice. There is absolutely nothing you can do about your date of birth and the vast majority of people – vast majority – will not change their sex during their lifetime and these facts are themselves choices embodied within the flesh. You certainly cannot change your DNA or your ethnic heritage. So already you are a “work of choices in progress” from the moment you are born.

Secondly, the art and act of the manifestation of change is as simple as it is complex, as effortless as it is ruthless, and as much the result of spontaneous Divine chaos as it is a litany of conscious prayers invoking the winds of change. Everything in your life is threaded into a vast cosmic weave, a grand cosmic compass. While your soul maintains a connection to this Divine structure of cause and effect, order and destruction, death and rebirth, all of which are the psychic ingredients within the cosmic progression of life, our connection to that vast cosmic network of life is left to the maturity of our ego/personality, which generally keeps its eyes lowered to the earth, grappling for methods of survival and continually postponing the adventures the soul longs to have while embodied in a vessel of flesh and bones.

So now let’s apply this to the symbolic meaning of that little survey and to the theme of this Salon, which is one of taking considering the wisdom of pausing for a moment and evaluating the goals, habits, and attitudes that work like mechanical wheels with your psyche, almost on automatic pilot. At some point, as you move from birthday to birthday, decade to decade, you have to take time to go through your thinking process and evaluate how you talk to yourself, including what you tell yourself you should be doing or could be doing or will be doing someday. Through the years I have actually had the same conversation with a few people who have consistently told me, “I know I was born to do something wonderful,” and you know what? They are still doing that same “un-wonderful” thing, fantasizing about living another life something but always finding reasons to postpone moving forward. I finally realized, due in part to these individuals (all of whom were from different workshops and in fact from three different countries), that they were living off the meager psychic dividends of their fantasies, and these were sufficient to keep them going along in life. Would they ever get to a point where they would admit, “You know what? I am never going to do anything differently. I am never going to change a thing because I don’t want to work any harder than I am. In fact, I don’t really want to work hard at all. I don’t want to put out the amount of energy it takes to ignite a new life path. It’s just too much work. I would prefer that everyone else change around me in order to make my life more exciting because I really do not intend to do one thing differently. I am bored and I like to imagine that things could be different. But I am too insecure to take a risk and too dependent to do anything alone. So there. That’s the truth of who I really am.” What would happen to their lives if they did admit this? Would that make them absolutely miserable or would that initiate contentment that only unmasked honesty could create? Which would it be?

And would it be cruel or an act of service to pierce through this veil of deception? Which is it? If an individual had an illness, for example, and asked me for a reading, I would feel spiritually obligated to share what I perceived in their energy system as accurately as I could. Many times this information is painful, sometimes re-awakening traumas, and sometimes information can even be very humiliating for a person. And then there are the impressions of the serious nature of a physical illness, none of which is a pleasure to communicate. In fact, it’s a nightmare for me. Is it more compassionate, then, to withhold this information because it is so revealing and painful? Is that considered an act of service or is this need to protect someone doing more harm than good? Certainly when it comes to helping a person to heal, withholding information because it is not good news is the worst possible choice.

So is it any less an act of healing to help people to recognize that they nurture toxic psychic patterns in themselves, especially since we are talking about the core patterns regarding how one determines the day-to-day quality of life? We are not talking about how one chooses salad dressing after all. Just to give this discussion its proper backdrop, let me refer to the symbolic significance of just one of the questions from last month’s survey, question 17, which read:

You dream about getting away from the life you have, selling everything and moving to a new life. If you really had the chance for this new life, would you take it?
Fact____Fiction_______Fantasy_________.

(As an FYI, please note that there are no right or wrong answers to a survey evaluating your habits when it comes to how and why you make the choices you do in life. There are only insights to be gained in relationship to your personal habits and preferences. For example, from the point of view of managing creative energy, this survey, even in its light tone, can reveal whether you maintain your creative and psychic energies in present time or if you disperse them into multiple “time zones”. By that, I am referring to this habit: always when a creative thought occurs to you, a follow-up instinct kicks in that says, “when? When do you want to begin?”, as if your psyche and soul hold an innate mechanism that locks in the organic function of creation.)

It may seem an effortless effort, so to speak, to respond to that question, but what the question represents is not the least bit obvious. I presented this question to different audiences, emphasizing that this was a “no risk” question, meaning that their financial life was not going to fall apart if they said, “yes”. The responses were extraordinary. Most people commented that they would not choose to pursue their fantasy life, even if that choice included the promise that they would not land in debtor’s prison. The outrageous paradox, however, is that many admitted they loved the idea of a fantasy life while knowing they had no intention whatsoever of doing anything about making it happen. Further, they had no intention of giving up creating and discussing what they would like to do someday even though they knew full well they would never really go through with their plans. At the end of the day, they just loved the sport of imagination.

Simultaneously we have the category of people who nurture the vision that they have a second life – a more meaningful life that represents their “highest potential” – waiting to come into manifestation as soon as the ingredients are properly lined up in their physical world. Those ingredients usually include finances, children leaving home, and job security. Yet, here again, when I have engaged these individuals in conversations, which I have done now for the past few years during workshops, the general attitude shared by most is that while they are not particularly happy or content with their lives, they prefer postponing any type of change. At the same time, they remain convinced that they can change their lives anytime they want, it’s just that they don’t really want to…even though they think they should want to…right?

All of these people admit to dismissing any number of the smaller gut hunches that are meant to direct our ground level lives – for example, survey question number 3:

You are always getting that gut feeling to clean out your closet or organize your files. You might even visit the mess for a minute and consider when this project will fit into your schedule, knowing all the time that this plan is a:
Fact______Fiction_______Fantasy_______.

The significance of this very simple question is that, once again, the question represents a much grander cosmic dynamic of cause and effect and intuitive dialog with the self that is at work within your life constantly behind the scenes. That constant irritating voice telling you to clean out the closet or organize photographs or any of those tasks that relate to cleansing “stored stuff” is actually a very sophisticated intuitive directive that is a prelude to change. All of your “stored stuff” should be considered psychic anchors that keep your world psychically heavy and slow moving. People always remark that they feel “lighter” after they have cleared out closets and basements – that is a psychic lightness, a cutting of ties to countless past times zones that have been hanging in your energy field literally like “psychic weight”, adding “waiting” time to everything in your life. Thus, your ideas feel more and more like unattainable fantasies because you do not have the energy required to transform an idea from “thought into form”. Even holding on to “stuff” that needs to be shed requires energy; never mind all the psychic energy that goes into to holding on to wounds. Combine all the many forms of psychic weight that a person holds on to and the end result is that a person ends up postponing more and more of his or her life because even the simplest task – like clearing out a closet – looks to be overwhelming. I’ve said so often to people, “How can you hope to pursue your highest potential when you are not even managing half your potential now?”

Common sense and a bit of wisdom would suggest that at some point, the wise course for people, for you, is to re-evaluate what you really want to do with your life, beginning with the perspective that looking to the future is as foolish a direction as is looking to the past.

THE LIFE WISDOM WORTH KNOWING: Update Your Goals, Habits and Attitudes

The other day I was talking to a stock broker at a workshop – no kidding – and he was running down a list of investments. I was pressing him on the matter of investments because of the rather volatile nature of the planet these days…not to mention Washington, DC. So I asked him, “What would you recommend as shrewd investments these days?”

He listed these investments that would mature in 20 years, to which I said, “Sweetie, that’s what you suggest to a couple of newly weds, not to someone my age.”

Our life goals need to change, as do our habits and our attitudes about what we want from life and perhaps more importantly now, what we want to contribute to life. Last year, I had a bit of an epiphany during one workshop and I’ve shared that experience with my audiences every since that day. Without exception, audiences all over the place breathe a collective sigh of relief when I bring up this matter, as if someone had finally released them from being held in a “fantasy captivity”, prisoners to a perception that they must “do” something or live a life other than the one they are living in order to be happy. What happened during this one very special workshop was that I suddenly, deeply, truly “saw” my audience in a way I had never seen them before and I realized in that moment the folly of what I was teaching. Building self-esteem, etc., is hardly a folly, however, part two of that lecture – which was directing them to “apply” their new found self-esteem toward building a brand new life “somewhere out there” for themselves was completely a folly. This formula of developing self-esteem and then making choices that reflect a higher potential in one’s life, is not at all without substance. But it certainly wasn’t working, at least not as well as it should. And then I realized that the problem was that most people had bought into visions they would never, ever be able to accomplish in this life – not because they couldn’t, but because they were not meant to accomplish these visions.

The idea of finding your “highest potential” inspired hundreds of thousands of people to consider that there is another life contained within or around or above the life they’ve been living that holds their “highest potential”; they just have to find a way to get there. Unfortunately, the more practical, occupational side of our nature hijacked the meaning of “highest potential” and it quickly became synonymous with the “perfect occupation by Divine decree” – a mythic occupation and a mythic life, if there ever was one. Thus, one’s highest potential became more and more a true holy grail….no where to be found. But the deeper meaning of highest potential refers to your Sacred Contracts and how consciously you position your soul in your life.

During this particular workshop, I realized that much of the frustration and unhappiness that I continued to witness in people was due to they’re feeling so much disappointment in their own lives and that they are failing their highest potential by not being able to somehow run away. I said to this audience, “I just had a realization. Look around the room at each other. The likelihood that the majority of you are going to leave your lives or your partners or return to school or take your savings and start a new business is zero. You are not going to leave your life at all. What you really need is to find a way to release the highest potential of the life you have right now and re-discover the highest potential to be found in the relationships you have with the people with whom you are sharing this life.”

To say that floodgates of relief and tears opened up on that day is a masterpiece of understatement. Many mysteries about why people sabotage themselves in terms of their intuitive abilities and life choices became very clear to me as I listened to people admit with great relief, “That’s right, I don’t want to leave my life. I want to make my life work right here.”

Several people told me that they developed what they realized was the habit of being discontent and disappointed in their lives because without being discontent, they were afraid they wouldn’t “move forward spirituality.” Said one woman, “I was afraid I would get too comfortable so I had to stay discontent with my life. I looked for things and people to disappointment. It’s too outrageous a thought for me to believe that I could actually be living the life I want to have.”

What occurred in that workshop was a massive influx of common sense and wisdom that resulted in the members of the audience cracking out of perceptions that were hideously painful and completely useless. People felt the freedom to say that wanted exactly the life they had, great, little, humble, or rich – and they had no intention of going anywhere else. And it felt just right.

It was a remarkable workshop worthy of a short-story, actually…maybe I’ll write it up in all its details and call it, “One Particular Workshop” – because it changed my life and certainly theirs. And from that, I realize all too well that goals, habits, and personal attitudes need to be updated like computer programs and stock portfolios. When I think about handing that workshop last month’s survey, I wonder how people would respond after they had an opportunity to shed the burden of fantasy goals that do not belong to their Sacred Contract. I wonder if many people would be far more appreciative of the fullness of their present day lives, no longer finding it necessary to dwell in the past or fantasize about the future and things they know they hope to do but…
SOMETHING FOR YOU TO THINK ABOUT…

Think about your goals, your thoughts, and how you talk to yourself. Do any of your ideas or goals need updating because “they aren’t really you”? I can tell you that if you are living a dream that is not your dream, it can hurt you deeply and cause such unnecessary discontentment. To wake up and realize that you are exactly where you are supposed to be and then make a commitment to make your life work to its fullest…that could be the greatest gift you could ever give yourself. But that conversation is between you and God….I only suggest that you have that conversation. It is well worth it.

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Art by Ginette Beaulieu

https://www.myss.com/about-caroline-myss/