On Perception, Reality and The Self

The Magic of Perception: What you Perceive effects your Reality

Perception is one’s ability to sense, visually or otherwise, what is going on in the environment. We’re already familiar with how our mental attitude can be altered from perceiving something around us. What is very special about this is that perception can alter in accordance with mental attitude. So instead of talking about extra sensory perceptions, let’s discuss our general life perceptions.

Perception of the same life situation can be a wonderful joy or a terrible hardship. This is because our mental attitude provides a filter to the senses, coloring them in accordance with our beliefs. This may seem very elementary, something that we have known all of our lives. So, where is the magic in this?

The magic has to do with the fact that our power of choice can be exercised in assuming the attitude which we prefer. As we choose to perceive from a particular perspective, we actually can alter that which is being perceived. This is a documented fact in particle physics. Albert Einstein showed us that matter is actually energy, densely compacted, but energy nonetheless. All of the energy around us is affected by the way that we perceive it! This was quite a problem to early particle researchers, because there was no way to “accurately” predict whether atomic components would show up as particle or as waves. It was utterly dependent upon who was doing the observing and how they felt that the situation would be. Thus, the energy that composes “matter” as we know it, is directly affected by the perception of the person viewing it.

How are you viewing your life? Do you see it as a glorious adventure, unfolding new joys and lessons every day? Or is it a tedious and gruesome effort, something you must struggle through in order to make to the next day when you will do the same thing again? How is your perception of your life creating a self-fulfilling prophecy?

There are games wherein you can let your eyes unfocus and something new will show up in an image. If we were to let go of an accustomed “focus” in our lives and be willing to see in a slightly different fashion, what might we find?

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The Power of Perception: Is the Glass 1/2 Full or 1/2 Empty?

As we are being taught the lessons of perception shown to us by Saturn in Gemini, it can be useful to discover what we may do consciously to expedite the process.

Perception is that action of connecting with the outside world and having it imprint on the mind as to form, content, scent, taste, texture, meaning, etc. In metaphysics, we learn that the actual cause and effect process is somewhat different from what a material conceptualization of this is.

From a material perspective, perception consists of the world showing itself to us. However, from a metaphysical perspective, we are deciding (or expecting or concluding) that we will perceive the environment in a particular way, attracting the necessary energies from the Universe to manifest in the way that we expect, and then percieving them in that way. From the perspective of the superconscious, there really are no surprises, though we may certainly experience them from our ordinary, daily consciousness.

In a highly simplified form, we could look at the old test of perception – is the glass 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? Our perception will determine the reality of the answer…to us. For the practiced metaphysician, the quality of the perception can “make” it real, that is, real to others who are also looking at the glass.

To carry it forward even further, depending on the quality of belief of the metaphysician, the glass will get filled without any physical effort on her/his part, or will become emptied. This is the “attractive” power of perception, and if we look, we will see it in action in our daily lives. Using the preceding example, we could see a waiter come along and refill the glass, or someone brush by the table and knock it over. Thus, the relative “emptiness” or “fullness” of the glass is made manifest.

Such is the power of perception.

Saturn in Gemini typically doesn’t go that far with the average individual. However, it is necessary to take a greater degree of responsibility for our perceptions. Spreading gossip for instance, may boomerang back at you with more negative consequences. Failure to return a phone call could cost you money. Disdain for a sibling could be a cause of later, deep regret.

This is a life lesson being taught our species at this time. Although each of us will respond a bit differently to this energy, depending on where Saturn falls in our chart, every human being is having to “clean up their act” in terms of communication, perception and our close connections.

The practicing metaphysician can make use of this energy.

Cooperation with a significant planetary energy by means of affirmation, visualization and meditation can speed our progress. Saturn can be an excellent energy to practice with. Visualize yourself mastering communication skills. See yourself interacting in dynamic ways with your neighbors and siblings. Affirm your increasing awareness of the subtleties of your environment. All of these actions will have greater potency than usual, as well as serving to keep you out of trouble. You see, when we disregard the lessons of Saturn we tend to be punished, much like recalcitrant children. This occurs by having the authority figures in our world bringing various disciplinary actions on us, frequently for things that we’ve done before that didn’t appear to have any consquences! This is part of the “maturing” lesson of Saturn. We are being given the opportunity to “grow up” in some way. Currently, the way that is being pointed to is that of Gemini, and perceptions.


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Problem Resolution: Problem Solving Steps from a Spiritual Perspective

Most problems can be symbolized in terms of energy by the concept of two equal, but opposing forces. You want to go to Disneyworld but you can’t get off work. You want to be in a relationship, but you’re shy. You get the idea.

In metaphysics we know that we are the source of our own problems, since the Divine Truth is that there can be no opposition in Oneness. In the examples given above, it is simple to see that it is the individual who is keeping the opposition in balance, he/she could get a different job or get counseling for shyness, as a couple of the infinite, alternate choices that could be made.

And this is where we come to the crux of the matter, problem resolution is a matter of choice. Very often a problem will remain in place because we are refusing to consider alternate choices. Most often, we have convinced ourselves that there is no alternative. This simply isn’t the case. There are always alternatives, though we may not choose to consider them. The refusal to look at other possibilities is unwise, and some- times purposefully ignorant. We may not want to take the risk of trying a new way of going about things, or we may not want to give up the comfort of the old and familiar. These preferences still don’t alter the fact that other possibilities are available.

I emphasize this because problems tend to be stubborn. They are a reflection of their owners. You can look at someone’s problem and immediately understand how much energy is being expended in holding onto it, keeping that balance of oppositions just right. The lovely miracle that happens though, is when one is willing to examine other unusual plans of action or directions to take, the problem starts to wobble. The balance of forces is not nearly so opposed and if allowed to unbalance entirely, may initiate a solution which will transcend either of the previously stagnant options. Solutions such as getting a job at Disneyworld or attending co-ed Shy People Anonymous meetings.

Problems are two dimensional. This is why we can observe another person’s problems from a different perspective and often see an immediate solution. When it is our own problem, we’ve gotten stuck in looking at it from only one direction. When that additional dimension is thrown in, the perfect balance of opposing forces loses its credibility. We can see that they are not perfectly opposing, that there are other factors which can counter-balance one side or the other.

Talking out our problems is not the automatic “cure-all” that its often made out to be. It works often enough due to an instinctual mode of being that we may employ however. This instinct is that of faith. When one or both of the people involved in talking out the problem believe that a resolution is possible, then it is. If both have faith that resolution will occur, then it is certain. Here we are operating on the principle of “Where two or more are gathered, I am there,” or the Spirit of Divine Intelligence is made manifest.

Problem solving techniques in spiritual terms and metaphysics may not be all that different from corporate or psychological problem solving techniques. The intention behind the actions may certainly differ though and this can give it extra meaning and depth. For in the final accounting, are we interested in the “quick fix” or in Divine Resolution?

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Overcoming Procrastination and Reality Creation

This article is dedicated to all the wonderful Librans in my life, one of whom asked me to write this article about procrastination and its effects.

Procrastination is the act of putting off until later what could and/or should be done now. We have all done it. It seems that there are a few different possible causes for it, and these are some of them.

    A lack of decision as to the correct action to take.

    A lack of commitment to the action.

    A fear of the consequences of the action.

In metaphysics, if we are uncertain about what we want, then the universe will send us mixed messages. Per the natural laws of manifestation and reality creation, we attract what we are keeping in mind. If what we keep in mind is a lack of commitment to our purpose, then our purpose will only manifest in a half-hearted fashion.

If we are fearful of the consequences of taking action, then we will attract what we are fearful of, whether we take the action or not. This sets up a self-defeating loop of fear for us.

Ultimately, in my opinion, all procrastination comes down to a lack of commitment. For whatever reason, we are reluctant to say to the Universe, “This is what I want and I intend to have it.” Bold statement, isn’t it? Perhaps it isn’t nice, generous or politically correct. Maybe it will hurt someone’s feelings, take away from what another may need or make us seem too aggressive. We could worry and wring our hands for quite awhile with this.

The fact is though, in metaphysics we have built-in protections from such concerns. We can make a definitive choice about what we want to have happen in our lives and know that:

We are destined to inherit the earth from a Perfect Creator.

We are made in the image and likeness of that Creator, therefore, nothing we can do that is like It, can be other than perfect.

We were created to express ourselves in fullness. We are One with All There Is, therefore our full expression is of good service to All.

When we have made a commitment to our true desires, we are unstoppable. Nothing can get in the way and we are fulfilling our Divine Potential. This is why when a person “tunes in” to their life’s purpose, life begins to go so incredibly much better.

Procrastination can be weeded out when we find what it is that we’re avoiding a commitment to, and exercise our metaphysical techniques on that. For instance, we may be avoiding making an important life change, such as a marriage or a move. We may, after doing our soul-searching, discover that we really don’t want to take that step under the present conditions. In that case, we can make a whole hearted commitment to having the conditions as we want them. If our prospective mate is not quite “right”, then we can visualize and affirm the right mate. This can snap our present intended into a new expression, cause us to change our viewpoint of “right mate” or attract someone else who is better for us.

Perhaps the way that we need to move is awkward and uncomfortable for us. In that case, we may visualize and affirm the conditions that will make it better. Then we may realize that an interim storage unit will help, or that hiring labor instead of depending on family will serve us better.

The point is that if we’re willing to examine the cause of our procrastination, then we have the tools to make it better. Why are you putting something off? What can you imagine that will make you want to make a commitment right now so you can realize your potential?

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What a Quantum Leap: What’s your Quantum Reality?

The same sub-atomic particles which are the building blocks of our bodies also create the earth we stand on. In actual fact though, these aren’t particles, but are pulses of energy. Therefore, our physical universe is composed of energy. These energy impulses contain information which determines the eventual form which results. This energy has been proven to respond to human thought. Speculation exists that this energy is thought. This is why the practice of metaphysics is so effective. Consciously training our thoughts to move in specific directions produces results in the physical universe. This practice is nothing new. References to it may be found in every documented religious system throughout history. The science to explain it exists now and with it, a more solid frame of reference.

The bottom line is that we live in a created reality. Our experience of material existence has been created by our thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and opinions. Being largely unaware of how we do this, doesn’t escape the fact that it’s happening in a similar fashion to how our hearts beat without our conscious control. Just as some East Indian Yogis have learned to control their heartbeats, so can we as metaphysicians, control these creationist thoughts.

Recognition of this principle is the point at which many side trips in consciousness may be taken. A common one is denial. This occurs when one doesn’t wish to take responsibility for the creation of their reality and instead chooses to assume that they are a victim of their circumstances. Another sideroad is when someone who has previously felt victimized by their reality chooses to use the principles of metaphysics to gain control and perhaps, to get revenge.

Either of these sidetrips is ultimately self destructive. The unhappy victim goes back to their unfulfilling life, but with the added knowledge that it may not be necessary. The angry person who tries to dominate or control others can expend an enormous amount of energy in activities which rarely work and if they do, are impermanent. This has the effect of causing them to feel less in control than ever.

A recognized principle in Metaphysics is that material confirmation or support of a thought or belief increases it’s tangible manifestation. This is why such external supports such as images, rituals, chants, etc., can sometimes assist the process. Warning is given however, that to assign the power of the manifestation to it’s external representation is limiting. “Thou Shalt Place No Other Gods Before Me” is practical metaphysical wisdom. The source of metaphysical manifestation is on the inner planes, not in the outer trappings.

When we go a bit beyond the scientific principles we discover that there is an intelligence which moves all these bits of energy around. Although our thoughts have a great deal to do with the outcomes we experience, there’s something more involved. This “something more” is defined as God/dess, Spirit, a Higher Power, whatever term you’re comfortable with. Whatever It is, It has intelligence, consciousness and benevolence. It must be benevolent because It is a unified field, as Einstein would have put it, and it’s absurd to expect It to do violence to Itself. We are part of this as well, so it’s unreasonable to expect that It would act other than benevolently towards us.

Living a Quantum Reality lifestyle is quite a bit different from living by Newtonian principles of cause and effect. When we take responsibility for the events in our lives, we then have the opportunity to change our thoughts, thus changing the nature of the events we experience.

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Secondary Gains: What keeps your Reality from Manifesting?

Secondary gain is a psychiatric term meaning that a person has a hidden reason for holding onto an undesirable condition. Frequently this reason is unconscious. It is obviously unconscious because the loss of holding onto the condition is often far greater than the perceived gain.

For example, this term is often used in chronic pain management. Chronic pain is pain that continues on past the time of an injury being healed, often having no apparent cause in the present. Finding and releasing the perception of secondary gain, such as the attention one receives, monetary compensation for disability, or just the need to deny the original cause of the pain, can greatly contribute to healing.

In metaphysics, we have found the term “secondary gain” to be very helpful, particularly when we seem to run into barriers to manifesting our good. This occurs when we put a great deal of energy into visualizing, affirming and treating for a new level of good and it either doesn’t happen or the situation actually gets worse. This is a signal that there may be an issue of secondary gain, that for some reason, our subconscious mind feels more secure staying in our disadvantaged state rather than going for improvement.

I’ve done a lot of work with a variety of different clients researching this phenomenon, and have found some interesting aspects to it.

As with the above-mentioned psychiatric conditions, this type of secondary gain is also almost always unconscious. The only time that I have seen that it may be conscious is if the metaphysician is functioning under pressure from a friend, loved one or teacher to manifest something that they either don’t want or can’t sincerely care about. This often occurs in prosperity treatments. One is “supposed to” desire wealth and security. Well, for some people this just isn’t a priority and may even seem to be an encumbrance. They may feel “out of step” for having the “wrong” perception of this, and attempt to manifest contrary to their own inner beliefs.

Fear of responsibility is another secondary gain. One may feel that added success, love or prosperity is going to ultimately demand more than can be provided. One may be exposed as a fraud – being “found out” as not really capable or competent to cope with this higher level of good.

Loss of love may be a deciding factor. One may feel that they will move out of the sphere of their current peer group, family, or romantic relationship if they change too much.

Loss of income. Ironically enough, some will prevent themselves from manifesting a greater income because they will lose the current, reliable income. This can apply to welfare, unemployment benefits or family support.

How do we determine whether we have secondary gain issues? If you have been doing all the “right” things, affirming, visualizing, meditating, etc., and still are not attracting your good, then accept it – you have a secondary gain holding you back. This may not be as easy as it looks. Many of us do not want to admit that we’ve been standing in our own way. Often, the secondary gain issue is subconscious because consciously, we consider it to be shameful.

If you are getting an emotional reaction from reading this, anger, loss or frustration, this is your secondary gain issue coming up. You may be getting hints of it right now. If so, write it down. Like a bug in a rug, it will try to hide from your conscious mind. Writing it down will help hold it in consciousness for you.

I have found writing to be the most constructive method for unearthing these issues, but others do better talking to a friend or speaking into a tape recorder. Here’s how it works. Start coming up with ideas of what your secondary gain *might* be. Of course if you’ve got glimmerings of what it actually is, note it down. But, be speculative. An excellent way of viewing this is to ask yourself, “What really good reason do I have for not manifesting this reality?”. You have to take this seriously now, no denial of, “There is no good reason!”. Yes, there is. It’s good enough that it’s hiding out in your subconscious because you’re unwilling to admit that you have it. So again I say, what is your really good reason for holding back, for not allowing this manifestation to appear?

Get the reason(s) on paper, spoken to your friend or on tape. You may have more than one reason. Perhaps you’re afraid of the responsibility plus the whole idea of reality creation, deep down, is a little scary. It happens. But your subconscious mind won’t be willing to give it up unless you treat it with respect, that is, accept that deep within you lies a real issue that must be resolved.

Once you have your issue, go to work on it. Get therapy for it, join a support group, journal on it, meditate about it, do all the things you would do with a conscious issue to heal it. You may have more than one secondary gain and it will need to be dealt with as well. This doesn’t make you a bad person. On the contrary, it shows you as a courageous and aware individual, willing to face the truth that lies within.

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Expanding Consciousness through Self Mastery

The term mastery means “the possession of great skill or technique”. When we practice self mastery we are demonstrating that we have learned the nature of ourselves so well and are sufficiently self-aware that we can accomplish whatever we choose. For many people this means the achievment of a degree of self-honesty that few aspire to. This is because self mastery doesn’t mean that we no longer have weaknesses. Instead it means that we’ve learned to love and accept these, integrating them into our life style and have made them work for us. Of course that can’t work if we are dishonest with ourselves about the fact that these weaknesses exist.

The next factor to be considered is whether we can accept the rightness of these so-called weaknesses and be able to embrace them. For example, since I was a child I’ve been able to thoroughly annoy others by my “know it all” attitude. Its a gift. This is something that tends to occur when I’m particularly struggling to get my point across; I’ll sound very pedantic and authoritative. By accepting that this was something that is part of me and embracing it, the right action to deal with it came to me. Now, when I’m struggling to articulate an idea I wish to share, I tell people that I’m having a difficult time. Oddly enough, that increases my credibility rather than diminishes it.

Perhaps the most difficult factor in self mastery is the understanding of our strengths. This can be more awkward than the acceptance of our weaknesses. The reason for this is that many of us tend to downplay our strengths in order to avoid responsibility. If we were to admit that we were capable of far more than we show ourselves to be, wouldn’t we be expected to do far more? The error in judgement with this comes from a childlike perspective of being subject to the will of others. Remember self mastery means that we are our own masters. You may indulge your strengths anytime that you want to. You are also allowed to refuse to accept any job or responsibility that you choose to. You are entitled to take responsibility for your own choices. For example, you may be an excellent parent. Your kids may shine as the epitome of the well cared for child. This doesn’t mean that you have to have more children, start a daycare center or be a schoolteacher. You have a choice. Since this is your talent, you may express it in a number of ways. Perhaps you would enjoy being a talent manager for a number of artists. The same abilities would be involved.

Oftentimes self mastery includes being able to recognize when there are forces in our lives that are bigger than we are. For the metaphysician who works with their Higher Power on a regular basis, this isn’t such a surprise. Frequently one may find their life altered and their footsteps placed upon a different path. This isn’t the same thing as being a victim. The perspective of a victim is, “I am powerless.” The perspective of the person who has mastered themself is, “I am needed elsewhere and am being presented with the opportunity of a new lesson.”

As you may notice, each one of these factors I’ve described include a strong willingness to know oneself. None of these factors has to do with ability, but only with interest and desire. Self mastery isn’t something that you have to advertise to the world. Neither do you have to live up to an arbitrary expectation placed on you by another. Instead, it is the essence of personal choice.

When we master a skill we have learned about the tools needed and what we can expect from them. We have experienced the oddities that can arise in our endeavor and found ways of dealing with them. We have confidence that whatever arises, we are good at our craft and can somehow come through in a quality fashion. Self mastery involves just such steps as these. Mastering a skill doesn’t have to mean that we are perfect, just that we are experienced and capable. Once we make it into adulthood, we have achieved a degree of experience with ourselves. The fact that we’ve survived this long demonstrates a degree of ability. Self mastery is something that every person is capable of if they choose to be. Enjoy the process and as your consciousness expands to include a full understanding of self so will you ability to find happiness.

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Building Self Esteem: The Value of Self Awareness

In our thoroughly homogenized world believing in oneself is quietly considered to be politically incorrect. Words such as conceit, egotism and arrogance are tossed around to describe the negativity of such a concept. If one follows these ideas through to their logical conclusion, a person should be a clone of whatever image is currently accepted as popular in the media. Evidently we are “supposed to” look right, smell right, have the right number of children and hold the right type of job. This is patently absurd but every group of human beings holds a specific criteria for “rightness”, and individuality is distinctly frowned upon. This is understandable from the perspective of feeling safe within one’s community.

We all enjoy a certain degree of predictability from those we associate with and familiarity with how we perceive those around us contributes in large degree with how we feel about them. But what happens when there is something within us which doesn’t fit the “norm” of our environment? It’s not uncommon to feel alienated, or a misfit in such circumstances and frequently we may get angry with ourselves for not being what we think we ought to be.

I suggest that this isn’t necessary. If we accept the idea that we are each unique creations of a perfect Creator, there’s got to be something right happening, whether it’s accepted by our environment or not. The two most common psychological disorders, depression and anxiety, usually have their roots in this difficulty of self-acceptance. Some of us who have radically different backgrounds or experiences from those we associate with, may have more of a problem with it. It doesn’t make one wrong or bad or less than worthy simply because the composition of our psyche is a bit different.

Although the stated issue may be a sense of alienation from our environment, in my opinion it’s more a matter of alienation from ourselves. If a comparison with others is continuously being made, any deviation from that could be blown up far out of proportion. What is important is to acknowledge the rightness of our uniqueness. Even if we can’t immediately see what could be right about being different than others, consider the possibility. What if there was something very valuable about this character trait, physical difference or perception alteration that could be really important? Perhaps it could even be vital to your soul growth, contribution to society or personal survival. It probably is.

Even if we can’t immediately understand what could possibly be right about ourselves, especially that which we’ve considered to be so negative, it very likely is so. Continuous belief in the wrongness of the Self takes awhile to undo, and our perceptions may not be open to alternative possiblities. Frequently it takes a sort of blind faith for awhile to believe that there is something inherently right about our difference before the subconscious mind will open up to it.

Every individual has something special to offer. Our greatest minds, artists and saints have been remarkably different people. It’s historically stated that a significant number of them had problems with feelings of alienation until they learned to accept their uniqueness. This doesn’t mean that you have to become world famous in order to fulfill your special qualities (I wouldn’t put that responsibility on anyone). However, it’s perfectly acceptable for you to be of value to you and by building self confidence and self esteem. After all, where would you be without you?

THINGS TO REMEMBER

    * Your presence is a present to the world.
    * You’re unique and one of a kind.
    * Your life can be what you want it to be.
    * Take the days just one at a time.
    * Count your blessings, not your troubles.
    * You’ll make it through whatever comes along.
    * Within you are so many answers.
    * Understand, have courage, be strong.
    * Don’t put limits on yourself.
    * So many dreams are waiting to be realized.
    * Decisions are too important to leave to chance.
    * Reach for your peak, your goal, and your prize.
    * Nothing wastes more energy than worrying.
    * The longer one carries a problem, the heavier it gets.
    * Don’t take things too seriously.
    * Live a life of serenity, not a life of regrets.
    * Remember that a little love goes a long way.
    * Remember that a lot of love goes forever.
    * Remember that friendship is a wise investment.
    * Life’s treasures are people — together.
    * Realize that nothing is ever too late.
    * Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way.
    * Have health and hope and happiness.
    * Take the time to wish upon a star.
    * And don’t ever forget — for even a day —
    * How very special you are.

–Author Unknown

Articles Courtesy of Jeri Noble through Circles of Light