Tuesday, July 11, 2006

"When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion"

Todays fortune cookie thought: "When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion"

There's many ways to take this, so let's try this one on for size.

It's said that we are each powerful beings, we are each representatives of the divine. In the New Testament it is said that we will do all the things Jesus did, and more. So, why do we not each live the potential it is said we have? Is that saying false? Or is there some way to explain it?

It's well understood that we each have self limiting beliefs. We may be eminently successful but inside us is a voice that nags with self doubt. The voice may or may be weak or it might even be unknown consciously, but it's there. It might not even be self doubt, explicitly, but each of us have beliefs inside us that act to limit us.

Some examples are:

  • "He's gotten too big for his britches",
  • "Don't get a swelled head",
  • "I can't do that",
  • "Nobody likes/trusts/etc me",
  • "They'll just laugh at me",
  • "They won't like that idea",
  • "They always reject me",
  • afraid of the limelight,
  • ...etc...

It may seem that each one of those beliefs are small and insignificant. Not unlike a strand of a spider web.

It's known that such beliefs have a source from some event, usually during childhood. In the source event some decision was made. For example you might have tried to make a joke, and all your friends laughed at you instead, which helped you form a belief they'll just laugh at you. You could easily have decided from that belief that you wouldn't try to make jokes again, or you might even be quiet all the time, all in an attempt to avoid having them laugh at you, again. The belief then gets carried forward through your life and you might have other events that reinforce the belief.

There are dozens of these beliefs inside each of us. Each are formed in the same way, and each are like a strand of a spider web. Each acts to bind or limit what you can do in order to avoid some unwanted result.

While each of these beliefs might be weak, they work together. The effect is that, together, they have the force to hold in check the awesome power it is said each of us have.

What can be done about this? How can we break free of these limits?

I think the first step is awareness, as always. Awareness that this is happening, that you are doing this to yourself. How can you prove to yourself that what I'm saying is true? Meditation.

One purpose the Buddhists have for meditation is so that you can learn to compassionately see your inner process. While sitting in meditation the instruction is to stay with the breath and not be attached to any chatter that happens. In effect you're learning to watch your inner chatter without being tied up in believing that it is true. It is the inner chatter which carries those beliefs, the more your inner chatter cycles around a given belief the stronger that belief is. It is said that by witnessing your inner chatter you can begin to have freedom from it.

For most people these processes of self limiting beliefs happens below the level of conscious awareness. It happens in what psychologists call our shadow self, the part of us we are not consciously aware of. Through meditation we learn to witness more of our inner self allowing more of our inner self to emerge from the shadow.

A concept to consider is: "What you give attention to grows"

If this shadow self is given free reign to focus on these self limiting beliefs, then it is those beliefs which will grow. Through meditation you can become aware of the habitual focus on these self limiting beliefs, and begin to choose to focus on other beliefs.

It's not just that we learn to see how we hold habitual self limiting beliefs which keep us from achieving our dreams and life purpose. There's another thing we can learn to focus on and give attention to.

It's said that we are each powerful beings, we are each representatives of the divine. If we learned to give attention to that part of ourself what might happen? Psychologists call this part of ourself the Golden Shadow, or the part of us we aren't aware of which has no limiting beliefs and is quite capable, beautiful and powerful.

One way I practice this is through chanting OM. This sound, OM, is said by Hindu mystics to be the seed sound of the universe. The idea I have is that through chanting OM it can serve as a portal which connects me with the divine plan for the universe, and that by having greater resonance with the divine plan of the universe all of my being can be in greater harmony and peace.

Another way I practice this is with a prayer taught by Ron Roth. It is very simply to, as you breath in and out, say to yourself "(breathing in) I am (breathing out) God breaths". In effect your prayer is "I am God, breath". In this practice it's not just the words, but it's the intention. For example you could experience being breathed by God. What is that like, to be breathed by God? Try it and find out.