Question: How can the great truth that we reap what we sow be used to ensure the kind of success and limitless potential we are meant to realize in this life?
Answer: Each unfolding moment of our life -- every experience we have -- reveals and yields the fruits of our past actions, what we "reap" from life. These same revealing experiences of self also serve as the seeds of our experiences to come -- all of which depend upon how we use these seeds. In this fashion it can be said that every life moment is a mirror in which we may gaze upon what we have been and what we may become, and witness both in the same instant.
Imagine the powerful, positive potential such a state of self-seeing makes possible for anyone willing to develop such an inner vision. Without stretching thought too much, we can see the possibility of instant self-correction as well as perfect self-direction. For instance, taken even at its simplest level, just being able to perceive and then drop one troubled moment, to detect and reject one punishing thought or feeling, would be the same as ensuring us happier, less troublesome moments to come. And that's just for starters!
Excerpted from Seeker's Guide to Self-Freedom
Question: How can we be certain that within us does exist this potential for a higher, limitless life of true success? Sometimes it seems like just a vain hope.
Answer: Hidden within and above us exist many levels, possible degrees of being more and more inwardly awake. There are as many stages of being awake in ourselves, to ourselves, as there "are mansions to explore in my Father's Kingdom." We can find the proof of this higher potential within us by way of the following illustration.
Imagine two sisters on their way to an important business meeting at their own office center just across the park from where they both live. Halfway through their stroll of the park lane that connects their eastside apartments to the westside business section of the city, a flash of some crystal-like lights catches the eye of Beth, the elder of the two sisters. Her attention is drawn just ahead, to the far side of a small lake in the park center. And there, upon its waters, tens of thousands of sunlight diamonds are dancing to the tempo of a morning breeze. As she watches, rapt in the motion of light, two white geese swim slowly and directly into the heart of these diamond-lit waters, and seem to disappear as if dissolved in the shimmering.
Beth draws in a short, deep breath. A sense of quiet gratitude washes over her heart and she almost feels as if – should she just dare to let go – she too would disappear into the light. But her moment of enchantment is broken by the sound of Marta's voice. Her sister is anxious to resolve their strategy, one more time, for the business merger meeting before them. Turning slowly to look at her face, Beth sees that Marta doesn't see either the lake before them or its magical display of lights. She also realizes, for the moment anyway, that Marta can't see anything other than the high-stakes meeting to come, so she just acknowledges her concerns and they walk on.
Less then thirty minutes later, seated across the negotiating table from the potential buyers of their company, both of them listen to what amounts to a significant offer. Both Beth and Marta listen to their suitor's proposal and promising terms. Both hear the exact same words being spoken but, as events will prove too true in the time to come, Beth hears the sound of a lie in the major tenant of this takeover bid and is decidedly wary. Marta, half-listening, half-envisioning the Colorado mountain ski chalet she will buy with her newly found fortune, hears only what she wants to hear. In the end, after having to argue in private with Marta, Beth's take on the meeting prevails. A special provision is written into the contract that months afterward saves their company from entering into a disastrous relationship.
What is the discernable difference between these two equally successful women? One is present for a priceless show of lights on the waters even as the other feels the pangs of a time yet to even exist. One can hear the false ring in the sound of a voice that promises the world to her and the other hears only her own thoughts pressing her to accept a dream come true, even if it seems "too good."
The answer to this question -- of what sets one sister apart from the other, and how they can have such divergent experiences of life under a set of shared circumstances -- leads us to the proof of the existence of the Higher Self we all seek. And more, this same answer reveals all we will need to know about how to make contact with this ever-new and limitless nature within ourselves. Here it is:
In life, our experience of ourself is tied directly to what we are awake to in each passing moment. In other words, we share our consciousness with what we attend to within our mind. This timeless truth explains why being aware of ourselves, being mindful in the present moment, counts for everything when it comes to the content of our consciousness.
Who among us has not stood somewhere beneath a starlit night sky, gazed upward, and not felt a certain state of timelessness, as though it were the heart of our very own essence? And conversely, who hasn't been crushed by a petty grievance with a friend or loved one and felt the pummeling of our own thoughts, even as we're unable to stop this troubled thinking?
Are you beginning to make the connection that we ourselves are secretly connected to whatever we hold in our heart and mind? That we can (and do) share in the nature of whatever we attend to? And that this power, to be at one with what we inwardly behold, grants us the power to choose what level of life we want to share in and which levels we do not?
Now to these findings add the fact that everything our True Heart longs for already exists. And more, that this contentment and freedom exists now -- already present in the moment. If we can see the truth of this we can also see the possibility of a whole new way of meeting life. Before us is a new way of living wherein what we are able to receive from each passing moment depends not upon what we want to extract from it, but resides in how fully awake and aware we can be within its unfolding. Which brings us to yet another important truth: It is the awakened life alone that answers our question of how to have a complete, truly free life.
Being awake and aware of ourselves, as fully self-present as possible, brings us closer and closer to the self-wholeness we search for everywhere – everywhere, that is, but in the one place it is ultimately found, within us, within the moment. But, unlike other self-enriching practices such as sharpening our skills in the arts or sciences, being present-minded is not something we learn in conventional ways. To be awakened to itself, the mind must first know itself. What, then, can teach this way?
We begin to reach and stand upon the ground of the present moment by gradually awakening to the effects of being in time -- of living from thoughts that only distance us from the very contentment they promise. By this I mean we need to awaken increasingly to the painful effects that arise out of knowing ourselves through those "parts" of ourselves that only examine life without daring to enter it. And as this new self-awareness grows within us, so too it begins to dawn upon us that where we need to live is where Life awaits us… in the fully present moment.
Excerpted from Seeker's Guide to Self-Freedom, Pages 31-36