Temple Of Empowerment



The First Insight:

A new spiritual awakening is occurring in human culture, an awakening brought about by a critical mass of individuals who experience their lives as a spiritual unfolding, a journey in which we are led forward by mysterious coincidences.

The First Insight is the insight of awakening, and focuses on the mysterious coincidences that occur in each of our lives. Of course, for centuries, we have been discounting such occurrences as pure chance and thus without meaning. But as we ponder the spiritual dimension of our existence, opening our minds, we begin to experience phenomena that cannot be dismissed and pushed away. Why, for instance, do we wake up one morning thinking of an old friend only to get a call from this very person later in the day? Why does a casual meeting with a certain person at a certain time often lead to great advance in our careers, our relationships, our awareness of inner talent?

The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung called this phenomenon synchronicity, the perception of meaningful life coincidences, and we cannot stop and ponder these occurrences without beginning to see direct evidence of a divine force involved in our lives. We are not here in this life merely by accident, playing out a meaningless drama. Our lives have purpose, a sense of destiny.

We seem to be guided forward by a mysterious providence. Such synchronicity is easy to see in retrospect, as we look back to the fateful twists of our pasts: the family experience that shaped us, the people who influenced our early interests and educational choices, the forks in the road that led us to where we are today. Much harder is to keep this awareness fully operative in the present. Whom will we meet today? What information might arrive that will shape our life direction? We immediately want to understand more about the process and more about where these mysterious coincidences are taking us. We even ask: Are they real? Is our perception of synchronicity really important?

Such questions immediately lead us to the Second Insight.

The Second Insight:

Our new spiritual awakening represents the creation of a more complete worldview, which replaces a five-hundred year-old preoccupation with secular survival and comfort. While this preoccupation with technological advancement was an important step, our awakening to life's coincidences is opening us up to the real purpose of human life on this planet and the real nature of our universe.

The Second Insight occurs when we grasp the historical importance of our awakening. We now see that we have existed in a secular slumber for centuries and that the awareness of "Celestine moments" in our lives represents an awakening from what has been a preoccupation with material security and comfort.

The European Renaissance began when we lost faith in the ability of medieval churchmen to describe our spiritual reality. We created a mandate for science to investigate the world around us and to discover our spiritual nature. Until recently, scientists focused solely on discovering the forces thought to be governing our world.

But the loss of certainty brought on by the fall of the churchmen created a deep existential insecurity. What was the real purpose of human life? We eased our insecurity by preoccupying ourselves with another goal: physical progress. We decided to settle into this Earth of ours, improving our conditions in the physical world-at least until we learned our true spiritual situation.

During the Industrial Revolution, we saw major technological gains, reaffirming the mind-set of "progress." Our need for spiritual knowledge was almost lost. Preoccupying ourselves with secular concerns, we accepted the illusion that we lived in a rational and predictable universe, where chance occurrences had no meaning.

In the last decades of our century, led by science itself, this worldview, devoid of spiritual mystery, began to disintegrate. We grasp the Second Insight when we understand the historical momentum leading us to a new, more mysterious, more spiritual life view.

The Third Insight:

We now experience that we live not in a material universe, but in a universe of dynamic energy. Everything extant is a field of sacred energy that we can sense and intuit. Moreover, we humans can project our energy by focusing our attention in the desired direction (where attention goes, energy flows), influencing other energy systems and increasing the pace of coincidences in our lives.

The work of Albert Einstein in the early twentieth century sounded the death knell for the old, secular worldview. Since the mid-eighteenth century, science had viewed our universe according to Isaac Newton's mechanistic theories. According to Newton, matter and the atoms of which it is composed were solid material, interacting according to immutable natural laws. Newton held that we lived in a clockwork universe precisely held together.

Every action in this universe was thought to be the result of a discernible physical cause, like billiard balls bouncing off each other in a predictable orderly way. Galaxies, stars, planets, all remained in orderly motion through the force of gravity, a pull that kept heavenly bodies circling other larger bodies.

Newtonian ideas led to the illusion that the universe is devoid of mystery. Then, with a series of startling insights, Einstein turned our world upside down. He showed that matter isn't ultimately solid. It is in fact shaped and compressed energy. Einstein's other discoveries were equally transformative.

Time is not constant, but relative to the mass or speed of a particular object. Other research in physics has discovered particles that appear in two places at the same time or disappear and reappear in places totally inaccessible under the laws of the Newtonian worldview. Slowly, we are opening to the true mystery of this universe. We live in a universe of dynamic fields of energy, a dynamic universe that includes ourselves. We are intricate energy systems, fields transcending our physical bodies and reaching out to touch and influence other energy systems.

The Fourth Insight:

So often humans cut themselves off from the greater source of our energy systems and so feel weak and insecure. To gain energy, we tend to manipulate or force others to give us attention and thus energy. When we successfully dominate others in this way, we feel more powerful, but they are left weakened and often fight back. Competition for scarce human energy is the cause of all conflict between people.

The great contribution of psychologists in our time - Carl Jung, Otto Rank, Norman 0. Brown, and Eric Berne - has been to show that humans tend to be motivated by deep insecurity. We feel alone and search for the security derived from being validated by others. We want to feel that others approve of and even defer to our knowledge and position. We try to subtly force this validation by controlling the thoughts and opinions of those around us. Looked at experientially, we recognize the feeling. Alone, we often feel anxious, our thoughts cloudy, sensing uncertainty about our worth or status.

But when we're with someone who is paying attention, listening to what we have to say with deference, we feel empowered, buoyant. Thoughts seem to flow easily and we reach a sense of clarity about who we are. This is the feeling that entices and motivates us. From early childhood, we learn ways to interact, beguiling and forcing others to defer to our opinions. All of us have also experienced another person seeking to understand our sense of who we are or what we know, in order to confuse us into deferring to that person. When we try to resist this sense of being invalidated or undermined, disagreements, often difficult to resolve, arise.

This negative interaction is common in human affairs, but we are beginning to understand this interaction in terms of energy dynamics. When we force someone else to defer to us, we actually suck energy from the energy field of the other person in order to produce an energy boost in ourselves. But we now know that we need not resort to stealing additional energy from others.

We have at our disposal another source, a divine source of spiritual energy, for our ultimate security.

The Fifth Insight:

Insecurity and violence end when we experience a connection with divine energy within, a connection described by mystics of all traditions. A sense of lightness buoyancy-and the constant sensation of love are measures of this connection. If these measures are present, the connection is real. If not, it is only pretended.

Every religion has had its share of mystical thinkers who have looked beyond the dogma of the religion to explore its inner experiential truth. These mystics have one common message: each of us has access to a connection with the energy of the Divine.

We must make a conscious choice to be open to this connection, a choice deeply conceived and wholly felt.

Mystics describe the nature of this connecting experience, giving us several precise measures by which to judge our own attempts. First, the mystics describe a sense of buoyancy, the feeling of being suddenly "light on one's feet." Some mystics reportedly even levitated during these ecstatic states.

Another measure is a sense of euphoria, joy, and peace-peace that is independent of one's own particular life situation but that liberates the soul from any attachments to outcomes. Thus freed, one acts and creates according to conscience.

Lastly, the sensation of love is the most often described attribute of a true inner connection with the Divine. This experience is not merely telling oneself that one is or should be "loving." It is an actual experience of a state of love. Perhaps this experience is misunderstood because we have been used to thinking that love needs an object. We love a spouse, a child, a parent, or even an activity. But the mystical sense of love is love without an object. It is love as a constant communion with God.

These measures tell us whether we are opening up to the energy available to us from within. Once this connection is experienced, it is unmistakable. We begin to gain strength and energy, not from the deference and attention coming from others, but from our own growing inner source that leads us in search of our spiritual mission.

Author: James Redfield

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