One interesting aspect of the Twelve Pathways is that if you can follow any one of them completely on the deeper levels, you will be using almost all of them. They are systematically interlocking — and this makes it easier for you to implement them in action. Pathways Four through Six are particularly helpful in learning to live in the eternal now moment, although all of the Pathways reprogram you to tune in to the nowness of your life.
If you are not enjoying every here and now moment in your life, it is because your addictions (otherwise known as desires, attachments, demands, expectations, emotional programming, models of how life should treat you) are making you dwell in the dead past or the imagined future. They are keeping you from being here now. All there is in your life is the eternal now moment — and your experience of this moment is created by the programming in your head.
Most people keep themselves on lower consciousness levels by endlessly chatting about what they did in the past or what they plan in the future. It is best not to hang out discussing the past or to let your consciousness dwell on the past, for the constant churning of your mind (and the torrent of words that issues from it) keeps you from fully experiencing the now moment in your life.
Nor will you generate the best future for yourself by being constantly preoccupied with thoughts of the future. If there is some- thing you need to do right here now — then get busy and do it. If you’ve done whatever you feel you need to do at this time, then there is no need to have your consciousness filled with thoughts of the future.
The real solutions to the problems in your life will come to you when you stop hassling yourself with your addictions and become fully tuned in to the people and things that are around you. When your Conscious-awareness watches your own body and mind and all the people and things in the world around you from a deep, calm place inside, you will find that there intuitively wells up within you everything you need to understand. You will have insights that yield exactly what you need to do in order to flow with the river of life around you.
You can only be here now when you instantly accept emotionally whatever happens in your life. If you wish to change something — fine. Do it. And you can make really effective changes when your consciousness is free of emotional turmoil. You will now be more perceptive and powerful because you are able to use the full resources of your great biocomputer to flow in any direction you prefer.
For example, if a tire on your car blows out, you can get mad at the tire, angry at the people who sold it to you, resentful at the extra expenditure now necessary — or you can keep your addictions from destroying your peace and serenity. After all, the blown tire is part of the here and nowness of your life. You can only make the situation unpleasant by getting uptight. Don’t be addicted to your tires not blowing — uplevel to a very natural preference that your tires stay inflated and serve you longer. When a tire blows, you simply accept the unacceptable. You realize that this is a here and now reality in your life. Although you have lost the tire, you do not have to lose your peace and serenity — or send out vibrations that jostle the addiction patterns of people around you and cause them tension and anxiety.
Serenity is the end — and serenity is also the means — by which you live effectively. By fully tuning in to the now moment in your life, you will discover that you always have enough to enjoy every moment of your life. The only reason you have not been happy every instant is that you have been dominating your consciousness with thoughts about something you don’t have — or trying to hold on to something that you do have but which is no longer appropriate in the present flow of your life. Here and now (not pasting and futuring) is the key to the optimal interaction pattern between you and the people and things in the world around you.
The meaning of here and now is beautifully illustrated by a Zen story of a monk who was being chased by two tigers. He came to the edge of a cliff. He looked back — the tigers were almost upon him. Noticing a vine leading over the cliff, he quickly crawled over the edge and began to let himself down by the vine. Then as he checked below, he saw two tigers waiting for him at the bottom of the cliff. He looked up and observed that two mice were gnawing away at the vine. Just then, he saw a beautiful strawberry within arm’s reach. He picked it and enjoyed the best tasting strawberry in his whole life!
Although only minutes from death, the monk could enjoy the here and now. Our life continually sends us tigers — and it continually sends us strawberries But do we let ourselves enjoy the strawberries? Or do we use our valuable consciousness worrying about the tigers?
Notice that the monk fully responded to the physical danger in the most intelligent way. He ran from the tigers — and he even scrambled down the cliff while hanging onto a vine. And having done this, he remained fully in the here and now to enjoy whatever life offered him. Although death was only minutes away, he did not let thoughts of the future terrify him. After doing everything he could do, he used his precious consciousness to fully enjoy every moment of his life.
There is a saying, A coward dies a thousand deaths; a brave man only one. For all of us, death is a part of our future. But we do not have to become what the existentialists refer to as the living dead.
We can always find things we can magnify to threaten our security, sensation and power addictions. Or we can consciously perform whatever action is needed and then turn our attention to enjoying everything we have to enjoy. And we always have enough to be happy if we are enjoying what we do have — and not worrying about what we don’t have.
Whenever you are unhappy, your emotions are telling you that people and things are not fulfilling the addiction patterns you have programmed into your biocomputer. But you usually do not talk to yourself in this realistic way. Instead, you blame your unhappiness on somebody or something outside of you. You say things like, Mary makes me jealous, or, Bill makes me mad. But what is really happening is that someone is doing things that do not conform with the patterns of your addictions — and your addictions are making you unhappy. When you take full responsibility here and now for all of your feelings and for everything that happens to you, you never again blame the people and situations in the world outside of you for any unhappy feelings that you have. You realize that it is an evasion to blame others.You’ve been doing it to yourself!
You can stop being a mechanical, computer-like person who views himself as pushed around by the world when you realize that only you can push yourself. You begin to see the connection between your emotional programming and your suffering. You start doing something about it — which means reprogramming yourself.
Your mind creates your universe. Your expectations, demands, hopes, fears, addictions, motivations, past experience, your language system, your individual accumulation of ideas, theories and intellectual stuff, your emotions, the structure and functioning of your nervous system and the feedback from your entire body all interact in a complex way to produce your perceptions — the picture you create from the energies you receive through your various senses from people and things around you. Your perceptions are thus a joint phenomenon of the observer and the observed.
You receive a feedback from the people and things around you that continually modifies your processing of incoming sensory data. For example, a loving person lives in a loving world. As loving individuals flow through their moment-to-moment lives, their gentle, accepting consciousness is mirrored by the people around them. As the Proverbs remind us, A soft answer turneth away wrath.
Similarly, a hostile person lives in a hostile world. If you go about with rockness inside you, if you view others as competitive to you, if you have a thin surface politeness with instant anger, ridicule and antagonism when things don’t go your way, you will create people around you that have exactly those characteristics. In other words, your actions create the reactions of people around you — except when you are with people living in the Fourth (or higher) Center of Consciousness. Conscious beings remain loving and centered no matter how tense the drama around them.
The world thus tends to be your mirror. A peaceful person lives in a peaceful world. An angry person creates an angry world. A helpful person generates helpful, loving energy in others. An unfriendly person should not be surprised when he or she meets only people who sooner or later respond in an unfriendly way. A happy person finds the world filled with happy people — for even unhappy people experience temporary happiness and joy when they are with a genuinely happy and joyous person!
Sometimes people mirror you but with a reverse image. When you are addicted to one side of a polarity, you can create the opposite polarity around you. For example, if you are compulsively and addictively neat and orderly, others around you will tend to be more sloppy than usual. If, on the other hand, you are addictively sloppy, you can create neatness responses around you. The polarity of your programming may evoke an opposite ego response in the people with whom you interact.
As you grow in consciousness, you begin to realize the hundreds of ways in which you create the consciousness of everyone around you. And, of course, they reciprocally play a part in determining the contents of your moment-to-moment consciousness. This feedback of consciousness offers exquisite cosmic humor when you clearly see what is really happening…
As you understand your polarities and free yourself, you begin to tune in to everyone in their deeper levels of being — where we are alike and experience oneness together. When you free yourself of your addictions, you help to free others of their addictions.
Your predictions and expectations are thus self-fulfilling. Since your consciousness creates your universe, all you have to do to change your world is to change your consciousness! It’s the only way to live in a beautiful, joyous world. As you learn to use the Twelve Pathways to become a more loving, conscious being, you will find yourself living in an Ocean of loving, conscious beings. Without trying to change others, you will be acting in a way that is maximally effective in helping others become more loving and conscious.
The Living Love Way to Higher Consciousness is based on the instant emotional acceptance here and now of that which you previously regarded as unacceptable in your life. Acceptance simply means that you won’t cause yourself emotional conflict because of your current perceptions. Emotional acceptance doesn’t mean that you have to continue living the rest of your life with any particular person or situation. You are free to do anything you prefer to do — but don’t be addicted to the results of your actions. If someone does something that hurts your ego, you will grow fastest if you consciously regard him or her as your teacher who is enabling you to discover which addictions you will have to reprogram.
You really savor living when you consciously experience everything that you feel and do as taking place in the theater that we call our world. You see yourself and others as actors in the daily drama of life. But the real you is not your body or mind. You’re not the actor. The real you is your Conscious-awareness. And your Conscious-awareness is just digging the whole show from the audience. Shakespeare wrote,
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women, merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts.
When you watch the entire drama of your life and that of other people from the safe vantage point of the audience, you begin to provide a distance that enables you to see your addictions more clearly. You will find it easier to completely accept the addictive dramas that you have to play out on the stage of your life. You will find a turned-on joy in consciously experiencing everything as a necessary part of your growth into higher consciousness.
To grow in the Living Love Way, you do not have to drill yourself and criticize yourself with military precision. Just experience everything in an accepting, relaxed, and conscious way — and realize that every one of your experiences is perfect for your here and now growth into higher consciousness.
Your addictions will gradually fade away when you use the Living Love Pathways to consciously interpret your moment-to-moment stream of consciousness. Don’t push the river — just experience the river consciously from the vantage point of the Twelve Pathways.
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