A conveyor belt of thought moves past our awareness. Our job is quality-control inspector, allowing only the highest quality thoughts to pass through to receive attention. If we direct our focus to what we don’t want, we inadvertently select those items. We therefore dare not be offended or outraged lest we feed our attention the very things we dislike.
These passing thoughts are mere suggestions, daydreams, inspiration for action, things to do — simply say yea or nay. We must focus on whatever pleases, matching our preferences while ignoring the rest. To get good at our job we must practice, ever evaluating the stream of thoughts. We know we slipped up when our mood sours, after which we can cleanse the contamination.
Then we use these mistakes to get better, pinpointing the thoughts that act as poison. To clean, we dismantle the unwelcome idea and overwrite with what’s wholesome. Over time we become more efficient in this process, recognition becomes automatic and we surgically pick apart the pollutant and sew up the wound without a trace.
Our role as quality-control inspector means we must examine whatever’s thrown onto our conveyor belt, we don’t get to choose what gets placed on the belt, we simply select the items we want to focus on. We must remember, complaining about the assortment of items is in effect selecting those very things we’d rather not send to our awareness.
Hard-work? Determination? Smarts? Luck? Or perhaps a variety of factors? What is it that determines whether we achieve “success” in the world? I’ve been researching the answer to this question for a while now. I’ve watched videos of prominent people talking about it. I’ve listened to speeches and interviews. I’ve read books on the subject. I’ve even attempted to peer into the lives of the successful. And the most striking thing about success, is the lack of a practical path. There is no physical pathway that leads to success. The overall summation of my research is that material success is based on the immaterial, the spiritual.
In my own life for instance, I noticed that I was not spiritual or successful. In practical terms, success is not something that can be chased directly, there are too many external circumstances that require synchronization. So the only solution for someone like me, is to pursue spirituality. And through spirituality, the pathway to success becomes available — or at least that’s my theory.
Spirituality, as used here, means a belief in a world that is not physical. Existence is not a series of interstellar accidents, but a dream. And importantly, it’s a lucid dream that can be influenced. Success, as used here, means achieving satisfaction with our place in the world, performing our desired role, and having fulfilling relationships with others. Just collecting possessions or achieving a particular goal does not equal success, as we can observe the suffering of those with only superficial success.
The spiritual path is one we can step on at anytime. We need nothing but the thoughts within our head. It’s a matter of filtering these thoughts through a particular perspective. And in this instance, it’s believing that dreams do come true. To believe this, we must dismantle the concrete world we built, the one sitting on a foundation of lack and limitation. We must replace it with a new and wondrous world built atop a foundation of infinite possibilities and hopefulness. In short, it’s trading pessimism for optimism.
Dear Rich, how can I tell if my thoughts are from the higher self or of the lower sort?
The devil deals in divisiveness whereas God works with oneness. Whatever separates into lesser, or judges by value, is base. Whereas whatever brings together, building bonds of unity, is exalted. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Be careful not to categorize for the purpose of better-ness, for its fruit is bitterness. Work not to build barriers but to dismantle them. Thoughts that support this foundation of wholeness are the holy type we welcome — whereas thoughts that fractionalize and minimize, we must dismiss.
Doing good is doing as God. We must forgive as He forgives. Give to all as He gives to all. We are to be gracious and grateful guests at this gathering granted to all. We arrive late and empty-handed to a party in full-swing, the higher self shows appreciation for the invite and pitches in to make sure everyone is having a good time.
I’ve begun to think of life as a dream. I am therefore the creator as well as experiencer of my existence. My wandering mind sets the stage while introducing a cavalcade of characters. This is a lucid dream, one in which I’m aware and able to influence. Yet I’m more often lost to the narrative before me, allowing the story to meander as it will.
But this directionlessness isn’t always satisfying. My mind wants to be constantly entertained, so in a pinch it’ll select a cheap thrill to rouse itself, living by the motto: anything is better than boredom. My mind regrets these low-quality selections of course, getting the equivalent of a tummy-ache from the lack of nutritiousness.
What I need instead, is to fill my head with wholesomeness. One such mental-vegetable is the concept of oneness, the deconstruction of my sense-of-self, egolessness. It’s stepping back a bit from my character, seeing him as just part of the show, not some super fragile shell that needs constant protection from imagined calamity.
To perform this deconstruction, I’ll have to remove the border I perceive between myself and existence. I’ll need to reinforce the idea that “I” and everything are one. To tear down the wall of “me”, I can regularly imagine my body dispersing into particles, flowing through the aether, formless yet present, a costume to be discarded at will — for I am a dreamer of dreams.
When we load up a video-game, we’re essentially saying: please throw shit in my face while I repeatedly attempt to wipe it off. And if you haven’t picked up on it yet, that’s what life is: an obstacle course — life presents a series of hurdles for us to leap over. And really, it doesn’t matter what the particular obstacles are, the point is to keep jumping.
Picture it this way: there’s a field full of obstacles before us, it’s a bit of mess with different paths of hurdles strewn all about. If we find ourselves overwhelmed by a particular set of obstacles, then we should evaluate our course and readjust as necessary. We can change our focus and alter our perspective in order to design the most palatable path.
Again, the point is to remain active and interested — specific obstacles don’t matter, there will always be more obstacles. In a video-game, the overall goal is to have fun — each game comes with artificial obstacles that keep us amused for the time being. And just like a video-game, life is for entertainment purposes only, mere flickering pixels that shouldn’t be taken more seriously than warranted.
Sit back, relax, lose all focus of self.
Pixels mixing, forget borders existing.
Particles deconstructing, blending as one.
Flowing through space occupied by all.
Drifting upon warmth of light from golden hues.
Witnessing the illusion of a sparkling spectacle.
A sight that never was but always is — a fiction.
Embrace a show acted out by its audience.
Focusing on whatever pleases, ignoring the rest.
Striving to stay the path that excites delight.
Breathe away the solidity of self, in, out.
Revealing the truth of an existential funhouse.
Thank you life, I appreciate this gift. I understand that I must work on becoming a gracious guest and receive your hospitality with geniality and gratitude. I must strive to realize: whatever we seek, we find — and so I must search for the goodness in every situation, eschewing negativity lest I invite more to come. I must endeavor to select the lighthearted life, seeking smiles over sorrows, dismissing the dreary in favor of the delightful.