by Alan Cohen –
After the presentation the organizer introduced me to the group, and for a joke I called myself “the Magnetic Man of Maui”. The audience laughed, and the gathering soon dispersed.
As I was standing on the porch of the house where the screening had been held, a seven-year-old girl came up to me and tugged on my sleeve. I looked down to recognize her as one of several children at the viewing. Then, without a word, the child took a quarter from her hand and pressed it to my bare forearm. At first I thought the girl was trying to give me the quarter, but then, when the quarter fell to the ground, she frowned, looked up, and exclaimed, “I thought you said you were magnetic!”
A moment of laughter soon deepened to a profound realization: An innocent mind is open to all possibilities. Jesus taught “if you want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, you must become like a little child.” We have heard that “ignorance is bliss,” and we usually judge and criticize ignorant people. Yet there is a form of ignorance that serves us well, and that is ignorance of limiting beliefs. A Calvin and Hobbes cartoon declared, “It’s not denial. I’m just selective about the reality I accept. “
Every reality is available to you — including ones far more wondrous than the one you now live in — and you can easily step into a bigger universe if you but drop your beliefs of what you can’t do. If you think you know it all, and what you have learned is “the only truth”, you cut yourself off from all the truth grander than the one you currently know.
Later as I got to know the publishing industry, I learned all the rules; what kinds of books sell, covers that attract attention, agents who can influence publishers, formulas to appeal to various kind of audiences, etc. etc. etc. In retrospect, I sure am glad I didn’t know the rules, because most of the rules lead to the disappointing conclusion that only a small percentage of writers will succeed. Some of the other people who did not know the rules were Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale, and James Redfield. Is there a message here?
The word impossible begins with an imp. Get the imp out of your vision, and you will return to your original innocence. God created the world in perfection, and if we do not see perfection it is only because we are choosing to use a vision that is smaller than God’s. A friend told me, “I used to think I was a perfectionist because everywhere I looked I saw flaws. Now I realize that I was actually an imperfectionist. If I was really a perfectionist, I would see only perfection. “
Swami Satchidananda teaches, “We started out fine. Then we got de-fined. Now we need to get re-fined.”