De-Conditioning the Ego

by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee –

On the spiritual path one of the first processes you go through is a de-conditioning. In order to be awakened to your divine nature, you have to become free of the conditioning of the ego. Unless you become de-conditioned, you’re going to find it very difficult to embrace the bigger spectrum of the Self or how to live according to its very different quality of consciousness. 

Once you’ve had a glimpse of your divine nature the idea of being competitive doesn’t function anymore. Instead you want to be supportive of other people. You want to be cooperative. 

It’s not because you’re a better person. It’s because you realize that’s how things are, how they are all one and interconnected—how nothing is separate. 
You awaken to a different way of being.On the spiritual path one of the first processes you go through is a de-conditioning. In order to be awakened to your divine nature, you have to become free of the conditioning of the ego. 

Unless you become de-conditioned, you’re going to find it very difficult to embrace the bigger spectrum of the Self or how to live according to its very different quality of consciousness.

We’re surrounded by collective values that say you should be thinking of yourself, that what matters is the ego, how much money you can make or how many possessions you can have. 
On the spiritual path you learn how to live with less not because it’s better but because it’s easier—just to have what you need. 
People do not realize how their attention is taken up by their possessions, how it gives them less energy for life because everything you have or you accumulate carries a bit of your energy. If you have a lot of possessions, then parts of your energy are caught in it all.
MacEnulty: I know. I recently moved to a smaller place. It was quite freeing to get rid of so much accumulated stuff.
Vaughan-Lee: You realize when you’re free of it, you have more space, you can breathe. They’ve now discovered scientifically that giving makes you happier than getting. These values you discover on the inner spiritual journey also belong to the whole. 
There is an ancient teaching of microcosm and macrocosm. What happens to the individual happens to the whole. 
We need to shift our consciousness from this very conditioned ego-centered “me” consciousness to an all-embracing “we” consciousness that includes not just humanity but the whole ecosystem — all the myriad living beings on the planet.

From the Interview:
A NEW published E-book: HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN: An Interview with LLEWELLYN VAUGHAN -LEE

Available at:

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Science and Spirituality Entanglement

by Tamara Rant –

If you’ve ever experienced that gut feeling that someone was about to call and in that moment they did or that something terrible happened to a loved one, only to find out they were involved in an accident at the same time you thought of them, then you have (on a spiritual level) experienced Entanglement.

For years I could never quite grasp why the worlds of science and spirituality were always at opposing ends when it came to viewing the vast awesomeness of the Universe; each arguing that they alone held the keys. Spirituality argues that science is too harsh and tangible; too concrete and unbending while from the scientific viewpoint, spirituality seems to be based on blind faith and guess-work.

To me, it appears obvious that this limited perspective prevents either from having the keys but also from even knowing which doors they open. Science and spirituality are stuck miles apart when they actually, in my opinion, overlap in very elegant ways.

Enter *Entanglement, the incredible discovery of how two subatomic particles act like one object even when they are physically apart. If something happens to one of them then instantaneously something happens to the other; as if connected across space.

It doesn’t stop there! Throughout the entire universe, particles and atoms act as if they are connected; suggesting that we are living within a holistic, deeply interconnected reality whose fabric includes the particles with our own bodies and minds. If that doesn’t make you feel a little more significant than a speck on the universal tapestry, I don’t know what will!

Mind-to-mind experiences have been reported throughout history by people of all cultures, ages and educational backgrounds. This suggests that these phenomena are an integral part of the human experience. For centuries, the leading heads in science fought to disprove such experiences as mere coincidence or esoteric drivel; however science itself, with the Quantum Theory of Entanglement, gives us the proof of their measurable and tangible existence.

Now the energetic connection between particles in our vast Universe, and in everything that resides in it, is the most logical explanation for these occurrences once considered supernatural. Well, that is just enough to make Buddha himself belt out “Eureka!”

It has always resonated deep within me that to fully grasp the magnificent Universe and its equally horrifying, beautiful expanse, you must be willing to view it from all angles. Furthermore, to observe what the physical world allows through the five senses but to also use the observation techniques taught by Zen Masters and Yogis alike; transcendental viewing or seeking with the soul and seeing with the heart.

In other words, you want to test hypotheses and run analysis but also give equal feed to that inner voice and intuition. Both modes of exploring and learning from the world around me have always felt mutually important. And I can never look up at the stars without being equally as fascinated by the fact the twinkling I see is light-years away as I am with the feeling of connectedness that overcomes me.

“Though free to think and act, we are held together like the stars in the firmament with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen but we can feel them.” – Nikola Tesla

Science is the language of my analytical mind. Spirituality is the voice of my soul. And the physics behind Quantum Entanglement has given them both a song to sing that will forever play in my heart.

About Author: Tamara Rant is a Co-Editor of CLN as well as a Licensed Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer and a progressive voice in social media activism and awareness. 

*The Entangled Universe: The Missing 
Link Between Science and Spirituality
A.H. Almaas

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Stages of Spiritual Growth

by Unity J. Schmidt –

From Egos to Angels, Caterpillars to Butterflies:

We’re all here to grow. To become conscious. In that consciousness we see who we are, and who we are meant to be. I am a mover, and a procrastinator. I am free and enslaved. I am love and I am fear. And today, I resonate and act to lovingly move to simply, “Get it done!”

Create Consciously
This simple call-to-action is often that which holds me back the most. I can think of all the reasons why “not to get it done,” and some very legitimate ones as well, including my little boy and girl need Mommy time now, the dishes need scrubbing, the office work is piling, my body needs rest, my words may not be enough and I may not succeed on this and this and that and that.
When I find myself slowing down and stepping into that sacred space of centrepoint, I realize that if only I simply move and ‘get it done’ then it will be all that which it is meant to be! And it does not matter if everything is receiving A+ qualifications, nor does it matter if while getting it done I accidentally fumble and fall and have to start again. For when I start again, I will already be at least a step ahead of where I was before, in that space of non-action and doubt.
So what matters most is that I just ‘do!’ I must move on, just like that caterpillar-in-my-garden-to-become-butterfly must carry along and eat and move and act to metamorphisize. And this should be so easy, shouldn’t it?
Yet, in the fear of why ‘getting it done’ may not be the best or the easiest thing to do, I find myself holding back. Then spirit gives me a song, this time it is the “Wavin’ Flag” song by K’naan and spirit sings to me:

“When I get older, I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom just like a wavin’ flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back…”

And I remember that I must just move! I do not want to wait passively until I return again, I must live now and move assertively today. I must trust that whatever actions I take, as long as they come from a space of love, that these will be the right actions, at the right time, for the right exchange of energy. Even if sometimes it may just feel like all I’m doing is eating milkweed!
To ensure that I’m feeding my inquisitive caterpillar, spirit asks me to feed the curious caterpillar and gives me questions to reflect upon and to evolve within.

Feeding the Curious Caterpillar

  • Are you feeding your life with healthy, living, nutrient-rich food? 
  • Are you restoring your energy with the loving, sacred abundance from Mother-Earth?
  • Are you giving thanks to the nourishment you are providing, giving acknowledgement to it, just as it lives to give service to you?
  • Are you letting yourself feel full, like the plump caterpillar or laughing Buddha? 
  • Are you purely exchanging this fullness of life, love and laughter with those around you?
And as I find myself saying “yes,” to the above, I realize that to “get it done,” it feels so darn good!
Suddenly, I’m pleasing everyone (including myself), I’m giggling with my children as I become a pirate on a boat of dolphins and sharks, no longer afraid of what the other Mom’s will think of  “Pirate ARRHING!” me as they stoically sit on the bench or stand arms crossed by the jungle gym.
I’m learning new computer systems and programs and as I do I realize, “Wow, I can do this?” and I begin to have unexpected epiphanies about the operating systems of technology and their relationship with the life patterns we are building. I’m singing songs with a hummingbird heart while my husband Phi plays guitar.

I’m finding spirit vibrating in truth, filling every note whether they are a perfect tone or not, it does not matter. Most of all, I realize that as soon as I decide to move away from the fear of “why not,” I automatically step into the freeing courage of “why yes!”

And it is in that state of surrendering to “yes!” that I am able to live and transform to my highest potential. And spirit arrives again asking me to release to clearing chrysalis.

Releasing to Clearing Chrysalis
  • Where is the space you have built for rest and contemplation? 
  • How often do you ensure this peaceful place is entered into?
  • Are you receiving enough deep and peaceful sleep? 
  • What are your dreams teaching you?
  • How is sacred energy flowing through your body, your emotions, your mind and your spirit? 
  • Is your environment reflecting back this sacred journey of your awakening?
Although, it is no secret to me that we are all Creators and beings of Source, I still must evolve myself daily to reach and achieve those places of actions where my Ego is still clutching onto the shadows of “what if I fail?” or “what if I am not loved?” like a frightened child or perhaps a hungry caterpillar? Every step I take brings me further and further into the lightness of love, of completion, of peace and of a sacred life.
There are many who speak of the significance of ‘forgiving’ when it comes to our mothers and fathers, our grandmothers and grandfathers and other ancestors and of course, our brothers and sisters. I agree that we must ‘for give’ to ‘give.’
Yet, I am daily rediscovering that the ultimate Creator I must ‘for-give’ always is myself.
I must ‘forgive’ myself for those moments when fear freezes me from serving in love and stepping into my power. I must ‘forgive’ myself for those places in my past where Ego lived and leaded and most of all, cheated me.
I must ‘forgive’ myself for not yet being all that Great Creator shows me through God’s plentiful, daily miracles, from wishing star moments that brought about soulmate wedding bells, to two breakdancing-A,B,C,D-twinkle-stars-and-firetruck children, to a body that is healing even more every day and a soul that is singing again and again!
And this week, as I get it done, I’ve challenged myself to step into even more operating systems of technology-problem-solving for me, to songs sung out loud (even beachside amongst strangers), to learning how to make sushi and letting go of chocolate (except for raw chocolate, of course! macaroons – yes!), and to opening myself to work with another Healer to see what else we can do about my journey of Soul on Earth, healing-the-healer. 
Releasing the fear that others may expect, that all the healing is already done. And spirit shares, as long as I am here, there is always more healing to do! I do not know what this means for tomorrow. But I do know that for today this means that I am polished and disheveled, loving and terrified, hard-working and easy-flowing, and most of all, I am doing!
In doing, I awaken even further and excitedly wish to lovingly assist others in their awakening. And so I ask, how? And spirit replies again, Awaken to blissful butterfly!

Awakening to Blissful Butterfly
  • Is fresh air and sunshine swirling around you daily, restoring you to your natural state?
  • Are you listening to the new horizons you are to travel for us in self and service?
  • Where are you embodying the magic of love, and living your highest truths?
Understanding my passion for music and my romantic-fairytale heart, lastly they give me the song of Westside Story, “Tonight, Tonight.”

“Tonight, tonight
The world is full of light
With suns and moons all over the place
Tonight, tonight
The world is wild and bright
Going mad
Shooting sparks into space…”

And so that is what I focus on, the magic of tonight. So tonight, I’ll think on the magic, I’ll speak to God, I’ll love myself and the Universe and I’ll play, work and for-give to gooify again and again in the chrysalis of change, until I re-emerge the butterfly, journeying fully, no hesitations left, to the life of hazardous-glorious raindrops and heaven-felt, radiant sunshine, Healer, Healed, Healing!
May we fly “wingtip to wingtip”, as one Shaman once said to me and bless one another along our kindred journey! 

About Author: Unity J. Schmidt
She is an Intuitive Life Consultant and Energy Healer seeking to assist others worldwide in becoming the Healers and Heros they naturally are. She works with clients from around the world, helping them awaken Higher Self to understand the journey of discovery, and to heal the Ego so that life may be lived fruitfully, consciously, blissfully. 

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Five Pillars of Spiritual Mastery

Spiritual Mastery is defined as the perfection of the spiritual process and a complete understanding as to the nature of reality.
The benefits of Spiritual Mastery are extensive but include the ability to direct one’s destiny, choose one’s future higher-dimensional incarnations, transcend death, perceive the astral and trans-astral realms and perceive all of the non-physical and non-conceptual aspects of the Universe and Reality. Compounded onto those benefits – one can also achieve Life Mastery in the 3D world (health, abundance, well-being, perfection of the use of energy and having a strong immunity to karma).
It is an elusive state as the vibratory bar for Spiritual Mastery is high – yet with an understanding and application of five main pillars – achieving this state in this life-time (and thus becoming a non-returner to 3D) is certainly possible. Added to the elusiveness of the state is the fact that the state of Spiritual Mastery cannot be perceived directly from outside of it – and thus Spiritual Perfection remains vibrationally invisible until you are ready to understand directly.
Thus – any teacher (myself included) can only provide sets of tools and road-maps rather than wave a wand and grant you instant Universal Enlightenment. The path must be walked in order to transcend the path and attain an understanding of Truth!
The five main pillars to reflect upon and create if one is serious about attaining Spiritual Mastery:
1. Truth
To attain a state of Spiritual Mastery (and remain there long enough to be able to make use of the state) – one must be committed to the path of truth. All lies cause confusion and distract one from the true path. Lies, deceptions, trickery and all forms of cheating create karmic effects that dampen one’s vibration and keeps one trapped in a state of separation from Source / Ultimate Truth. 
For the Universe to be completely open with you – you must be open with it – lies create barriers and resistances to true intimacy with the Universe. Spiritual Truth cannot be perceived from any state not aligned to truth – and thus Spiritual Mastery is the product of a transmutation and renunciation of all lies!
2. Impeccability (Ethical Purity)
One of the main reasons why Spiritual Mastery is so hard to attain or to understand in the Western world is because of the unpopularity of being ethical. Many people cheat, lie, steal, delude themselves or others, engage in control dramas and violate the basic spiritual laws and principles that make a strong relationship to Source possible.
Examples include taking or abusing the sanctity of life, unethical livelihood, sexual misconduct, theft, control (violation of free-will),a lack of respect for the path and a whole host of other ethical issues. Without the ethical purity in place comprehending high-level spiritual understanding is impossible (there are Universal safeguards in place to prevent people blowing up stars and tearing holes in the Universe or damaging the purity of the Higher Planes – things that would happen if these safeguards were not present!)
Without ethics – whatever one thinks one knows may be false and in some cases one can become subservient to the energies of the Lower Astral – a phenomenon most notable in light-worker channellers who have not yet transcended control dramas. In my experience of the light-worker community – beneath a superficial veneer of love and light lies a dark world of criminal behaviour, corruption, cheating, lying and a large array of other unresolved control dramas which tragically ends in victim-hood, sickness, misfortune, suffering and death – the end result of ignoring ethics.
The worst enemies of spiritual enlightenment are lying and cheating – both of which will cost you in energy terms many more times the cost of playing fair and true. For as long as you have the tendency to lie, cheat or steal – spiritual understanding will be impossible to attain. When you cheat with intent – the karmic effect is amplified.
Whatever benefit you may believe you obtained through deception and cheating – will quickly be outweighed by the subsequent depletion of energy. What’s worse – in that depleted state – other people can then cheat you (what goes around comes around) and push you further down into the karmic web. Trying for a short-cut by cheating will always find you walking the hard and long way around.
The one thing that any spiritual teacher cannot teach you is how to live a life of integrity. Either one has it or one does not. It is not something one can learn overnight. Only the experience of life can teach you about the importance of integrity. Without it – spiritual information, understanding or knowledge is useless – for it is like making a daily visit to the well with a gaping hole in the bottom of the bucket. Nothing can be retained, integrated or made use of. This is why the world is hungry for spirituality and is not satiated – because there are a host of ethics and integrity issues in the way making retention impossible.
3. Bodily Purity
The body is the temple (the abode) of the Higher Self/Spirit/Atman. Keeping a strong relationship to Source requires an extreme level of vibrational purity and freedom from harmful toxins found in almost all foods and drinks on the planet.
The vices of modern day humanity (alcohol and tobacco) are the very things that ruin ones physical temple, destroying one’s light body and creating a further separation from Spiritual Truth. Eating toxic food consumes vast resources of one’s life-force that could otherwise be directed to the attainment of spiritual understanding!
4. Abundance
Many people struggle with this one primarily because of a separation between the left and right hempispheres of the brain – leading one to polarize spirituality and abundance as mutually exclusive opposites. Poverty then naturally ensues and one spends many years of one’s life working hard for little abundance instead of spending time doing spiritual practice!
Being spiritual and monetarily abundant simultaneously is a matter of transcending dualistic consciousness that attaches to the either/or mindset. Having money with no spiritual understanding gives the experience of basic materialism and existence on Earth with no spiritual perspective – being separated from the inner.
Being spiritual and having no money keeps one trapped in a space of being powerless to do or create anything in the outer. Neither are balanced spiritual states and keep one trapped in an either/or and thus stuck in the illusion that one desires to exit.
I was once asked why I promote being abundant as a Spiritual Master. The answer is the matter of time.
Spiritual Mastery takes much effort and time – thus you will need to work less. You will need all of the time you can muster up to perfect the spiritual process and death can come to call at any moment. Abundance can buy you more time which is the most valuable thing you can buy for your path.
Without plenty of abundance, you will be bound to the wheel of time through doing hard and low paid work – this will weaken your energy and destroy your body long before you are able to perfect a state of Spiritual Mastery.
5. Free Will
Without an understanding of free-will and an application of that understanding in one’s daily life – Spiritual Mastery will remain nothing more than a distant concept and pursuing it may not be in your best interests. Free Will gives all beings the choice to determine their own path. Interference with free-will is control and incurs unfavourable karmas.
The energy of Source cannot be controlled or manipulated and this explains why holding onto control issues always causes frustration, conflict, power struggles, suffering and further separation from Source.
Without a respect for free-will there is no respect for the sovereignty and uniqueness of all sentient life. When respect for life is absent – one gravitates toward the opposite – death and the associated loss of awareness. Death affirming actions, choices and beliefs deepen one’s entrapment to the reincarnation cycle.
Once all the five pillars are in place and one is grounded with pure intent – the pursuit of high-level spiritual understanding is worthwhile, fruitful and rewarding. One will have the energy and vibration that will enable one to discern spiritual truth and make fast progress toward completing all of one’s lessons on Earth.

Manifestation as a Spiritual Practice

by Malcolm Hollick –

The practice of manifestation is all too often distorted by individualism, materialism, egoism and greed. In this article I attempt to draw together the threads from the previous articles on manifestation and to weave them into a coherent picture of what I see as appropriate or right ways to use manifestation as a spiritual practice.

Right manifestation

The Secret talks about the importance of health, relationships and happiness as compared to wealth. But, sadly, these messages tend to be submerged in repeated stories and images of manifesting mansions, fast cars and other possessions. This materialist bias is common in modern writings about manifestation, and serves to foster addictive consumerism, greed, egoism and narcissism at the expense of deeper values such as compassion and service. Many people think the alchemists were seeking wealth through turning base metals into gold. But their real quest was to transmute the dross of ordinary human consciousness into spiritual gold. 
The true Secret is the manifestation of higher states of consciousness and spiritual wisdom.
In my view, right manifestation focuses primarily on personal and spiritual growth whilst enabling us to meet our basic material needs. From this perspective, it is a path of service, love and sharing, as these short quotes from manifestation teacher David Spangler reveal:

Often lacking in these descriptions is the idea of the manifestation of qualities rather than just things and of manifestation as an act of giving, as well as of receiving. Yet, manifestation is not the magical appearance of something from nothing. It is fundamentally the act of sharing. It depends on the willingness to be open to be a manifestation for someone else, as well as on the faith that our own needs and desires will be met. … 

… many men and women have found their most creative and empowering moments during times of severest physical limitation, such as being in prison. One need only think of Gandhi …. The number of his possessions could be counted on the fingers of both hands, but he was a source of richness for humanity. … 

In a sustainable society, abundance may manifest in physical ways as part of a material economy, but it is rooted in a spiritual reality. It is based on our ability to develop a sense of accomplishment, to develop skills that honor our individual creativity and allow us to give to our world. Abundance and love are reinforcing commodities; as Shakespeare put it, the more we give, the more we have. Abundance exists as a function of community; to pursue an isolated, individual abundance is ultimately to pursue a mirage. … 

What I set out to find was something like an ‘aikido of desire.’ I wanted a way to use the energy of my desires to take me to a deeper part of my own being that was in touch with the holistic or spiritual side of the world’s being…  Manifestation is a way of using any desire as a starting point for a spiritual journey. … 

Of course, there is much more to a spiritual practice than manifestation. … However, it can be an opportunity, no matter how trivial the desire, to explore connections, patterns, alignments, and the flow of both material and spiritual energy through your life. When you make manifestation a spiritual practice, then the perspectives it brings overflow into other aspects of your life. 

You begin naturally seeing yourself and your world in terms of interconnected and co-incarnational  patterns. The reality of the community in which we all live becomes more apparent. The vision of your incarnation becomes broader, more ecological, more compassionate. Your attitudes and actions reflect a larger, more complete humanity.

Manifestation from this perspective becomes a quality of being rather than a process of acquisition. As David Spangler expressed it: 

“We do not acquire that which we desire; we become it.”

Characteristics of this way of being include:
  • Consciousness of the Oneness of all existence and all beings;
  • An unflinching intention to align our lives and manifestation requests with the flow of the cosmos, or the will of God or Spirit;
  • Recognition that our ability to manifest lies not in ourselves but in the energy patterns of the quantum field, the sensitivity of systems to small disturbances and other properties of the cosmos;
  • Acknowledgement that manifestation is co-creative with each other and Spirit (or God), and that we are manifestations for each other;
  • A willingness to share and a desire to be of service to all beings;
  • Requests based on true needs for a modest but fulfilling lifestyle;
  • Acceptance with gratitude of whatever life brings, even when what we requested does not manifest;
  • Looking for the lessons and higher good that flow from disappointment and ‘negative’ experiences;
  • Refusal to accept or foster war, injustice and exploitation, and dedication to supporting positive campaigns for peace, justice and equity for all;
  • Willingness to go through the fire of personal transformation in order to serve more effectively.
Some of these points are elaborated in the rest of this article.

Attunement to the cosmos

The Secret talks about tuning in to our genie, higher self or guardian angel who says: “your wish is my command.” But what if our wish is not in alignment with the flow of the universe, or the will of Spirit? Our true higher self embodies and expresses values that go beyond greed, selfishness and egoism to love, compassion, generosity and service.
Right manifestation is not about bending the universe to our will. Rather, it is a process of aligning our will to that of the cosmos and working in co-creative harmony with it. 
It’s as if we’re adrift on a wild river. 
The best way to stay afloat and reach shore is not to battle against the waves and currents, but to allow ourselves to be carried by them, simply steering around rocks and whirlpools. When we are in harmony with the song of the universe, our lives flow abundantly and easily.

Wholeness, love and compassion

It may be possible to manifest material wealth for ourselves, but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily right to do so. I discussed in my article on abundance how the interconnected wholeness of everything means that what we manifest inevitably has consequences for others. Hence, we cannot escape the ethical implications of our requests.

Love is the highest value of life and the universe. Hence alignment with the Spirit of the cosmos means acting out of love. Love does not seek riches in ways that exploit or harm other beings, or damage the Earth. Nor will it accept riches while others remain destitute. Love seeks material sufficiency for all beings.

In The 15-Minute Miracle Revealed, Jacquelyn Aldana presents her version of the manifestation process. Step 4 includes the following sentence: “If it is in the highest good for me and for All Life Everywhere, please DIVINELY ORCHESTRATE the following in just the perfect time: …” What a difference from the approach of The Secret with its emphasis on self. This attitude, together with one of gratitude, forms the core of the practice that we present in the Gratitude Journal.
In my article on ‘What is manifestation’, I noted that Jesus’ use of the power of prayer sprang from love and a desire to serve, not a quest for personal gain. I also mentioned that manifestation has been a core principle of the Findhorn Community for 50 years. It has not been used as a tool for acquiring wealth – indeed, the community remains financially poor to this day. Rather, manifestation has been used in support of personal transformation and service to the world – what they call ‘work as love in action.’

The blessings of pain, loss and mistakes

Mistakes, pain, loss, and, ultimately, death are unavoidable parts of life. And they bring blessings if only we can accept them and learn their lessons. Looking back, many people realise cancer or other life-threatening situations were a blessing in disguise. Similarly, when Christine and I lost our savings and the house of our dreams, it helped to transform our attitudes to money, abundance and security.
Part of the secret of life and manifestation, which The Secret neglects, is to cultivate an attitude of acceptance, and gratitude for what is, for whatever comes; and to avoid falling into anger, blame and other negative emotions when ‘bad’ things happen or we fail to manifest our visions. The true gift of abundance is contentment no matter what happens, rather than focusing on what we think will make us happy at some time in the future. This is the gift of living in the present, or what Eckhart Tolle calls The Power of Now. This is the gift of personal transformation and the spiritual life.
This article on manifestation as a spiritual practice is the last in the series on Manifestation. For a menu of others, click here

About Author: Following a long academic career spanning many disciplines Malcolm Hollick left the University of Western Australia in 1997 to live in the Findhorn ecovillage community in Scotland. He was foundation Principal of the holistic Findhorn College and is an adjunct Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Water Research at the University of Western Australia. The author of many academic papers he currently works as a freelance writer. 

He is author of ‘The Science of Oneness: A worldview for the twenty first century’ and co author with Christine Connelly of ‘Sustainable Communities: Lessons from aspiring eco villages’ and ‘Hope for Humanity: How understanding and healing trauma could solve the planetary crisis’. He lives in Tasmania, Australia with his wife Christine Connelly.

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Beyond the Glass Ceiling

by Steven S. Sadleir –
As we learn, grow and evolve ourselves and are guided to the fulfillment of our life purpose we inevitably come to areas where we appear to get stuck or stagnate. Whether it is in our career, our relationships or spiritual development we rise to the capacity of our own awareness and any resistance or lack of awareness creates what feels like “a glass ceiling.” 
You may not even know what it is that is keeping you from moving forward, but you just are not satisfied or at peace. You’ve reached a plateau, you’ve reached that glass ceiling, then what do you do? You don’t do. The doing is what got you stuck to begin with. This is the time to release the doing and the doer and shift your energy to allowing.
Your mind will not necessarily listen to this advice, not initially for it will surely have many rationalizations, justifications and defenses for whatever you are thinking and feeling but through your life experience you will see that to the degree that you are open to receive, you will receive. You are always being directed and guided, and whenever you are feeling anything other than happiness and peace (your natural state as spirit) it is only serving as a reminder to get back in touch with yourself. 
This is where meditation comes in. 
Most of you already know meditation of some sort. Most of you who have been drawn to read this would likely have done a lot of work on yourselves already and have a higher degree of awareness (or you would not have been drawn to be reading this). But are you living your dreams? Are you enlightened? Are you in bliss?
Your mind cannot conceive God. Your brain will never understand what enlightenment is. The glass ceiling for most of you who are already more spiritually aware is that you may be stuck in what you already know.
This was the case for me after studying and writing about world religions and teaching meditation for so many years, I thought I knew something and it kept me from opening to receive even more. I was stuck in what I thought I knew as well as with what I thought I didn’t know. It was only through the grace of my guru that I was able to breakthrough. I prayed to God to send me a teacher, I prayed to Jesus to guide me and I got a vision of my teacher and the very next day came upon a flyer in Los Angeles announcing his arrival the very next day. It wasn’t until I met my Swamiji and let him guide me by the heart and through his Shakti, I broke out of the glass ceiling and into the bliss.
Life is blissful. 
Not just alright or ok, blissful. If you are not in bliss you are not awake, you have fallen asleep and are under the influence of your mind. When you realize the true nature of yourself, as spirit, when you realize God’s presence within you and around you, you enter into the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and experience bliss. If you are not in bliss I need to talk to you. I want to help you find the love and joy and peace that lies within you, it is your own nature. 
You are not your mind or body, you are spirit, living in a world of spirit and when you enter this world you find happiness and peace. I would like to invite you into my world; I invite you into the bliss.
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The Biochemistry of Spirituality

by Iain Carstairs – 

This little fellow is generating a lot of interest recently: 

Oxytocin, made in the hypothalamus, is released via the pituitary gland: its construction sequence is cysteine – tyrosine – isoleucine – glutamine – asparagine – cysteine – proline – leucine – glycine 

Researcher Paul Zak, a professor of economics and director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University in California, has shown that subjects who inhaled oxytocin gave away 80% more money than subjects who inhaled a placebo. 
Researchers found that when participants were given oxytocin through a nasal spray, participants .. were 80 percent more generous in their offers to split the money.” 

“People left the lab with less money,” said Zak. “But they weren’t necessarily unhappy.” 

“We are designed to care about others. The reason we are charitable is that we can’t help it – we have a built in brain mechanism that connects us to other people.”  [Carla Williams, ABC News] 

Generosity is emphasized in all mankind’s scriptures, and shown by example in the lives of individuals to whom the birth of religions can be traced. Generosity has without doubt always been intimately connected to spiritual beliefs, and qualities such as kindness and gratitude are now proven through biochemical studies to have a soothing effect on the brain. 

I suggest something further – through other mechanisms, perhaps such as retrotransposons which continually alter the brain DNA through a person’s lifetime, it may be that acts of kindness, displays of sincerity and gratitude, and adherence to truth have a beneficial impact on the brain DNA which is passed to the next generation – somehow elevating their hard-wired starting point. Oxytocin, released into the blood from the pituitary gland, is also delivered to the brain through nerve channels.

The supraoptic nucleus, a component of the hypothalamus generating, among other things, oxytocin and vasopressin has been the subject of much interest in neurophysiology, as it is relatively self-contained (about 3,000 neurons) and because its morphology is “remarkably plastic”. Vasopressin neurons fire in longer, uncoordinated bursts rather than the pulse-like activity of oxytocin neurons. Both types produce small amounts of many other very important neurotransmitters, meaning the supraoptic nucleus is a hive of varied activity with relatively large neurons in a community of manageable size. All in all, a great area to study. 

The soothing effect on the brain from acts of generosity and kindness is the reason service to others is emphasized in spiritual texts, helping combat the daily effects of frustration and stress on the delicate neural structures. It is the brain’s essential hygiene, aiding evolutionary forces during a lifetime, but the presence of moral qualities in the families producing genius points towards a significant genetic effect as well. 

As is well known, the brain cannot feel pain. But, signaling irritation and then anger, it registers its distress at conditions abusing or over-taxing its resources. The aim is always to motivate the individual to remove the source of annoyance or remove themselves – and the brain – from the scene. 
Brain damage: as a safety mechanism (comparable to the pain reflex within the skin or muscles) the brain does everything possible to alert the individual to conditions endangering it or taxing it beyond its limits.

The protective feelings towards spiritual texts, and the uncontrollable anger some feel at attempts to ridicule them must have a deep-rooted biological basis in the evolutionary requirements of man’s brain: the brain itself is guarding its protective mechanisms, and protesting their destruction. 

Muslims expressing uncontrollable anger at a US Pastor’s threat to publicly burn the Qu’ran.

Since empathic personalities, creativity and genius are known to come from families with stronger moral backgrounds, and since materialism and greed seem to give birth to de-sensitised, less empathic individuals – and in extreme cases, sociopathic monsters – the emotional behaviour of the individual must contribute toward the gradual evolution or degeneration of the human race. The human brain – unlike that of the almost completely instinctive animal world – is a partner in evolution by virtue of the conscious personality’s own actions. 

This is the secret of the scriptures: they present a hygiene for the human brain, enabling a calmer environment less in conflict with its gradual, healthy evolution towards an ever higher state of consciousness. 

The image of a human incorporating a perfect moral example or even an incarnation of divinity is central to all religions, and imprints a comprehensible evolutionary goal onto the highly plastic and suggestible brain. The powerful imprinting mechanisms of the brain are often abused by demagogues and dictators but imprinting a tangible image of divinity is to encourage the gradual evolution of the mass mind towards these higher goals. 

No oxytocin, no mirror neurons:
gang rapist and committed
materialist Oleg Ivanov, 23 yrs old
Once such moral examples are replaced by fame-hungry, flawed individuals such as the media darlings of today, surrounded by a philosophy equating humans to rats and flies, the mind soon falls victim to decline. 

Both the disastrous rise in violent crime in the 20th and 21st centuries and the gangrenous mass of hideous individuals born without any moral compass, completely indifferent to the pain and suffering of their victims, form the genetic harvest of a materialism which has attempted to slice away the brain’s own systems of hygiene. 

The deep affection lasting thousands of years, for scriptures revealed through natural genius, arise from an instinctive understanding that they contribute towards the future of the human race. The attempt to discredit them is rapidly looking a little silly, since our biochemistry seems intertwined with ages-old wisdom! 

When what is above sacrifices itself to increase what is below, this is out-and-out increase… true increase is without artifice… herein is expressed the most basic principle of leadership: to rule is truly to serve. It is this spirit alone that has the power to help the world. It is the way of great enlightenment; the way of great clarity. 

Sacrifice on the part of those above for the increase of those below fills people with a sense of joy and gratitude which is of great value to the common well-being. 

“Generosity or dana in Sanskrit, is a power. Traditional teachings tell us that a life of generosity forms the ideal foundation for all other spiritual growth. We nourish this power when we offer a gentle word, an open mind or a gift of food or money. Dana flowers when we are content with things as they are, when we let go of what is not needed, and when we do not take what is not freely given to us.” [] 

One day the Prophet Muhammad offered the prayer in the mosque and then hurriedly went to his house and returned immediately. A companion asked why he left and he replied “I left a piece of gold at home which was given for charity and I disliked letting it remain a night in my house, so I brought it to the mosque to distribute.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari) 

Our worldly possessions are bounties from God, who is Al Kareem, the Most Generous. Muslims believe that everything originates from God and everything will return to Him. Thus it is logical to behave as if that which we possess is merely a loan, something we are obligated to preserve, protect and ultimately share. 

Whenever Prophet Muhammad met a miserly person, he advised him to be more generous and charitable. Ibn `Abbas said that he heard Prophet Muhammad say, “The believer is not the one who eats when his neighbour beside him is hungry,” another companion heard the Prophet say, “The believer is simple and generous, but the wicked person is deceitful and ignoble.” 

Even in the direst of circumstances, a person who is a true believer in Almighty God is able to be generous. 

The people came to the Prophet Muhammad and asked, “If someone has nothing to give, what will he do?” He said, “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” The people further asked, “If he cannot find even that?” He replied, “He should help the needy who appeal for help.” Then the people asked, “If he cannot do that?” He replied, “Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds and this will be regarded as charitable deeds.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari) [Deen Show] 

It seems these ideas are by no means new – the above book, published in 2006, contributes to the field of neurotheology – the study of religious and spiritual practices on the brain – and seems to be a source of much neurophysiological detail. 

Oxytocin and Autism: 

Eric Hollander of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York is studying what happens when you give oxytocin to autistic adults. He has found that it improves their ability to recognise emotions like happiness and anger in people’s tone of voice, something autistic people struggle with. A single intravenous infusion produced improvements that lasted two weeks (Biological Psychiatry, vol 61, p 498). 

Hollander has also found that oxytocin increases his volunteers’ ability to recognise faces and interpret emotional expressions. Prior studies have already shown that when autistic people see faces, they activate brain areas normally used to recognise inanimate objects. Hollander says his preliminary results show that when given oxytocin intravenously, autistic people are more able to recruit the normal face-recognition area, the fusiform gyrus. Oxytocin also reduced their repetitive behaviours. 

Hollander is not the first researcher to connect autism to oxytocin. A 1998 study detected lower levels of oxytocin in the blood plasma of severely socially-averse autistic children (Biological Psychiatry, vol 43, p 270), and more recently variants in the oxytocin receptor gene have been linked to the risk of developing autism (Biological Psychiatry, vol 58, p 74). 

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