Introducing a conscious growth workshop that he will be holding in a few months, Steve Pavlina, at www.StevePavlina.com, wrote a number of perceptive, valuable comments, including the following:
“This workshop is for people of above average intelligence. I’m not referring to IQ here. By intelligence I really mean self-awareness.
“Do you have a strong sense of yourself as a conscious human being? Or do you merely go through the motions each day without ever questioning your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors? Self-aware people tend to be very curious. They ask a lot of questions. They wonder — about their lives, about their potential, and about meaning and purpose.
“I’d rather share this workshop with a group of 20 self-aware people than with 200 average people. I’m not saying that to be derogatory. The simple truth is that the average person hasn’t yet made a serious commitment to personal growth. Most people are still in the unconscious growth stage. They aren’t ready to take full responsibility for their lives. They do attract growth experiences, but they aren’t able to direct the process consciously, so growth is something that happens to them rather than as a result of their conscious intentions. Such people often live in victim mode, blaming external factors for their circumstances.”
I found Steve’s words most interesting and thought provoking. They underline, for me, how there are essentially two very different ways of experiencing life on this planet at this time. Two paths beckon before each one of us. We can live in victim mode, as Steve puts it, with our consciousness primarily oriented in all the limitations and suffering and disintegration occurring in the world and perhaps in our own lives.
Or we can choose to become increasingly aware of and enfolded in and aligned with the serene, timeless perfection that is present with each one of us regardless of background or circumstance.
Oh my. There is so much confusion in our lives, isn’t there? All you have to do is turn on the television, pick up a newspaper, do a bit of surfing on the web, and there it is — one huge ocean of confusion. It can make you sick in a hurry. You don’t have to get on a boat to be seasick. You can get seasick right here on terra firma if you allow yourself to be distracted even for a moment from your own still presence — the place within yourself where sanity and wisdom and true happiness hang out.
Joanne and I have a calendar which we really enjoy, which basically consists of a quote from the Bible along with a picture from nature. The quote for today is this: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14.26).
Yes, they are religious words, and some people may reject them out of hand for that reason without even thinking about them. But I find, as I wend my way through this particular human life, that there is a comforter with me, just as the quote says.
I will never understand the stillness that I feel within myself when I open myself to it, a living presence that does indeed “bring all things to my remembrance.” But the mere fact that I do not understand it does not limit its power or its wisdom or its robust beauty. I can experience it. That’s the point. I can experience it even though I do not understand it.
I think this is what Albert Einstein was getting at when he said: “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious — the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
Yes, we can be a victim if we want. It’s pretty easy. I’ve had quite a bit of experience of that particular path. But we also have the choice, as Steve Pavlina so eloquently pointed out, to take full responsibility for ourselves and let our true nature and potential be known and revealed at every level of our experience.
The true comforter is waiting. We can choose, in this very moment, the path of true joy and strength available to us all.