By PETER and ANNE SELBY
Published in the August 2011 issue of The LENS – a quarterly E-Newsletter/Journal of the Center for Empowered Leadership www.cfel.org
It’s difficult to be open to life without allowing oneself to be vulnerable and open in one’s heart, which is much more powerful than merely having an open mind. Living a life of openness requires courage, imagination, and self-reflection (we live in an age of distraction). It requires staying open to goodness, to grace, to kindness, to having choices, to receiving new information, to accepting outcomes other than what we want, to seeing the positive when we’re looking at the negative, to loving ourselves when we feel unlovable, to giving or receiving love and forgiveness and letting go of the problematic issues, to finding the meaning and information in difficult life circumstances, to staying open to success or to failure (and to the ongoing learning in either circumstance), to letting go of judgment, to compromising, to considering community interests alongside of our own, to solving a problem from outside the paradigm of the problem (for instance, identifying and solving within ourselves the problems that we project onto the people around us), to discovering (and doing) what it takes to bring about and maintain peace, to seeing through the deceptions that promote war (follow the money and the power), and to seeing the ongoing war within ourselves and “being” the peace we wish to see in the world around us.
For me, for us, openness to life requires openness to death. People spend a lot of time and energy worrying about death that they could be investing in life. We can be most open to life when we are equally open also to death, both our own death and even the untimely death of our loved ones. Seen from above, through considering the bigger picture, death can represent opportunity and change at a fundamental level. A friend of ours who had a very positive near-death experience says with a smile on his face, “What’s the worst that can happen? I could die!” This would be a difficult statement for those who fear death.
Openness characterizes the path of the mystic. Not everyone can conceive of or believe in a benevolent intelligence operating behind the scenes in life, but for those who can, or who remain open to considering it, life can become a very interesting puzzle to sort out. Name it as you will—unseen guides and benevolent spirits, higher consciousness, Guardian Angels, Archangels, Ascended Masters, Fate, Nature, The Holy Spirit, Source, God Almighty, Allah, the Tao, Buddha, Krishna, etc. Staying open to the positive Spiritual forces operating behind the scenes of everyday existence can expand a sense of wonder, gratitude, joy, peace, and curiosity, as well as connect a person to life-altering help, inspiration, comfort, and protection.
Life can be understood exclusively at the mundane level and still be perfectly satisfying for those who choose to see it that way. On the other hand, there are many who have “been there, done that,” and yet have chosen to go beyond the seen world through trusting inner knowing, pulling the curtain back so as to consider what underlies reality.
In this way, the mystic and the physicist share common ground. The mystic explores the nature of consciousness and its projection onto the seen world, while physicists explaining quantum mechanics show how the observer/thought collapses probability waves into particles that manifest on the physical plane. Both are exploring the inner planes and unseen forces behind physical existence. It is their openness that allows them to penetrate the veils behind existence.
Guiding the mystic is the ancient principle called the law of correspondence—“As above, so below”—which means that the outer reality reflects what is happening on the inner planes of pure consciousness. In this way, at the most fundamental level, the mind of Source/God could be seen to uphold the existence of the universe or multiverse through conscious intent and thought itself. And we, universe creators in the making, are learning to create our worlds, in similar fashion, through being consciously aware and open as to what we are creating with our thoughts and intent. We learn about our conscious and not-so-conscious selves when we become curious about what it is in us that manifests the world around us.
And, in this regard, it is self-awareness that can bring us face to face with yet another challenge to our openness: namely, our ability to consider our shadow nature and the astral influences that impinge on it. Beginning with our negativity in one form or another—fear-based habitual actions, feelings, thoughts, or beliefs—we set in motion certain negative energy patterns that can manifest difficult experiences in life and (if you can stay open here) have the power to attract certain astral energies called entities that reinforce and even feed on these negative patterns.
Whatever the ultimate reality of astral entities, negative energy can take on a life of its own and function as such. Even if it serves only as a metaphor for a force we have set in motion with our thoughts, the concept serves as a useful handle that allows us to name and release the troublesome energy from our lives and evolve beyond it. This is especially true in our experience in conjunction with calling on higher guidance to assist us in doing so.
Experiencing the effectiveness of this approach can make us confirmed mystics who choose to remain open at increasingly more complex levels of interaction and trust. This serves to keep our curiosity and imagination alive, and Einstein regarded those two traits as the basis of true intelligence. So let us conclude with a question for the reader: How open can you afford to be to the mystery of life and of your own mind? Will fear shut you down, will naïveté take you down, or can you make it across the abyss of ignorance and discover true wisdom, the wisdom of who you are and what allows you to manifest your dreams, your health, and your life purpose?
The ancient wisdom says that we are all on a fool’s journey; the Tarot trump, the Fool, says it all: In the beginning we are open but naïve. We repeatedly fall off the cliff of our innocence/ignorance and crash on the rocks of reality below, only to pick ourselves up and try again until one day we achieve wisdom and ultimately self-realization. It’s a long journey, but an interesting one! Without openness, we would never get beyond the starting gate, and openness plays a key role along the entire journey. So here’s to openness—may it serve you well.