NFL quarterback Vince Young was a superstar with a promising career. Football was everything, but depression and financial ruin sidelined him and he retired in June 2014. As a college football star, Vince was faced with a choice – finish school, or join the NFL. Knowing how much the money would help out his family, he chose the latter, but he flamed out after just a couple of good seasons. Not even 30 years old yet, he has to come to the realization that he might not play again. Losing his identity as an athlete hit him hard. Filmmaker Jonas Elrod visits him in Texas as he follows his deep shift, which begins with going back to school and discovering a future that’s bright with or without a career in professional sports.
What, exactly, makes us who we are? Are we merely an amalgamation of biochemical components randomly thrown together, susceptible to the ravages of time? An arrangement of thought patterns organized around some unidentified driving force? A collection of memories bound together by some unseen unifying element? Or is it some combination of the foregoing? Those are some of the underlying questions raised for consideration in the delightful new comedy, “Robot & Frank.”
“Retirement” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be for Frank Weld (Frank Langella), a former cat burglar and ex-con who has retreated to the idyllic seclusion of a near future version of Cold Spring, NY. As one who’s accustomed to doing things in rather traditional ways, he’s frequently put off by the progressively invasive role of technology in daily life. It also doesn’t help that Frank has little contact with others; his son, Hunter (James Marsden), begrudgingly pays routine visits to check up on him, while his nonconformist daughter, Madison (Liv Tyler), travels the globe in search of faraway cultures and alternative experiences. In fact, Frank’s only significant relationship is with the local librarian, Jennifer (Susan Sarandon), who dotes on him, given that he’s just about the only patron of her increasingly antiquated facility.But what poses the biggest challenge for Frank is his failing memory. He lapses in and out of present day awareness, never completely clear about what’s current and what’s not, and insistent that there’s nothing wrong with his recollection. He swears, for example, that Hunter is enrolled at Princeton, a fact that’s 15 years out of date. Likewise, he’s absolutely certain that he recently ate dinner at one of his favorite local eateries, one allegedly housed in a storefront that’s been a boutique for quite some time. And even though Frank comes across as seemingly functional enough, his memory has failed so significantly that he can’t even remember his ex-wife.
These circumstances present a major challenge for Hunter as Frank’s principal caregiver. Given his father’s unwillingness to voluntarily relocate to a special care facility for the memory impaired, he ultimately must resort to more drastic measures than just paying regular visits to keep Frank’s household from falling apart. His solution is to provide Frank with a new live-in caretaker, a robotic health care worker programmed to fulfill all of his father’s needs. The robot cleans house, cooks meals, attends to Frank’s medical needs and provides a modicum of companionship. It even talks (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard), diligently reminding its patient of what he needs to do to take better care of himself.
Needless to say, Frank initially balks at the idea, but, when faced with the alternative, he gradually relents. Frank even starts to like his new electronic pal, especially once he realizes he can easily engage the robot in activities that he enjoys. For instance, when the robot suggests that Frank participate in some kind of ongoing project to keep his mind active, it recommends starting a backyard vegetable garden, but Frank has something else in mind. Once he becomes aware of the robot’s ability to learn new skills and adapt its programming, Frank decides to engage his companion in a project of his own design, namely, getting back into the burglary business. Before long, Frank has a new – and quite formidable – partner in crime.
Frank sees his targets – his affluent but clueless neighbors – as easy pickings, too. Even those who think they have Frank’s schemes figured out (such as his pedantic neighbor Jake (Jeremy Strong) and the local sheriff (Jeremy Sisto)) can’t decipher the inscrutable tactics of the seasoned thief, especially when aided and abetted by the wizardry of a technological genius. Indeed, when Frank is in his element, it would seem there’s nothing at all wrong with his memory. Or is there? Can he still get away with things like he did in the past, or are there memory-related pitfalls that will be his downfall? Or is that just what he wants everyone to think? It’s a set of circumstances that keeps everyone – human and electronic – guessing as events play out.
Most of us would probably agree that we have a pretty good handle on who we are and what goes into making up our everyday life. In fact, we often hold such a degree of certainty about it that we never question our assumptions about our existence. We place unshakable confidence in our consciousness to serve as our sentient guide through life, allowing it to define the beliefs that form the reality around us. And Frank is certainly no exception; he perceives his existence as being based on what he knows to be true, even if his conclusions don’t always align with those of others.
But is he “wrong” when his beliefs don’t match up with those of others around him? From where he stands, his beliefs about reality are just as rock solidly valid as those who contend to the contrary. So, under such circumstances, can the detractors genuinely prove that what’s going on in Frank’s mind is intrinsically “false”? One would certainly have great difficulty dissuading him, even when offering up “evidence” to refute his claims.
For someone with memory issues, like Frank, it may be easy for others to attempt to counter his claims, even if he were to fundamentally disagree with them. But Frank’s circumstances also help to illustrate the larger issue of can we really know what’s going on in the mind of someone else? Consider, for example, someone who has some sort of extraordinary experience, such as an event of a paranormal nature. Can we say with certainty that said individual didn’t experience what he or she claims to have experienced? (I’m sure the naysayers would get quite an argument from the individual in question.) So is it any surprise, then, that Frank might feel exactly the same way when his contentions are challenged? The certainty he holds about his reality is, at bottom, just as steadfast as that of the person who experiences apparitions, psychic episodes, déjà vu or any other phenomena that aren’t what most of us would consider part of everyday life.For most of us, memory is a crucial element in shaping the beliefs that go into creating the reality we experience through the conscious creation process. It gives us a foundation, a back story as it were, upon which we build the principles that support our view of existence. And, like any foundation, it provides a solid underpinning for our contentions. But this is not to suggest that memory-based beliefs are unalterable. In some instances, they can be changed, while in others, they may remain the same as other associated beliefs go through transformation. In either case, however, such beliefs may ultimately seem to conflict with other evidence to the contrary. Such contradictions may be a way of coping with difficulty, of blocking out painful truths that we’d rather not deal with, or they may be an attempt to hold on to pleasant recollections of manifestations that have come and gone. Points like this are effectively illustrated in this film, as well as in other pictures, such as “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004). Regardless of the reason for their persistence, however, such beliefs nevertheless illustrate the role of memory – or what we think of as “memory” – in shaping our existence, something that Frank and his family must come to terms with on a very basic level.
In addition to framing our reality, our beliefs also provide the means for mirroring back to us that which we concentrate upon. This is apparent throughout the movie in many ways, especially when it comes to matters of sentience. The robot, for example, makes frequent references to its memory and the fact that it can be erased, circumstances not unlike what Frank is experiencing himself. It’s a thought that troubles him, especially when the robot speaks of it matter of factly, no doubt because it hits so close to home. Frank shudders at the realization that his consciousness may be just as vulnerable as that of his electronic friend, that he may be little more than a biochemical equivalent of his cybernetic buddy, one whose sentience can be wiped away just as easily as that of his circuit-controlled pal. With this belief reflected back to him through the robot, Frank comes to value his consciousness, holding onto it with all the strength he can muster, lest he face the consequences of having his sentience be cast aside like oh so much burned-out wiring.
Moreover, it’s also no coincidence that Frank’s best friend is a librarian. As someone whose job essentially involves managing the recorded musings and recollections of others, Jennifer is present in Frank’s life, symbolically, to help him do the same for himself, to assist him in preserving what sentience he has left. She’s an expert as what she does, which is partly why he drew her into his life and why she so thoughtfully attends to his needs (helping him, for example, in avoiding book selections he’s read before but no longer recalls).
Frank also wrestles with issues related to control and manipulation (specifically those having to do with how others, such as his children, seek to run his life), and they’re mirrored back to him through the manifestation of his beliefs regarding his feelings about the robot. Frank has always been in charge of his own destiny, for better or worse, and now he’s facing the prospect of that control slipping away from him. And, even if others say that they’re acting in his best interests, he still resents being corralled into behaviors that run counter to his nature. This comes out not only in his own reactions but also in his feelings toward his live-in companion. Over time Frank becomes very sensitive to how others treat the robot; where they see a piece of sophisticated yet subservient technology, he sees a friend, an equal, one who deserves the same kind of dignity and respect that should be accorded any fellow human being (even one challenged by memory issues).
“Robot & Frank” is, without a doubt, one of the most unusual films to come out in a long time. It’s jam-packed with ideas, and it never fails to evoke thoughtful reactions as its story unfolds. However, because it attempts to incorporate so much into its runtime, it occasionally comes up a little short (some themes are never developed quite as fully as they might have been, for example). Similarly, for as many good laughs are there are in the film, it could have used a few more, especially in the middle, when the pacing tends to drag a bit. Those shortcomings are effectively compensated for, though, by an intriguing narrative, a number of hilarious sight gags, and wonderful performances from Langella, Sarsaggard and Strong. If nothing else, you’ll likely come away from this one feeling pleasantly entertained and full of ideas previously unconsidered.
“I am what I am” is a notion that many of us hold dear, almost jealously, and we become justifiably defensive of that stance when the image we hold of ourselves comes under scrutiny. Becoming clear about our beliefs enables us to better understand ourselves and the reality that we materialize through them, as Frank comes to discover for himself with the assistance of his unlikely companion. To that end, then, may we all have the wisdom to see the truth – and the folly – that we create through the power that lies within each of us.
Copyright © 2012, by Brent Marchant. All rights reserved.
“A Dangerous Method” (2011). Cast: Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel, Sarah Gadon. Director: David Cronenberg. Screenplay: Christopher Hampton. Book: A Most Dangerous Method, by John Kerr. Play: The Talking Cure, by Christopher Hampton. www.sonyclassics.com/adangerousmethod/index.php
Despite recent advances in understanding, psychiatry is a discipline that’s still often misunderstood, even lampooned at times. However, things have come a long way over the years, and they stand to gain further ground with initiatives aimed at promoting greater awareness and acceptance. That effort has even carried over into the arts, such as in movies like the new historical drama, “A Dangerous Method.”
The film focuses on the life and career of famed Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) from 1904 to 1913, a time when he became involved in two of his most significant personal and professional relationships. The first was with one of his patients, Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), a highly intelligent young woman prone to fits of unexplained hysteria. Over time, Jung helped her discover the source of her behavior, eventually curing her. He even assisted her in launching a career as a psychoanalyst after noting her natural capabilities in this area. At the same time, Sabina helped Jung discover things about himself that he never knew, prompting realizations that made him a better therapist and aided him in his own personal growth.
The second relationship Jung developed during this time was with the father of modern psychiatry, Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). In many respects, Freud was a mentor to Jung, advising him on various psychoanalytic techniques (Freud’s methodology even played a major role in Jung’s treatment of Sabina). However, an ever-widening gap between the colleagues began to develop over time. Jung, whose vision included a belief in the validity of unconventional notions like intuition and precognition, found Freud’s purely scientific method (and, specifically, his almost exclusive sexual interpretation of patients’ maladies) too limiting. Freud, on the other hand, considered many of Jung’s ideas to be superstitious nonsense that he feared would undermine the credibility of the psychiatric field. Before long, a split occurred between the two, but not until after a significant exchange of ideas occurred, many of which profoundly influenced Jung’s outlook, theories and practices.
While the film’s narrative is ostensibly about a specific period in Jung’s life, its script is in actuality more symbolic and idea-based than purely biographical. Perhaps the most significant theme is the picture’s spotlight on the uncanny parallels between the practices of psychotherapy and conscious creation. Both, for example, frequently require their participants (the patient, in the case of psychotherapy, and the practitioner, in the case of conscious creation) to “go within” and become introspective. The “work” that each does is quite similar; a psychiatric patient seeks to discover what’s behind his or her psychological discomfort, while a conscious creation practitioner endeavors to get a handle on his or her beliefs. And even though these objectives may not be identical, they’re remarkably alike in that both play a crucial role in creating the reality that manifests and is subsequently experienced.
This becomes very apparent in Jung’s therapy sessions with Sabina and with another of his patients, Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel), a referral sent to Jung by Freud. Through probing questions, Jung helps his patients discover the beliefs driving their behavior and, consequently, the reality they experience. Interestingly enough, however, the process also works in reverse: The patients’ answers often shed light on Jung’s own beliefs, helping the doctor to better know himself. In this regard, then, Jung’s patients are externalized projections of his own beliefs, providing him with a mirror of self-discovery and helping to illuminate the reality he’s creating and experiencing, ultimately yielding both professional and personal rewards.
For Jung, the impact of this is perhaps greatest in expanding his understanding of impulses. He comes to see the inherent danger in stifling them, particularly how self-imposed repressiveness can lead to severe behavioral disorders, a condition not uncommon in his time, given the prevailing puritanical values of the period. He also realizes that acting on such unexpressed impulses – allowing one’s true self to surface, to put it in conscious creation terms – is crucial to psychological health and well-being, especially when it comes to those of an emotional, sexual or metaphysical nature, something he witnesses firsthand in working with his patients. This, in turn, enables Jung to see which impulses of his own he’s stifling, particularly those related to the fulfillment of unexpressed sexual desires. As much as he loves his adoring wife (Sarah Gadon), he longs for other carnal experiences and comes to realize the harm he might be doing to himself by leaving those notions unexplored, an awareness that leads him to make some changes in his life. Not everyone may agree with his choices, but at least he’s being honest with himself in making them, assuredly one of the highest attainments one can aspire to as a conscious creator.
But Jung’s journey involves more than discovering the uncharted territory of his waking life. He also probes the inner world of the psyche in ways that his more orthodox peers avoided. His interest in examining such phenomena as synchronicities, telepathy and dream analysis from a scientific perspective drew ridicule from colleagues, especially Freud. The unconventional nature of these ideas was too much for mainstream psychiatric professionals to consider, even with Jung’s insistence on using the scientific method to study them. However, he held steadfast to this vision, exploring it in greater detail later in life.
Jung’s approach to investigating this material raises another parallel to conscious creation, a process to reality manifestation driven by beliefs, the product of a synthesis between intellect (symbolic of science) and intuition (symbolic of spirit). Jung’s interest in integrating both disciplines showed that, on some level, he understood the conscious creation process and was willing to employ it in his research. This was also reflected symbolically in the very nature of the relationship between Jung and Freud, with each colleague embodying part of the process: Freud, the scientist, symbolized the intellect, while Jung, the budding spiritualist, represented the intuition. In presenting this material in this way, the film thus offers quite a fitting tribute to its protagonist, someone who was, ironically, so captivated by the presence – and power – of symbol in our lives.
Despite its many fine attributes, “A Dangerous Method” is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, especially for more sensitive viewers. As much as I enjoyed it, I can appreciate that many moviegoers might find its talky script a bit tedious and its sexually provocative content somewhat disturbing (I’m honestly surprised this film received only an “R” rating instead of an “NC-17” designation). However, those who are not so easily bothered by such considerations will come away from this picture feeling rewarded.
This offering from director David Cronenberg is quite a departure from his usual fare, but it succeeds in many respects. It features excellent performances by Fassbender and Mortensen, who deservedly earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for best supporting actor, as well as excellent period piece production values. The writing covers its material well, with ample wit and no psychobabble and providing viewers with an excellent introduction to the psychoanalytic process, although some of the screenplay’s transitions aren’t quite as smooth as they probably could have been. The movie’s only major letdown is its embarrassingly over-the-top performance by Knightley, who unfortunately lost sight of her role while gunning for hoped-for awards nominations, a real disappointment from an often-underappreciated actress.
Jung’s contributions to the field of psychiatry are sometimes overshadowed by those of his elder Viennese counterpart, though this film helps to make up for that oversight. Jung hoped that the psychoanalytic process could become a tool that would not only help individuals overcome their challenges, but could also serve as a means of personal transformation, a noble goal to be sure. With the recent growth in popularity in philosophies like conscious creation and the law of attraction, one can sense Jung’s influence looming in the background, his ideas closely paralleling those of these more contemporary schools of thought. And because of such practices, we can hope that his vision will indeed one day become a reality.
Copyright © 2011, by Brent Marchant. All rights reserved.
I feel more than ever that humanity has the possibility to realise the potential state of Wholeness, or Completeness, that is incrementally achieved by those who choose to heighten their thoughts or whose mind, words and deeds are authentically harmonious and serene so as to be in touch with deep wisdom.
It is surely the goal of physical existence to achieve this full state of wholeness and it can be partially experienced during ones progress to its full achievement.
It is a state where ignorance and superstition are superseded by an awareness of frequencies that speak beyond such limitations to the innate intelligence that is present beyond the lower man made frequencies that have kept humanity in the dark for so long.
I believe that this expansion of light is now perceived on many levels around the world and has a real consequence that becomes clearer day by day!
There is no dualism of good or bad or even that today is better than yesterday but rather a growing awareness that brings us closer to what it really means to be human in this very moment!
I believe that there is no evil in nature. Hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes and sicknesses, which humans believe to be nature’s wrath or a manifestation of lower forms of vibration or punishment for man’s misdeeds, are for me ethically neutral. That is they are neither good, nor bad in themselves. They are either the products of chance, the existence of which is necessary to allow freedom of choice, or they are a function of an aspect of the universal laws of nature, necessary to uphold creation.
For me all is totally good in essence, thus all creation is good and is functioning as it was designed to and, as our mind expands beyond dualistic and judgmental thoughts, we slowly come closer to this natural wisdom inherent in the universe.
Negativity is the product of humanities wrongful choices and it is easily eliminated by choices that bypass such inherited fallacies that limit our higher perceptions. Today it may seem that these fallacies and negative human traits abound only because as we all let go of what has limited humanity for so long, we let go of so many of these collective destructive aspects that the Hindus refer to as the Kali or that I refer to as ignorance.
On the surface it may seem to many scientists, environmentalists, economists and artists around the globe that indeed we are in an era where what we know is being destroyed by the turbulence that we are facing. I would say it is more like the Phoenix is rising from the ashes of such destructive forces and their obsolete paradigms.
I would strongly emphasise that the Phoenix within or the birth of awareness can be acquired and refined within each one of us no matter what the circumstances we face may be. It comes more easily to those who choose to reflect and meditate with a bright, clear and unbiased mind and hold close to heart the real core values of life.
The aware mind is capable of logical and precise thinking with clarity of thought that is free from preconceptions, and is thereby able to perceive this higher frequency that resonates in all aspects of life rather than being a far removed philosophical or esoteric concept. However, it is important to note that logic and rationality of thought are not the only requisites of what it means to be human in a more complete sense.
A wise human being has a mind that tempers rationality with benevolence. It is the mind that having perceived the innate goodness of life becomes benevolent and more light; thinks for and of the highest and most noble aspects of life and is committed to it.
As this essence indwells in human beings, it can easily be acquired by a clear choice to think, speak and act in accordance with the higher frequencies inherent in such actions. So in actuality it is one of the principal means for achieving the goal, and at the same time part and parcel of that same goal.
This goal, the Lighter existence, made more accessible by such frequencies as are present today, becomes more powerful as our focus moves towards the light rather than remain in the shadows of the mind. I have no doubt that humanities natural inclination is moving towards such higher frequencies that may well only become more clear with hindsight.
As the Phoenix flies higher towards the realms of light we will have the clarity it takes to be creative in a more conscious and wise way with our hearts wise enough to feel the new freedom that helps create a life-affirming paradigm!
CLICK VividLife.me for more inspiration for living your ultimate life!!!
Tony Samara, author of ‘Shaman’s Wisdom,’ ‘From the Heart,’ ‘Different Yet the Same,’ and ‘Deeper than Words’ was born in England, grew up in Egypt and also in Norway where he discovered the “Zen Buddhist philosophy”. This discovery eventually led him to the “Mount Baldy Zen Center in California, USA” where he learned the spiritual teachings of “Kyozan Joshu Sasaki.” He had curiosity to explore further the essence of spirituality and thus went to live and learn with shamanic communities around the globe including a period of time spent with some highly influential shamans in the Amazon River region and the Andes Mountains. Now people from all over the world visit Tony Samara to take spiritual guidance and experience being in his presence. http://www.tonysamara.org/
The meditation is very easy to do. Just simply find a comfortable space, take a few deep breaths so that you are able to let go of any thoughts, any feelings of any situations that you may have in your mind, in your consciousness. Simply come back to a space that is more peaceful, a space that is more free. As you breathe in and breathe out and feel this space, focus on the third eye – that is the space between the eyebrows, the space that is connected in the sense that is beyond seeing. It is much more the subtle sense of intuition, of seeing into dimensions that are not so clear but require that you simply relax and open to those dimensions so that they speak to you in a much more clear way.
As you focus on the third eye breathe in to this area, breathe in deeply and as you breathe in visualise that the breath is activating this space. As you breathe out let go of any thoughts, any feelings that come up and simply create a sense of presence to this space, the third eye, so that now you can begin to use this space to be very clear that now your whole being can expand.
From this space feel the freedom that goes beyond the physical, beyond the mental, beyond the emotional – feel the freedom like a bird, like an eagle – as you fly deeper into the unseen dimensions that make you, as a human being, very special. Those aspects of yourself that are very deep and very profound, as you go deeper into this space allow yourself to expand as though it is as if your whole being connects to all aspects that are around you.
Touch the beautiful aspects of the universe, the stars, the moon, the galaxies. Touch the space where everything is so free and so open, that this feeling, this power that you now connect to is transmitted to your own body, to your own mind, to your own emotions. Sense the power of the universe, the beautiful stars, the amazing space that is everywhere, that goes beyond our mind thinking, that goes beyond our little emotions. Sense how amazing the divine is.
As you become aware through your expansion of this beautiful space that is everywhere, that transmits to you a sense of power and strength, and through your intention allow that transmission to move to the various parts of your body. Sense the breath carry that beautiful open and powerful space that you are experiencing. Sense the heart open up any contraction, any walls, any pains, any sufferings, any doubts, any feelings of low self-esteem, contraction – sense this disappear as you connect to the expansion into the universe. The beautiful stars and their magnificent light touching your heart so that you are present to reality and not the little pictures of your mind, or the little dramas that can now be completely let go of. Sense this space touch all the organs inside of your body so that even the structure of those organs now receive a new burst of energy – the liver, the kidneys, the glands, the blood system, all aspects of your body sense how easy through the out breath it is to let go of all the contractions and limited fear spaces, and how easy it is to open to the beauty of the divine space that you are seeing through your third eye.
As you do this, sense that your whole body begins to change and so the physical dimension of the world becomes less important as your reference now goes deeper to those dimensions that make you a unique and beautiful human being. Sense how free and open and expansive the body is, as it connects to all beautiful energies that strengthen, that change even the structure that was, to a structure that is. As you breathe in and breathe out, notice that this beautiful energy that you are connecting to through your third eye, expands more and more – you go deeper and deeper into the beauty of the universe. There is more light, there is more space and this gets transmitted to your mind. All those thoughts, all those struggles simply move out as you breathe deeply.
Breathing in and breathing out, move out with the out breath, and now allow this space to move in through the third eye, this beautiful space, the divine space that you are in touch with through the third eye to your mind so that every cell in your brain, every cell in your mind, can connect to a reality that is more profound, more deep, more mystical. There are no more thoughts of fear, there are no more thoughts of pain, or suffering, or doubt. There are no more thoughts that take you away from the present moment of beauty. Allow the mind to trust this as you open up more deeply.
Give yourself a few moments as you breathe in and breathe out to allow this process to move deeper and deeper – to allow the process to move deeper to all parts of your mind, the conscious aspects that you know and even more deeply to the unconscious parts of your mind that are hidden and come up in dreams or in certain situations. Allow time, allow the beautiful universal energy that is everywhere, that keeps you alive, that we call the divine, to move deeper into all spaces within your being. As you breathe in and breathe out, keep in touch with this space through the third eye.
As you take your next deep breath feel this energy move from the third eye down into all parts of your body. Sense this energy being grounded, moving down your spine, down to the feet, moving down to the soles of your feet and see yourself, imagine yourself now moving back to the mundane aspects of your life but with a new sense, with a rebirthed sense of being alive, being connected to energy that makes you so special. See yourself going back to your family, to your partner, to any situation with that new sense of being, and as you do this you slowly transmit this aspect to more and more people.
As you put this meditation into practice several times in the next few weeks, you will find that things begin to change around you. As you touch the divine, the pictures that you hold begin to change and we begin to change the situations around us.
The more people that put this meditation into practice and this way of thinking into practice, the more the people in Japan and various parts of the world begin to feel an invisible love that moves beyond, moves deeper than what we watch on television or what we hear on the radio or what we read in the newspaper and this is so important. It is just like when you have a little child it is very important for you to recognise their being through action, not just by observing but by interacting, by being. This is what the world needs today. As you come back to a real sense of being that is transmitted on the many invisible levels, through the many invisible levels that we are not aware of, to touch many people’s hearts.
I encourage you to practise this meditation several times in the next few weeks and to write to me and let me know if you have more questions.
“From the moment we are born, the most important aspect of life becomes relationship. Relationship is central for survival and for a sense of belonging and well-being. To understand relationship is to understand that this is what makes us human.
In the beginning we learn to relate to what is closest and most dear to our hearts and this is the love that a mother has for her child. We understand that relationship is an expression of love, a sharing of love and a communication of love.
Most of us forget this core aspect of relationship, as unfortunately our mothers are human and even though deep inside there is love the mundane and practical expression of this gets distorted and the child begins to need love rather than express love.
This sense of neediness is what our society has condoned as normal and acceptable. Hence it is difficult to see this neediness as it is such a core aspect of how we see the world.
A child gets frustrated when the mother needs time to focus on other things than the relationship to the child. This creates even more need and so the relationship becomes distorted and as the child grows older this distortion carries on to the relationship he/she has with friends and ultimately with the relationship he/she has with their partner.
I see the world today as suffering from a lack of conscious relationship and full of what I term “needy” relationship. I see this as the cause of many worldwide problems that aren’t always attributed directly to this issue.
Let us embrace conscious relationship in all its aspects so that we can release this neediness and allow our lives to become filled with love.
We cannot DO anything to reach that which we call enlightenment. There are many people at this time who are deeply seeking in a conscious way the deeper aspects of the journey that we all have to undertake. A journey that is more conscious of our actions and purpose here in life.
We are all seekers even if we dont realize this and I believe that out of this seeking there are people that because of their practice and understanding of their journey are well suited to make it easier for others to understand the traps and distractions that often overwhelm us so as to forget our focus and remain attached to the practicalities of every day life.
One of the things that our culture clouds is that the within is often a reflection of the outside and so going within is just as much a distraction as going out and trying to obtain answers from a person outside or a place. My teaching is not inside or outside but rather being in this present moment. Being real to what is going on as your experience. Otherwise the journey becomes very crazy.
As we go within we find all sorts of aspects of ourselves that are helpful but in the end do not answer the depth of the questions that the heart needs to realise and sometimes even become a kind of preoccupation with oneself.
It is the same with reading books or moving to different places. Knowledge is not in those places or in the books but rather in your understanding. Listening to teachers, going to conferences, seminars or events is what many people do and it is interesting to do this but in the end unless you understand then it is information without meaning. This is where a true teacher whether the teacher uses many words or a few words is able to bring deeper clarity to this information so that the information touches your heart rather than the intellect or other parts of yourself. The heart is the gateway to what it means to be in this present moment. I am not speaking about an emotional aspect of yourself but rather the part that knows. The part that is the deeper essence of who you are.
I do believe that working with a teacher is an essential tool that is frowned upon in the west due to the individualism that we over-value.
We are all one and there is nothing that is separate from this oneness except the intellect that likes to create boxes for us to fit in so that we can understand the world and have some sort of dominion over it. The heart understands that true understanding comes from union rather than differences or dominion.
What we are meant to give up is not our essence but rather what prevents this essence from blossoming.
The source is within this knowledge.
I believe that what we seek can only be found once the heart opens to the mystical truth that is contained in opening our hearts to the deepest love that is our essence rather than what the mind projects as reality.
Life is filled with an agenda of so many things we need to do each day and trying to find time in our daily calendars to see family and friends becomes just another item on the list. Yet it’s these very people in our lives that when we make the time to be with them we discover the experience is one that nurtures our spirit. We find ourselves asking what happened, why don’t we do this more often, I had such a nice time? How did our lives get so busy that the most important things that bring peace and simplicity to our lives seem to take a back seat over all the other responsibilities we have?
When we take time out to nurture our spirit either by paying loving attention to ourselves or being with those we love it rejuvenates us so we can go back into the world again and continue meeting the things that are demanding our attention. The majority of us do not make ourselves a priority when life is knocking at our door. When our body is asking for attention and needs nurturing we don’t respond. I know of people where it has taken an unfortunate illness and wakeup call before they realized it’s time to pay attention to my SELF. Everything else in our lives becomes a priority and yet when we consciously recognize this and switch things up to ensure we do make the time to look after ourselves, we experience a sense of peace. Why is that? Could it be because we are responding with love for our SELF?
Love is an amazing catalyst for discovering peace. It truly is the simple things in life that tend to bring us fulfilment yet we are always waiting for what’s next? The next holiday, the next job, the next relationship, the next day we can rest and relax, the next moment when we’re stress free or the next material item we can acquire. Why wait? Make a conscious decision today to realize where your life is at in this moment and what is it you are waiting for? When we ask ourselves “what is it we really want” and I do mean a deeper inquiry other than the typical things we want such as health, financial freedom, a house, a job etc. Most of us would most probably say what we really want is peace, freedom or fulfilment. We tend to believe that any of these aspects are out of our reach with all the demands occurring in our lives, yet when we consciously stop and ask this question, event for a moment, it is possible to discover that these are already aspects of who we really are and they are always present, busy or not. Check it out for yourself and see.
Listen to what your heart is wanting from you and what your body needs and make a decision to respond to the call from yourself. Our lives are made up of moments, embrace each one completely and take the time to make your SELF a priority. Stop waiting for the next experience to happen, the next material possession to come along and recognize what is HERE NOW, welcome the moment with all it has to offer, because it too will be gone in an instant. Honor your spirit and walk towards the journey your heart desires.
In love, Lorraine