Sunday, 24 November 2013

When Man Discovered Gold

According to the ancient Roman mythology, there was a period in the history of mankind when nature provided freely and harmony prevailed. This was known as the Golden Age. When man discovered real gold, the era of harmony ended. Mankind deteriorated because of greed and people started killing each other. The Silver, Bronze and Iron Ages (present era) followed. Ironically, the Golden Age was characterised by the absence of gold whilst the discovery of actual gold meant the end of the Golden Age.

Two things come to mind when I consider the symbolism of gold: value and purity. When someone has an intrinsically good character we say that she has a heart of gold. When man discovered gold outside of him, he was so mesmerised by its beauty that he wanted to possess it. This gave rise to corruption. Man’s soul turned black because of his need to be in possession of something that didn’t belong to him.

Before the arrival of greed, the earth was a garden of harmony. Gold was within the earth, which produced all we needed to keep us happy. The test that the discovery of gold posed was whether man could remember that value was within. When we appreciate the beauty of something, it leaves its footprint in our heart. The fact that we can see it and understand its value means that it is inside us also. If we recognise the earth as our paradise then we would not need to take forcefully from her because she is part of us.

The advent of consciousness also introduced the potential vice of cunning. The message of gold is that we should use our intelligence wisely: to heal and not to destroy. If we do, the earth will become our paradise once more and life will be a wonder.

Alchemy is the art of turning lead into gold. If we change all our bad ideas about who we are, we can return to a state of purity, reversing the blackness that came about by our need to possess. On the positive side, our relationship with gold was one of love to start with. If we realise that love is free and natural and we don’t need anything to experience it, we can transform our relationship with money. Then we will live in harmony with each other and the earth once more.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

A (Slightly Different) View on Manifestation

I have never really bought into the whole new age hype about manifestation. Surely if it were that simple then everyone would get what they wanted and there would be no problems, right? On the other hand I know that there is some truth to it. I cannot help noticing how often it happens that people get exactly what they asked for. Whether that makes them happy or not is a different matter. I’ll share some of my own experiences and also consider how I think manifestation can be used for real benefit.

As a child I remember going to church and reading in the Bible that we could ask for anything and it would be given. At other times I was told that God could answer in one of three possible ways: yes, no or later. In a way I think both views are curiously true in their own way. However I’m still not the master of life and neither is anyone else I know by the looks of it.

When I was about ten years old, I fervently prayed for something. I resolved to have faith that it would show up, regardless of how impossible it seemed. About ten years later it did, but by that time it was completely meaningless to me. I couldn’t help marvelling at the extraordinary way in which the “thing” eventually made its way to me. As a teenager I also had a deep wish which I prayed would come to fruition. A few years later something along those lines (which was about what I could expect seeing that my prayer was sufficiently vague) played out. Needless to say, it wasn’t half of what I expected it to be.

At some point I gave up asking for things because it felt to me that it was no use – I never got what I wanted anyway. That wasn’t entirely true. I often got what I wanted on a physical level but with the inner experience of something still missing. When I honestly didn’t get what I wanted I ended up noticing that either there was a delay or I have outgrown that which I desired. By the looks of it, my subconscious mind was a step ahead of me. It contrived in helping me get what I actually wanted: the feeling of being whole and sufficient as I was without the need of something outside myself to feel complete. When that wasn’t the case, it didn’t help much asking for something when I wasn’t open to receive it. Once you notice that you are defensive, afraid to be open to good things coming your way, you realise that you have been the one dictating your reality all along.

On a very practical level, when we work for something and it comes to fruition, that is also manifestation. There is nothing supernatural about it. When it doesn’t materialise, I believe we have the option to give up and try something more worthwhile on one hand or persevere on the other. Perhaps it’s the Universe’s way of testing our resolve and asking us to reconsider what is really important.

I don’t think manifestation can be simplified to become the easy answer to all our problems. There is still the larger context of our relationship with life and how we define ourselves. Personally I think the key is in realising that we are manifesting anyway. What we believe in gains power and dictates our reality. Knowing this, we could ask ourselves what we deem important enough to want to bring into this world.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

On Big Pharma, Science and Healing

This week I picked up a business and careers newspaper for students and the topic Big Pharma on the cover caught my eye. I’m not sure what I expected seeing that the article would hardly reflect my mindset. Yet when I read it it was all about the issues the industry faces and how they can recover to protect their profits. The article was also quite blatant about the fact that the pharmaceutical industry is one of the biggest industries in the world. I’m not sure why I was surprised at the approach but I thought it was pretty shameless in the way in which the profit driven aspect was depicted as something positive and desirable. I couldn’t help feeling a bit indignant though, let me explain why.

I have long since learned to shut up about my beliefs about healing. I have had too many conversations which go more or less like this:

“Why do you work in marketing if you studied psychology?”

“I wanted to be a psychologist but after having studied it I don’t really believe that the traditional approach to psychology is helpful. Which led me to turn to alternative forms of healing.”

“Oh, what does that entail?”

“Well…” (I usually just get vague at this point in order to avoid any reference to shamanic techniques or energy healing. I’ll continue as if I did in fact express my healing interests.)

“That’s nice. I have heard of such and such a person who was exploited very much by someone parading as a psychic or a spiritualist. They were never quite the same after that.”

Or: “This person got into trouble because he was actually a physiotherapist but then he tried to do ‘energy healing’ on his patient, which didn’t work. One has to be very careful of these unscientific things.”

So I shut up for fear of being ridiculed or labelled as a hippie or unscientific. I know it’s a bit lame but after reading the Big Pharma article I think maybe I could be more shameless about my “beliefs” and appeal to people’s common sense a bit more.

Let’s start with science, which is supposed to be about knowledge and rationality. Somehow I’m not convinced. In the mind of the average person it has become synonymous with authority. If “science” says so then so it is and most people will consider that the end of the matter. In that case their responsibility to make their own assessment of the situation is relieved because someone who knows better has decided for them. It is also interesting to see that in the mind of the average person “unscientific” means it’s nonsense. To these people I would like to point out that deciding on the merit of something without bothering to look into it, all based on what “authority” has told you, makes no sense whatsoever.

Can we really trust authority if we look at who is in control? The greatest destruction in the history of mankind has been caused by those in power and those with knowledge. We complain and rage that it’s time for someone else to take over but we continue to entrust ourselves to authority. Maybe it’s time to ask ourselves what is in our best interest, and to consider that it might be in the interest of some people to have us believe that we cannot trust ourselves, much less other people, and that we therefore need the protection of someone in power.

Continuing on the topic of science: it’s supposed to be about the methodology and the reliability of the results. Yet I think that money plays an important role: only those who have enough to be endorsed by the right authorities can have the status. I’m not speaking against science and I will not deny that great breakthroughs have been made. Yet knowledge is only useful if it serves us. It is how we use knowledge that will determine whether we heal or harm. If science makes man god over creation, as so many seem to believe, then that is all the more reason for us to act responsibly. Although science can provide us with some of the answers to the whats and the hows, it can never answer the question “why” in the context of our lives. That is something that we have to answer for ourselves. We have to own up to the consequences of our actions following the answer. Not many are willing to do this, which is perhaps why we are so quick to look up to authority to tell us what we should believe and how we should live.

Returning to Big Pharma, I have decided not to judge too quickly. The only way that any business can make a lot of money is if they supply something that is in demand. If people want quick fixes to manage symptoms so they can continue their lives as “normal” then who am I to say that what pharmaceutical companies are doing is bad?

A final thought about science: as helpful as knowledge can be, it doesn’t help much knowing anything if we don’t live better as a result. I’ll venture to say that if we can learn to cooperate, love and live in peace then we’ll be a thousand times better off not knowing anything even if we think the earth is flat. Potential often lies not in what is known, because what is known has already been created. Potential is in the vast sea of unknown possibilities. How we act today will determine which possibility we bring into the reality of tomorrow.