How do psychics predict the future, unless the future is fixed?

Let me begin answering this thorny question with a categorical declaration: the future is absolutely not fixed! As we will discover throughout the course of the article, many events are highly predictable – even highly likely without drastic intervention – but none is fixed or inevitable.

How then do psychics manage to predict the future, often in minute detail, unless at least some aspects of our lives are preordained? There are several different explanations for this, ranging from the mundane to the highly metaphysical. Let’s start with the most mundane.

Let’s suppose I visit a two-bit gypsy psychic at a carnival, and she tells me that sometime in the next month, I’m going to meet a beautiful woman with long strawberry blonde hair. Although I may have doubts about her authenticity, still, being a single man this is a thought that I might very much like to come true. Even in spite of some doubts, it is possible that the gypsy’s prediction may set up enough curiosity and anticipation to make the event come to pass. Naturally a more credulous customer may accept the suggestion with even less resistance, and make its fulfillment even more likely. Hence the gypsy psychic is simply using the Law of Attraction on behalf of the client. The meeting with the beautiful blonde was not preordained, but rather was set up by the thought planted in the client’s head.

The second type of psychic prediction is one that many people have experienced first hand. It is a precognition of something that comes to pass shortly afterwards. We may think of a friend we haven’t heard from for some time, then soon after we receive a phone call from them. We may get a song stuck in our head, and then it gets played on the radio soon afterwards. Once the ability is honed, we may be able to consciously predict a person’s course of action, or even the outcome of sporting events, elections and so on.

All of this is easily explainable, and does not require any belief in the fixedness of the future. In all these examples, the future event had already been determined in advance of the outcome being known to the public. For example, radio playlists are typically created in advance – meaning that the decision to play a certain song had already been made before the song was actually played. The long-lost friend had probably thought of us already and made a decision to contact us before they actually dialed the number. The person receiving the premonition has merely detected the energy of this decision psychically before the event has actually taken place.

Even predicting the outcome of sporting events and elections can be explained in this way. Most people have already made up their mind how they will vote well before they actually cast their ballot. Similarly, any number of factors can make a sporting team energetically weaker or stronger than their opposition, even in spite of their perceived form or recent record. If the margin is sufficiently strong, then the energetically stronger team is almost a dead certainty to win. Again, the outcome is still not fixed – but it would require a massive shift in the energy levels of the two teams for the outcome to change.

The third method of predicting the future is the method used by all genuinely skilled psychic practitioners. In order to understand it fully, you must have some basic grasp of the nature of the universal spirit. It is an infinite, impersonal, impartial energy that seeks nothing but the communication of itself in every-expanding and evolving forms of expression. Because it is infinite in every conceivable way, one can view it as already containing the potential outcome of every possible course of action within itself – or if you prefer, you can simply view it as infinitely intelligent and therefore able to calculate every possible outcome of every possible decision that anyone could ever make.

Since the second option is easier to get our heads around, let’s go with that.

Many of the greatest psychics in the world – if not all of them – attribute their sometimes startlingly accurate predictions to this characteristic of the Universal Spirit. A now forgotten and reputedly brilliant psychic Richard Ireland, who was once world famous, writes about it in his book Your Psychic Potential – A Guide to Psychic Development. Many others have written about it in Law of Attraction texts. The infinite intelligence of the universe knows exactly what is required to bring a set of circumstances into physical reality, even if it is required to draw the means from the ends of the earth. Ireland referred to the mental state where the infinite intelligence of the universe meets the psychic realm as ‘A-one-ness psi’. He writes:

“I have often referred to A-one-ness psi as the most reliable activity of the psychic because of its ability to deal effectively with totalities. It is concerned with the entire matrix of people, places and things that combine to create a complex event and not concerned with just an individual element of that event. The point I am leading to is that A-one-ness psi, with its comprehensive grasp of probabilities, is predominately precognitive. A-one-ness psi provides a projection of the future on the basis of existing probabilities. In arranging and assessing these probabilities it resembles a computer. In fact, a deeper understanding of A-one-ness psi can be gained by comparing its operation to that of an automatic data processor.”

In other words, the universe knows exactly what the results of every decision we make are likely to be, as well as all the flow-on effects and all the results of all the consequent decisions resulting from each choice we make. Like an infinite calculator, inconceivably more powerful than the combined processing power of every computer on earth, it can also predict our most probable response to various circumstances and stimuli – and thereby predict with tremendous accuracy an entire chain of events, sometimes stretching forward for years. However, like the methods used for forecasting weather, the further into the future the predictions are, the more variables come into play. This means that the accuracy of the predictions necessarily decreases as time goes on. But predictions made in this way tend to be unnervingly accurate when confined to the upcoming year or two, provided the psychic is sufficiently skilled. Once an event has been foreseen, it generally requires a dramatic change of tack for it to be altogether avoided.

It should be noted that the more we advance in consciousness, the more we move away from base, animalistic instincts and reactive decisions – and consequently, the less predictable our behaviours become. Otherwise imagine the sort of existence led by a Christ or a Buddha – such accurate, detailed powers of psychic perception as they must possess would render them mere automatons, doomed to act out the scripts they had foreseen for themselves.

But people who lack the higher intellectual and spiritual faculties can be predicted in some detail by the skilled psychic, even when placed in entirely hypothetical situations. For example, a skilled psychic could rapidly scan through the first year or so of a person’s career in a particular job, before they had even applied for that job. Such a psychic can even put two people together in a hypothetical marriage and visualise what this relationship would look like.

Spirituality never demands that we abandon rationality, nor submit ourselves blindly to a mystery. Even some of the most perplexing questions have a rational explanation, and I am forever being astonished by all the spiritual phenomena that once seemed an unfathomable mystery to me, which I now understand at least to the point where I am no longer gnawed at by impossible questions. Of course I am not so naive as to think that everything in the universe can be grasped by the rational mind, but there is still so much unnecessary mystery and confusion surrounding what are really quite basic, routine functions of the human soul – even though most people have not yet discovered them.

Our futures can be foreseen only to the extent that we allow our predictable animalistic natures to tie us down. The future is not fixed, and there is no such thing as fate or destiny, other than our shared destinies to become fully conscious, individualised forms of the Universal Spirit.

In the spiritual life should you follow your heart, or follow your head?

Since the spiritual realm lies beyond the mind – and many people even argue that the mind is the enemy of spirituality – should we assume that all our emotional impulses come from an inspired source, and should be followed? Or do all these impulses need to be passed through the mind before they are to be followed? Or is there an even higher principle we can apply that transcends both?

This is actually a very simple matter, but it tends to cause much unnecessary confusion. After all, following our heart at all times appears to open us up to dangerous emotional caprices – and subjecting every motion of the heart to the cold rationality of the mind would surely cut us off from all the inspirations of the higher spiritual faculties. So how do we decide when to follow our heart, and when to follow our head? The Hawkins scale of consciousness gives us the answers.

Negative emotions like shame, guilt, grief, fear, desire, anger and pride are all very low in consciousness, and fall below the crucial threshold of 200 that distinguishes ‘power’ from ‘force’. On the other hand, rational intellectual enquiry calibrates at 400, making it vastly superior in consciousness to these negative feelings. In effect, this means that all negative emotions should be rationally examined, to the extent that this is possible. On the intellectual level, we cannot always talk ourselves out of a negative emotion with reason, but it pays to examine the feeling and determine whether it actually has a rational basis.

For example, shame is essentially an emotion that tells us ‘you are bad’. A person who accepts this feeling uncritically as evidence that they are bad is likely to suffer from poor self-worth, and all the problems that come along with it. Giving in to the feeling without any rational analysis of it is essentially agreeing that you are bad. A rational response to the feeling of shame would go something like “I did some bad things in the past, and I will ensure I do not repeat those mistakes. But I am a perfect child of God with inherent self-worth. These feelings do not in any way represent my true self.”

Anger, fear and suspicion are all emotions that can play major havoc with our lives, especially in relationships. For example, one person in the relationship may fear being abandoned by the other; perhaps due to having been abandoned in the past. This feeling, if unchecked by reason, is likely to lead to possessive behaviour, suspicion, and ultimately to the very abandonment they feared in the first place.

Not all emotions are irrational, however. If the person in this example rationally considers their feelings and finds solid evidence that the other person is uncommitted to them, then ending the relationship may be a reasonable option. Our emotions, good and bad, are all there to tell us something, after all. The only problem is that they don’t always tell us what we need to know at the time, because we often feel old emotions in new situations due to stuck emotions and resonances. We may be in an objectively great relationship, but the fact of being in a relationship may have a certain resonance that brings up old negative emotions from past experiences, which we then blame on our current partner.

Anger can be justified sometimes, too. For example, feeling anger at a grave injustice is known in Christian theology as righteous anger. The classic example of righteous anger is Christ’s overturning of the merchants’ tables in the temple. Ultimately Christ taught love and forgiveness as the highest principles, but there were certain circumstances where swift action against an injustice was called for. But we must use our rational faculty and be certain that what we are feeling is truly righteous anger, and not mere self righteousness.  Spoiler alert: it is almost always the latter.

As helpful as the intellectual faculty can be, we should not stop at rationally analysing our emotions. There is an even higher principle than the mind, which begins at level 500 on the Hawkins scale – the level of Love. The vast majority of people spend their lives in the bottom half of the scale, and comparatively very few ever make it past the level of Reason. But even though it is rare for people to move their entire consciousness past 500, most people still use the principle of love in their lives, either by expressing love for other people, or through an appreciation of the concept of universal love.

True love is not the same as infatuation, nor attraction, nor like. Indeed, you can love a person without even liking them – though one should probably not get into a relationship with such a person. But rather than being a feeling, true love is the beginning of the direct experience of the goodness of the Universal Spirit, either by direct contemplation of the Spirit, or by appreciating the positive qualities of the Spirit reflected in another person. Very often this experience is accompanied by tangible positive feelings in the heart, but it does not have to be. As we open ourselves up to a deeper and deeper experience of the goodness of the Spirit, we move beyond the mere human understanding of love into the higher divine experiences of it, designated by Hawkins as Joy (calibrated at 540), Peace (600) and Enlightenment (700+).

When we experience true love or any of the states beyond it, the feeling does not need to be analysed. It is above reason, and analysing it with the mind can only weaken or destroy it. But even if we are not permanently in a high spiritual state, we can still evoke the power of these states to deal with negative emotions or any other problems in our life whatsoever. How? It’s simple – cease worrying and refer the problem to God.

This is the principle that makes Emmet Fox’s The Golden Key so powerful. Don’t think about the problem – think about God instead. By raising our consciousness above the base fears we feel about a problem, to the higher divine principles of God – we raise our consciousness on that particular matter to a higher state even than reason. Even if we only experience a faint grasp of a true spiritual knowing – or to say it another way, if we have faith; if we believe in the true spiritual principles without yet having experienced them directly and palpably – this is enough to get results.

Bring God to all your problems; bring love into all your relationships – these principles are higher than your fears and shame. These principles are higher even than the clearest reasoning in the world could ever be. You will discover that there is no knot in the world that can’t be untied if God is put on the case, and no relationship that cannot be redeemed at least in some way by bringing faith and love to the table.

It cannot be said often enough that a successful relationship must be based on true love, rather than infatuation or mere sexual attraction. But too many people give up on relationships where true love exists, simply because they go through a period of boredom or conflict. In his wonderful book on the Sermon on the Mount, Emmet Fox laments this defeatist approach, reiterates Christ’s statements against divorce, and then writes:

As none of us is perfect, and the complainant is certain to have his or her own faults no less than the delinquent, he or she should endeavor, if it can possibly be done, to make the present marriage a success by persistently knowing the Spiritual Truth about both parties. If the aggrieved partner will steadfastly see the Christ Truth about the other one, then, in nearly every case a happy solution will be the outcome. I have known a number of instances where marriages which were on the point of being dissolved were saved in this way with the most satisfactory results. One woman said, after a few months of handling her problem spiritually, ‘The man I was going to divorce has disappeared; and the man whom I married has come back. We are perfectly happy again.’”

As Fox implies, there are some cases where separation may be necessary – such as physical abuse or similar. But these marriages were unlikely to be based on true love in the first place. And it’s wise to remember that even these relationships could theoretically be redeemed, with enough faith.

So to return to the original question – should we follow the heart, or follow the head? If our heart is leading us to experience negative emotions, then we should follow our head and subject those emotions to reason. Then once the problem is clearer, we should invoke the higher principles of the heart by bringing faith and love to the situation.

So do we really need the mind at all? There is a place for both of them, but the more our consciousness expands, the more we will turn straight to the spirit. The intellectual phase, after all, is just that – a phase in the spiritual journey. We cannot become enlightened spiritual beings without it, but as we grow in the spiritual life, true spiritual knowing begins to take the place of intellectual knowledge.

But please do not underestimate the importance of the intellectual phase in the meantime. Whenever you turn to the Spirit, it is best to know exactly what your problem is, and the mind will help in understanding this. For example, if you are feeling shame, or the tangible expression of the belief that you are bad, it is better to contemplate God and say ‘please help me to understand that my true nature is the same as yours’ rather than to say ‘please let some of your goodness rub off onto my filth.’ Or if you unfairly suspect a partner of being uncommitted, it is better to contemplate God and say ‘please let me see all these wonderful divine qualities in my husband’ than to essentially say ‘please let me somehow see past all his lies and deception to the divine being he is obscuring with all his terrible behaviour.’

The mind and the higher heart principles both play an important role in our spiritual development. But as for the lower heart principles, or negative emotions – all of these calibrate below Hawkins’ crucial level of 200. The lower principle must always be subject to the higher.

The best explanation of how the Law of Attraction actually works

Every spiritual school seems to have its own explanation of how the Law of Attraction actually works. Many of these are confusing and contradictory, and yet – as we shall see – many of them still work, because they correctly make use of certain principles, even though they seem to be mostly unaware of what those principles actually are.

I am here offering an explanation of the Law of Attraction that appears to tie all these schools of thought together, and cast a new light on things that will help us to understand the Law of Attraction in a different way. My primary source is, as usual, Thomas Troward – although I will also rely heavily on personal experience to extrapolate Troward’s teachings. I will begin by quoting from a remarkable chapter of Troward’s Edinburgh Lectures, where he delves into the two main aspects of the human mind – the subconscious and the conscious, or as he here calls them, the subjective and the objective.

From The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science, lecture 4:

A long series of careful experiments by highly trained observers, some of them men of worldwide reputation, has fully established certain remarkable differences between the action of the subjective and that of the objective mind which may be briefly stated as follows:

The subjective [subconscious] mind is only able to reason deductively, and not inductively, while the objective mind can do both. Deductive reasoning is the pure syllogism which shows why a third proposition must necessarily result if two others are assumed, but which does not help us to determine whether the two initial statements are true or not. To determine this is the province of inductive reasoning, which draws its conclusions from the observation of a series of facts…”

Innumerable experiments on persons in the hypnotic state have shown that the subjective mind is utterly incapable of making the selection and comparison which are necessary to the inductive process, but will accept any suggestion – however false – but having once accepted any suggestion, it is strictly logical in deducing the proper conclusions from it, and works out every suggestion to the minutest fraction of the results which flow from it. As a consequence of this it follows that the subjective mind is entirely under the control of the objective [conscious] mind. With the utmost fidelity it reproduces and works out to its final consequences whatever the objective mind impressed upon it; and the facts of hypnotism show that ideas can be impressed upon the subjective mind by the objective mind of another as well as by that of its own individuality…”

Under the control of the practised hypnotist the very personality of the subject becomes changed for the time being; he believes himself to be whatever the operator tells him he is: he is a swimmer breasting the waves, a bird flying in the air, a soldier in the tumult of battle, an Indian stealthily tracking his victim: in short, for the time being, he identifies himself with any personality that is impressed upon him by the will of the operator, and acts the part with inimitable accuracy.”

In summary, the conscious or objective mind possesses the faculty of inductive reasoning – or observing facts and determining truth from falsehood – while the subconscious or subjective mind only reasons deductively, which is the faculty of calculating what consequences follow when certain initial facts are assumed.

The subconscious mind is essentially our connection to the Universal, undifferentiated mind, or the mind of God. God does not deal in truths or falsehoods; God simply creates. If God decides that something is true, then it becomes true, and our subconscious minds operate in the same way. Hence, if the conscious mind is put to sleep via hypnotism and a sufficiently skilled hypnotist impresses a certain suggestion upon it, then the subconscious accepts that suggestion and works out the logical consequences of it. The subconscious mind does not evaluate the truth or falsehood of the suggestion; it simply responds by working out the conclusions that follow if the suggestion is true.

The subconscious mind has no ideas about itself and no concept of limitation. It conceives of itself as being precisely what is conveyed to it by external suggestion; typically the external suggestion of our conscious mind – this is how all visualisation and self-suggestion works. To take a common example, if you visualise yourself as a millionaire and feel the truth of it so palpably that it becomes real to you, then you are programming the subconscious mind just like the hypnotist who convinces his subject that he is a bird flying in the air. Once the subconscious has accepted the suggestion of the visualisation, it will manifest as a physical reality, provided that no stronger contrary suggestion is impressed upon the subconscious to undermine the initial suggestion.

And here is where most people fail in programming their subconscious. They allow external circumstances to program the subconscious with contrary suggestions to their visualisation. We see the destructive effects of contrary suggestions in the hypnosis example – when the hypnotised subject returns to his normal state, his conscious mind resumes its observation of facts, finds that the subject’s body is not covered in feathers, and the hypnotic spell quickly wears off due to the stronger contrary suggestion received from the observation of the senses and reasoning of the conscious mind. Similarly, if the would-be millionaire awakes from his visualisation and then proceeds pinching every penny as he previously did, his actions are impressing the idea of lack upon the subconscious. If he instead begins to spend as though money were no object then he is acting consistently with his visualisation. But if he spends in this way for a few weeks, fails to see results, and then panics, then he has undone all his good work and may in fact end up further back than where he started from, as his panic will form a powerful suggestion of lack that the subconscious will respond to.

Hence, most people simply do not have the consciousness required to successfully carry out such a spectacular manifestation, and so the Law of Attraction becomes like all other too-good-to-be-true schemes like foreign currency trading. In theory, it holds an easy solution to all of our problems. In reality, its tremendous simplicity can be supremely complicated to grasp.

But then, the Law of Attraction was never meant to be the saleable commodity it has become. Its enticing promises have invited exploitation from opportunists, who have often stripped out every other teaching of the spiritual life and focused solely on the promise of riches. But it was never meant to be taken out of the context of our wider spiritual development. It’s not a magical formula for getting stuff; rather the ability to use it is the natural consequence of an increase in spiritual understanding.

Yes, Christ said “ask and ye shall receive” – but he also said “seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all other things shall be added unto you”. Not only will our spiritual powers naturally unfold as a result of our increased knowledge of the Universal Spirit, but our desires will begin falling into order, and we will discover that the legitimate use for all spiritual laws is doing good for others and evolving our souls. This does not mean we cannot ask for particular favours, monetary or otherwise – but they should fit into the grand scheme of our spiritual development, and not simply be directed towards creating a comfortable, luxurious life. And as our spiritual development unfolds, our consciousness increases – and in this higher state of consciousness, things tend to come to us without us even needing to ask.

With that said, we are certainly entitled to use our spiritual powers, provided that the end goal of our efforts is in conformity with the will of universal love. In Chapter 5 of the Edinburgh Lectures, Troward offers a suggestion as to how to overcome the negating effects of existing circumstances that we encountered earlier. He encourages us to reflect that there is a spiritual prototype of our completed goal that already exists on the metaphysical plane. As spirit has no concept of time, it follows that the spiritual prototype of our visualisation must exist as an already accomplished fact, here and now. By focusing on the existence of this spiritual prototype as an already accomplished fact, we are taking our attention away from external appearances and secondary causes, and focusing instead on first cause. By reversing our mode of thinking in this way and focusing on the originating principle rather than the secondary results that flow from it, our world will begin to change – just as a change in a shadow inevitably follows upon a change to the object that casts it. We need to view the spiritual world, where we are truly rich in every way, as the real world, and the physical world the mere reflection of it.

And despite the insistence of many Law of Attraction teachers, it is not strictly necessary to visualise anything. The advantages of visualising are that – if palpably felt – it conveys the truth of the visualised outcome very powerfully to the subconscious mind, and also helps us to get very clear with exactly what we are trying to manifest. But for those who struggle with visualising, it is possible to obtain results purely through the power of belief, as long as we hold fast to the belief and do not plant a contrary suggestion in our subconscious by entertaining doubts or acting as though the belief were not true. Explicitly religious people typically do not visualise; but many successfully manifest favours simply by their belief in the power of prayer. Christ said “Believing ye shall receive”, not “After visualising, ye shall receive”. In the end, belief is the funnel through which everything flows. Believe that an outcome will occur, and you are powerfully programming your subconscious to expect it. Believe that your methods are faulty, or you’re not skilled enough at them, or you took a crucial misstep, and you’re programming your subconscious for failure. Hence certain Law of Attraction teachers who prescribe specific methods as being absolutely necessary to the creative process sometimes set up unhelpful negative expectations in the minds of those who find their methods difficult to replicate.

Furthermore, many of the different schools seem to directly contradict each other on certain points. Most notably is the question of whether we should continue thinking about a goal after we have visualised it, or whether we should simply set the intention and then let it go. And here it is helpful to understand the principles behind the teaching, in order to decide which method is going to be most suitable for you.

Generally speaking, if you are good at visualising and able to form a vivid, believable, lifelike picture of your goal fulfilled, then you should visualise it once and then drop the matter. Your vivid mental picture will deeply impress upon your subconscious mind, and it will immediately go to work to bring the vision into physical manifestation. You should await the results with calm and confident expectancy; anything else that you add to it from that point onward is only likely to retard its progress. If you do use any other technique to keep your mind on track, such as Troward’s suggestion mentioned earlier, it should only be to chase away doubts, rather than to speed up the process or increase its effectiveness.

If you are unable to form vivid mental pictures, then your subconscious may require some additional programming. It will act upon whatever is impressed upon it the most vividly, and so if you are unable to do this with a mental picture, you can do it with frequent reminders of the goal, such as palm cards with your goals written them in present tense, or some other form of regular affirmations. The only drawback with this method is that you must be able to evoke the feeling of the wish fulfilled on cue – at least to some extent – and avoid any negativity concerning that subject. For example, it may be relatively easy to indulge in positive feelings concerning a romantic relationship; but for most people who don’t yet have such a relationship, this will also stir up feelings of loneliness and discouragement. It is also very important to avoid any sense of trying to hurry the speed of the manifestation by the use of these methods. The end game is to convince the subconscious that the goal has already been fulfilled by vividly conveying to it the feeling of the goal fulfilled. If we attempt to hurry it in any way then we are only impressing it with our own impatience. This is why, despite their potential, so many people find affirmations to be useless or even counterproductive.

My recommended method for those who cannot vividly visualise (and also for those who can – along with continuing their visualisation methods) is to use the principles of Emmett Fox’s The Golden Key. It’s a mere brief pamphlet – shorter than this article even – but its power has been proven by the thousands that have used it over the decades since it was first published.

The formula is simple: don’t think about the problem, but instead think about God. So if you are trying to manifest a relationship, rather than visualising your own perfect relationship, just know that it is all in God’s hands, and then meditate frequently on God’s love without any specific reference to your own loneliness, and without any specific expectations. Rather, maintain a confident expectancy in the ability and willingness of God to bring you all good things. If you are trying to manifest wealth, instead of visualising yourself swimming through a tank full of money, meditate frequently on the infinite abundance of God, and expect all good things to come to you. If you are trying to advance spiritually, meditate frequently on the infinite wisdom, goodness and intelligence of God, and know that all these things will come to you.

Fox prescribes this as a remedy for dissolving any difficulty, but it can be used as a means of attaining goals, too. If you feel the need to stick scrupulously to Fox’s original formula, then simply phrase the goal as a difficulty and ‘golden key’ it. If you are trying to manifest a relationship, ‘golden key’ your loneliness. If you are trying to manifest money, ‘golden key’ your lack. If you are trying to advance spiritually, ‘golden key’ your spiritual stagnation.  If you need further instructions on how to think about God, read Fox’s The Seven Main Aspects of God.

The beauty of Fox’s technique is that it works directly with belief in absolute spiritual principles, rather than concerning itself with evoking feelings or changing existing circumstances.  See, often by thinking about goals that are yet to be fulfilled, we activate old programming, old negative expectations, and past negative emotions. This is what Law of Attraction teacher Esther Hicks calls ‘blocked pipes’ – it’s negative energetic residue that can sabotage our attempts to feel positive about our goals. It’s much easier to program our subconscious to expect all manner of good things to come from the Universal Spirit, than to program ourselves for very specific things – especially when we have many blocked pipes. By powerfully affirming our belief in spiritual principles, we are raising our vibration and denying any additional energy to our existing unfavourable circumstances.

Don’t get me wrong – visualising and affirmations work well for many people. But Fox’s techniques work for everyone, when persisted in.  At the end of the day, we don’t even require a technique at all. Christ made the whole matter incredibly simple – according to him, it is all a matter of asking and believing:

Therefore I say unto you, all things whatsoever you ask when you pray, believe that you shall receive and they shall come unto you.” Mark 11:24.

Absolutely all works out for the greater good, in ways we cannot possibly forsee

This is the final part of a three part series discussing how the Universal Spirit brings things into physical manifestation by the path of least resistance. Part one and part two are here linked.

From what I have been able to ascertain about my past incarnations, in my previous lifetime I was something of a reactionary writer, deploring the moral condition of the world in the mid 20th century and stubbornly campaigning for a return to Victorian morality, if not an earlier standard.  However, I am no longer a reactionary. Hoping for the return of the past is a futile exercise. Creation is ever moving forward into greater and more perfect forms of expression, urged on by the ceaseless evolutionary tide of the Universal Spirit. Attempting to return to the past is as hopeless as paddling upstream against a gale force wind.

The reactionary sees only the patch of the stream that he is currently in; and finding the waters choppier than he expected, he stubbornly paddles in the opposite direction. The spiritually enlightened man sees the stream from start to finish, and does not concern himself with the places where the water gets rough – he concerns himself only with where the stream ends up. He knows that all works out for the greater good, and the rough patches of water are simply the tide following its natural course – the course of least resistance – with no regard to the conditions it may produce along the way.

We certainly appear to be in rough waters at the moment. Never before in recorded history has there been such a rapid, universal breakdown of order in the world. Before the 20th century, it appeared as though most of society’s institutions were slowly inching towards a brighter future. Many of the New Thought pioneers proclaimed the turn of the century as the dawn of the Golden Age. Now, a century and a bit later, the nuclear family is a smouldering ruin. Divorce rates are at an all-time high. Men, and ever-increasingly women, are using porn at unprecedented rates, as a desperate substitute for real-life relationships. The education system is immersed in political propaganda, yet many students make it to high school with only the most rudimentary literacy and numeracy skills. The most widely praised and awarded art celebrates the grotesque and eschews the beautiful; real artists are marginalised while modernist con-artists collect government grants to produce trash. I could go on and on, but I’m starting to sound like a reactionary.

However, unlike in my previous lifetime, I understand now that the Universal Spirit is absolutely impersonal and impartial. It brings about its designs through a colossal law of averages, and takes the quickest and most efficient path in doing so. Human preferences do not come into the equation at all. If the fall of humanity in the 20th century has been the greatest of all time, it is reasonable to assume that the reaction to this fall will be proportional. Even if somehow it is not, we must not be unnerved. The Universal Spirit knows much, much better than us how to convey us to our ultimate destination, and the most efficient means may not always be the most palatable to human tastes.

Am I glad there is an epidemic of porn addiction in the world? Absolutely not! Do I wish there were laws prohibiting the production and sale of pornography? In many ways, yes. But what I would like even more than that is to live in a world where people don’t need to be told to avoid porn, either by laws or by societal norms. They avoid porn because they understand for themselves the damage it causes to body, mind and soul, and avoid it like rabies without even being told to.  The men who have suffered through porn addiction and conquered it are the men who are the least likely to want to return to that hog trough. They’ve been there, they know where it ends, and if their conquest of the habit is whole and entire then they will see nothing of the mysterious allure in porn that their fathers in the 1960s may have thought it held. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but once learnt you don’t forget it. And such lessons don’t die with the individual who learns them, either – they remain in his subconscious accumulated spiritual knowledge and eventually pass into the collective consciousness.  This is just one lesson of many that society needs to learn, of course – and we are certain to learn a lot from this current mess!

When a reactionary looks back at certain images of the past, it’s tempting to see only the good things, and forget that even the rosiest portraits of society were hardly the picture of a complete and perfected utopia. Take the superficially ordered society of America in the 1950s. We see images of a rosy-cheeked mother in a floral apron cooking dinner for her family, while a neatly dressed, hard-working father smokes his pipe and reads his newspaper by the open fire. Two smiling children – one boy and one girl – sit happily at the table playing board games.  Who could see such an image and fail to realise that society has lost something precious? Make no mistake – that society was a great deal happier than our own. But even without the influence of cultural forces proactively trying to destroy it, it could not have lasted. The world has a long, long way to go until it reaches the level of consciousness where any such society can have any permanence. Until then, we will remain stuck in a loop where good times create weak people, weak people create hard times, hard times create strong people, and strong people create good times. If all we are trying to do is create another 50s utopia, the people living in it will become weak before long. We cannot legislate utopia into being, either with religious laws or civil laws. The kingdom of heaven is within us, and all people must find it before we will have heaven on earth.

So how do we apply this knowledge in our daily lives? Simple – cease paddling against the tide. Things are exactly as they need to be in the world, considering its present state of evolution. Although not complete, the plan is still perfect and everything will come to fruition in its own good time. When you notice yourself railing against circumstances, recognise without judgment that it is nothing but the ego throwing a tantrum.  The more of self, or ego, that remains within us, the more we feel the tyranny of our own preferences nagging at us. Conversely, the more we rid our souls of self and seek only to cooperate with the unfolding of the divine plan, the more we see and profoundly feel that everything is exactly as it ought to be, in ourselves and in the world. And naturally, the less resistance we create to the inevitable tide of the Universal Spirit’s plan. When preferences cease to have a hold over us, we cease to create resistance and simply “go with the flow”. When we no longer desire things to be any way other than how they are, then things are always right with us. We always want what we have, therefore we always have what we want. Moreover, the more we obey the resistless tide of evolution, the less use the Spirit has for averse circumstances. If all this sounds like just a spiritualisation of stoicism, it is not – it is far, far more profound. This profound spiritual truth is taught in Taoism, Christianity and Buddhism – it is certainly not my own invention.

But what’s that, you say – God creates averse circumstances in our life? I thought all of our circumstances were entirely self-created? Yes, that is true – however, if there is anything in your life that you have as yet failed to change, then there is clearly a discrepancy between your intellectual understanding of your potential to control your life, and the reality of actually doing it. Do not misunderstand how the process of creation works. If you suffer a misfortune next week, it is probably not because of that one errant thought of anxiety that you had while driving to work last week. Most circumstances that occur to us are not so directly self-inflicted.  We understand the potential to control circumstances, but we know that we are not quite there yet. It is this ‘knowing we are not quite there’ which creates a life that is somewhat beyond our control. We may have learnt to control parts of it, sure, but controlling the entire thing is just too far beyond our current understanding. If we could somehow wake up tomorrow and deeply understand that we have the power, then all the circumstances of our life would come under our conscious control. But gaining this understanding is the entire process of our evolution.

Into this void where we believe we do not control things, flows a stream of ordered chaos. The Universal Spirit can and does use this stream of chaos to bring us averse circumstances, if they are to our ultimate benefit. Even if you hold the view that every aspect of this seemingly chaotic stream represents some particular aspect of your thoughts and actions that requires remedy – and that not even a bug can splatter on your windscreen without a corresponding thought-cause – my point still holds good. Creating less resistant energy is still bound to result in us manifesting fewer circumstances that we want to resist.

So when you find your ego kicking and screaming against circumstances, stand apart from it, just for a moment. Recognise what it is doing, and simply observe it without judgment. Then listen for the voice of your higher self within. It will tell you that all is well, as it ever has been and always will be.

How the Universe evolves the world using the path of least resistance

Last week I wrote about the common spiritual understanding that the Law of Attraction will always follow the path of least resistance to manifest ideas into reality. I then expanded on this concept and showed that the Universal Spirit uses the path of least resistance to slowly evolve our souls into the perfection that he envisaged for us from the beginning of time. In this second part of the article, I will examine how the Spirit uses the same path of least resistance to evolve the physical world as a whole.

As I explained last week, God’s grand plan of perfected humanity and a glorious perfected physical world are, of course, nothing but his own perfect visualisation gradually unfolding into physical manifestation. There is no reason at all to assume that this divine power of creative visualisation operates any differently when it is used on the individual scale or on the universal scale. It is precisely the same faculty operating on a vastly different scale – as, after all, we are made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, the creation of perfected human souls expressing the individualised glory of God, and the creation of a perfected world expressing the same both gradually unfold via the path of least resistance.

Once we understand this – and along with it, the impersonal indifference of God on the universal scale – it is impossible to view worldly circumstances as anything other than the slow but perfect unfolding of this grand plan. We are exactly where we ought to be at the present moment, and the world is exactly where it ought to be, also. A deep understanding of these truths will bring us peace and any worry or excitement about the state of the world will cease.

Worry or excitement about the state of the world are really just expressions of our own human preferences about how the world should be. Virtually since Jesus was crucified, Christians have been predicting that the end was nigh. And although New Thought, as a public and organised movement, goes back a far shorter period than dogmatic Christianity, New Thought writers have ever predicted that the Great Awakening was imminent.  Yet from the peak of the New Thought movement a century ago until now, society seems to have declined sharply in consciousness by most quantifiable measures – even the standard of spiritual thought seems to have taken a dive. Admittedly, even the early New Thought movement had its “get rich quick” set, who painted the Universe as nothing more than an infinite ATM – but intellectually solid, scholarly men like Thomas Troward also enjoyed a significant following, and true spiritual men like Joseph Benner were making an impact in their own way.

I can’t even begin to imagine how disheartened Troward would have been if he could’ve gazed into a crystal ball and seen the world that produced TikTok and Justin Bieber. He could only have wondered what on earth had gone wrong, and whatever happened to the glorious dawning of the New Age. And yet even in this disordered mess of a society, which at first glance appears to be crumbling into intellectual, spiritual and artistic ruin – many, many more people are getting a first taste of true spiritual principles than possibly ever before. So is it the great awakening, or is it the end times? Or are we simply witnessing a series of opposing trend forces, some of which are trending towards disintegration and others of which are slowly trending towards truth and consciousness?

We are witnessing the latter, and all of these trends are following the path of least resistance. It’s just like our example last week – the Universal Spirit guides an individual soul in its evolution by exploiting its weaknesses, waiting for the soul’s reaction after things become unbearable – relying on its hatred of suffering to ensure the soul claws its way out of the pit – then waiting for things to become unbearable again. Society is just a collection of individual souls, and so it works exactly the same way.

But of course, some people in society have more power than others, and therefore more influence over its direction. By the very nature of the case, the people who rise to positions of power tend to be in a relatively low state of evolution, where the lust for material and worldly gain are the first priority, and high-minded principles are a distant second, if they come into the equation at all. Being born into the right families and knowing the right people also helps a great deal to get along in this world, and it is a simple matter for the Spirit to ensure that only people at a worldly stage of evolution are born into these families.

The reason why the world must presently be governed by this class is because we have not yet evolved to a stage where it can be governed by a wise and benevolent power – the people simply would not co-operate with it. Witness the treatment of Jesus. Until we are at a point where we can consciously and fruitfully direct the evolution of the planet, we must be forcefully subject to the tides of the Universal Will, ever directing us on towards our perfection, and ever indifferent to the method employed.

The easiest way for the Universal Spirit to force society onward is to appeal to the base instincts of the worldly status seekers in positions of power. Hence, since the beginning of time virtually all political leaders with any significant influence in the world have been amoral kleptomaniacs, brazenly acting in self interest at all times and regarding the good of the people as a matter of secondary importance, at best. This has never been more obvious than at the present day, when governments all around the world are selling out their own countries to serve global financial interests, without a moment’s pause. In virtually all countries in the world, the betrayal of the citizens is now so thorough and egregious that politicians barely even maintain a facade of representing their own constituents.

Again, God is using their base instincts to lead the world in a certain direction – in this case, creating a global system which will in time be used to bring truth and freedom to the whole world. Whether we see this framework used for good within our own lifetime, or whether it takes centuries or millennia is none of our concern. It is all part of a Grand Plan that cannot fail – and whatever events take place within that Grand Plan – whether they be joys or sorrows – will be used to further our own soul’s evolution.

However, it cannot have failed to escape anyone with their eyes open that the pace of change seems to be rapidly accelerating, especially over the past two years. For the people in power, this appears to be a great tactical blunder, caused by their exponentially increasing greed and impatience. For it is true that they now have tighter controls over the population than ever before, but more people are awake to their true designs than ever, also. Hence, we see the first rays of light shining at the end of what perhaps may have looked like an endless tunnel of darkness. Again, it may be some time before any significant awakening occurs, but the mechanisms are clear. Presently, most people find that self-delusion and complacency are the paths of least resistance, but in the past two years, many complacent people have realised that it is more painful to continue to delude themselves than it is to admit the truth and begin to do something about it. For these people, self-honesty and action is now the path of least resistance. When the remainder of society decides the same thing, then change will come.

Yes, everything happening in the world, no matter how distasteful to human preferences it may seem, will eventually set in motion an opposite reaction that will change things for the better. Allow me to give a couple of random examples.

The sexual appetites of society used to be governed by religious dogma, and then later by societal conventions loosely based on these same dogmas. Thus, for most people the path of least resistance was to get married and live a respectable life – thereby enabling them to indulge their sexual appetites and remain in good standing with wider society. However, the sexual revolution in the mid 20th century changed all that, and made ungoverned sexual behaviour an acceptable fact of society. Without religious and societal expectations to govern people’s actions, the path of least resistance naturally became the path of indulgence. The result of this was that marriage and true love declined while divorce skyrocketed, as did STDs, unwanted pregnancies and shameless promiscuity. After high speed internet was invented, many people – mostly men – found themselves hopelessly addicted to porn and lacking motivation to form real relationships or do anything else with their lives, so all-consuming had the addiction become.

At this point, many men found that the path of indulgence had become too painful, and that the new path of least resistance was abstinence from pornography, since it seemed to carry with it many overall benefits to their lives. The number of abstainers may still be minuscule compared to the number of users, but it is significant, and growing. When such people learn to govern their sexual behaviour, they are doing so with a profound understanding of the reasons behind this self-restraint. Once this understanding becomes widespread, society as a whole will have a far greater reverence for sexual purity than blind obedience to a religious dogma could ever have taught it. Thus, the original descent into sexual anarchy was a stepping stone to society’s greater evolution.

Corporate greed gives us another great example of the shifting tide. Many large companies are now refusing to hire full time staff, preferring instead to use the services of contractors, as it absolves them of any legal obligation to provide benefits to their workforce, and makes cutbacks and layoffs much simpler. Many companies are even cutting back on office space to save on rent, and expecting staff to work from home on a regular basis. In the short term, this appears to be a gross infringement of worker’s rights, and work from home arrangements appear to be unhealthy, unnatural and potentially isolating.

For a great many people, being a wage slave to a corporation was the safest path to take in life – the path of least resistance.  But many contractors are now finding that is no longer the case, and as such they are beginning to awaken to the truth, which is that the corporations need them a lot more than they need the corporations. Many are beginning to see themselves as free agents, able to set their own conditions, and refusing to work with companies who cannot meet these conditions. Working from home has given them the first taste of flexible working arrangements, which can be beneficial to their mental health when proper precautions are taken and their social needs are met. Many are beginning to feel, for the first time, that they are not slaves to a corporation but businessmen, selling themselves as the product. This growing consciousness of their own power and worth will no doubt lead to even further circumventing of large corporations in the future. Thus, by following the path of least resistance – greed – these corporations have set trains of consequences in motion that will eventually bring their downfall.

I could go on and on with such examples, and probably will do so in a future article. But for the sake of brevity, I shall leave it at that and conclude with some comments about where we presently find society on the scale of consciousness, specifically the Hawkins scale of consciousness expounded in the book Power vs. Force.

Just as the evolution of a soul will always follow the path described by Hawkins’ scale, so will society follow the same course. The various levels below 200 on the scale are designated as “force”, or the stage where individuals are at the mercy of circumstances, and have not yet discovered their true inner power. On a societal level, this phase corresponds to all of human history up until this point. The majority of human history has been dominated by organised religion, and in a religious society, the path of least resistance is the path of obedience to dogma.

Christianity primarily used fear to control people’s behaviour. Of course there are many different levels of adherence to Christianity, and it would be unfair to deny that it inspired many into advanced spiritual states. But the predominant force that influenced most of its adherents was fear. Buddhism and Hinduism did the same in the east – inspiring many in total to great spiritual heights, and controlling the masses with superstitious threats about karmic consequences. After the wholesale abandonment of organised religion in the 20th century, we entered this brief, inevitable period of base indulgence, where sex, food and mindless entertainment seem to form the basis of most people’s happiness. But the resurgence of interest in New Thought principles in the last 20 years has shown that, as a society, we have evolved beyond that state. Most of us will not be content to derive meaning from base desires for very long. Most people are actually very unhappy living in this state, and many are seeking higher answers. For the first time in history, those answers are available.

Most will not seek the highest answers, as we are now only moving into the earliest stages of personal empowerment, where worldly achievements are the main goal.  But as people grow in power, their ascent up the scale of consciousness tends to accelerate, as powers add to powers and they begin to evolve more rapidly. Hence we have every reason to expect that the next phases of the world’s evolution will be more rapid than the first. But as we are perhaps only now breaking through the level of 200 – a process which will take some time in itself – be aware that we still have a long way to go before we even get to the intellectual level, or Reason, which begins at 400, let alone the advanced spiritual levels.

Many excited New Agers have already declared that the intellectual phase is over – it was tried during the Enlightenment phase, and was found wanting because it was not united to spirituality. But all true intellectualism is in harmony with spirituality, and any philosophical reasoning that denies spirituality or affirms the meaninglessness of life is a product of the levels below 200. The Enlightenment was an arrogant and vain intellectual movement that attempted to replace the laws of nature with laws of man’s own devising, instead of understanding and working with the natural order. No-one in the levels above 400 could have any possible use for it.

But wherever society happens to be on the scale of consciousness, let us always be at peace with what is happening in the world, even though many things may look dire to human preferences. No negative train of causation can remain long in the world before it generates a positive backlash, all leading us towards our destiny of a perfected society.

In next week’s article I will expand on this point, and show how living in a state of resignation can bring us peace.

How the Universe uses the path of least resistance to move us forward

The Universal Spirit – which is God in universal, non-limited form – is completely indifferent to the preferences of man. I’ve discussed it many times in previous articles, and shan’t repeat myself here. Its only “will”, or rather its very nature, is to communicate its life ever more abundantly and in more and greater forms. It is no respecter of persons nor of feelings – it will communicate its life in the easiest way possible, always through the path of least resistance.

In fact, the path of least resistance is the way everything comes into the physical universe.  One of the reasons why Law of Attraction teachers insist on visualising the specific details of the thing we want to manifest is because the Law, being indifferent to human preferences, also tends to take things rather literally. The classic example is that of the person that wants to lose 10 kilos but does not specifically visualise themselves with a slim body – focusing only on the loss of the weight – who then gets into an accident and loses 10 kilos worth of leg.

Whether this has ever actually happened or not, there is a truth behind it – the universe always carries out its designs by the path of least resistance. If you ask for money, it’s not going to manifest as a lottery win, because the odds against that are astronomical. It’s far more likely to come as a promotion, or a $50 note found on the ground, or some other small windfall. These are a mere trifle to the universe, whereas a lottery win would require the overcoming of tremendous levels of resistance – both within ourselves and also within the laws of mathematics – and such can only be manifested by someone with an extremely high level of consciousness. And a person in such a state of consciousness would be far beyond the temptations of money and the need to stockpile vast sums of it.

We’ve discussed in previous articles how the universe and humanity are really just manifestations of the thought of God. God, or the Universal Spirit, is the thinker, while we and the material universe are the thought. Just as the Spirit will use the path of least resistance to bring our own thoughts into concrete manifestation, it does the same with its own thoughts. Its grand thought for us and for the material universe is one of complete perfection, where everyone is a living representation of the perfection of God, but in individualised, limited form.

God does not care how we get there – he will use any circumstances available at that particular moment, whether good or bad to human preferences – to move us in the right direction. For example, souls in the lowest state of evolution are more inclined towards the basest fears and desires. Therefore, the Spirit will use threats against their safety and security as an incentive to move them towards developing these areas. The next temptation that comes into play in the course of a soul’s multi-lifetime evolution is the allure of base pleasures – primarily food and sex. Needles to say, dangling these two enticements in front of a soul to get it to move in a certain direction is likely to produce very little resistance.

Eventually though, the soul indulges in far more than its fair share of sensual gratification. It begins to feel the consequences of its decisions, which may come in the form of diseases caused by the overindlgence of the senses, or the boredom and ennui that always follows the excessive indulging of desires. The pain of this empty existence prompts the soul to seek something new, and typically it looks one step higher towards worldly achievements. Again, it may take several lifetimes to achieve – but eventually, after all the success has come and gone, the pain of remaining in an empty life of accolades and achievements becomes the path of greater resistance, and the soul seeks a way out. It does so through its mind – and hence it slips into the intellectual phase with very little resistance.

The intellectual phase is fraught with many potent dangers. Firstly, it’s not quite so obviously shallow and empty as the previous stages. Indeed, it may seem at first to be a worthwhile end in itself, since it is the highest level of man on the purely natural level, and developing the intellect is indeed one important aspect of our evolution. Secondly, it tends to produce pride and stubbornness, since the intellectual man – seeing apparent signs of stupidity all around him – is wont to consider himself at the highest end of human development.

In its more extreme stages, the intellectual phase may even deny spirituality altogether – leading to perhaps one of the darkest phases in a soul’s evolution. This is the phase where life seems utterly pointless and empty, but the soul now has the intellectual means to fully grasp the depth of its emptiness. At this point, many souls despair of finding meaning in the world. Many of them sink back into sensuality as a crutch, to deal with the pain of the emptiness. At this point of the soul’s career it may even sink into utter depravity, in a vain attempt to find some sort of liberation through the transcending of the human limitations of morality – hence the dissipation of intellectual libertines like the Marquis de Sade. Others seek to further intellectualise their misery to somehow make sense of it. Hence Schopenhauer and a million other gloomy peddlers of nonsense.

But eventually the dawn breaks. This miserable state of emptiness and arrogance becomes too painful to bear. Turning to God becomes the path of least resistance, and the soul cries out “God, rescue me from the prison of my own mind!” When the soul seeks earnestly, then the true spiritual nature awakens – the love nature.

The greater access to spiritual knowledge has led to an explosion of interest in the Law of Attraction and much other spiritual knowledge, most of it geared towards material gain and manifesting various exciting human experiences. That’s fine, as the worldly stage is one phase of the journey, and an inevitable one. The greater access to this knowledge will speed many souls on their journey through the material phase into the intellectual phase and then the spiritual phase. But do not mistake it for the ultimate aim of the spiritual life. The spiritual life is not about “abundance”. It is not about “manifesting your dream life” or “living whatever experiences you choose to create”. These are mere carrots on a stick, held out to us at a certain phase to move us along our inevitable journey.

If you instinctively feel that you are destined for something higher, and that riches and worldly gain cannot truly satisfy you, then please look beyond what the world is presently offering and seek the guidance of the true Teacher within.

In my next article, I will discuss how the Universal Spirit uses the path of least resistance to drive the state of the wider world.

Joseph Benner on the “Money is spiritual” lie

Joseph Benner is one of the few modern spiritual writers whose teachings clearly betray an advanced spiritual state.  That is not to disparage all other modern writers, of course, because many of them have vast riches of wisdom and knowledge to share. But Benner was next level – he was beyond the temptations of money and fame, even publishing all his books under the pen name “Anonymous”.

In the following article, “Mammon”, from his remarkable guide to enlightenment, The Way to the Kingdom, Benner says essentially what I’ve said on this blog a number of times before – money is neutral. It is not inherently evil, but it is certainly not to be regarded as an aim of the spiritual life, and indeed the love of money is one of the major roadblocks on the spiritual path.

If you are determined to maintain the chief error of the modern age, the “Money is spiritual” lie, then read no further, as Benner’s article will only make you uncomfortable. None of it was news to me, and even so it made me consider deeply my own priorities.

We wonder how many realize what a mighty power Mammon has become in the world—in fact that he seemingly rules the world. If you do not realize it as yet, consider what follows, and then perhaps you will agree that there are very few indeed who are not under Mammon’s sway, who do not fear him, and who are wholly free from his power.

First look around among your friends and note how money, or the possession of it, means everything to them. Without it they are “looked down upon” by those who have it. With plenty of it, especially if they spend it freely, they are “good fellows.” Those with a superabundance of it are “looked up to” with more or less awe by those who have less or little, while others bow and cater to them, deem them a great success, and generally consider them as having reached an exalted place in the world. Are you sure, in your business dealings with others that the prospect of profit or loss in no way influences your statements or causes you not to listen to a desire to help them, when you want to sell them something?

Can you admit that the possession of money, today, in the eyes of the world, does not mean more to the vast majority of people than the possession of any other thing? Which means that practically everyone acknowledges Mammon as their lord and master, yields to his demands, and thereby gives money absolute power over them. Do you think this is stating it too strongly? Then answer to yourself these questions:

Are you who read truly free from its power? Think! Has it no hold whatever on you? Are you not in the least afraid of losing your job, your social or financial standing, or your investments? Or should you lose all, have you not the slightest fear for yourself and of your power to regain what is lost?  Are you sure in your social relations with others that their possession of wealth or lack of it has no effect or influence whatever on your attitude towards them—that the beggar and the banker are alike your brothers?  Can you truly say that money means nothing to you, that the possession or lack of it in the eyes of your friends has no place in your thoughts, and that you could be a tramp or a millionaire with equal disregard of Mammon’s power to cause you to deviate one iota from your loving service to the Lord Christ within? If you can answer “yes” to these questions, then have you truly reached the stage of discipleship, and are ready for or are now really doing the work of the Master, for you have passed a supreme test and are worthy of doing the work you came here to do.

This article is written in the full understanding of the insidious power Mammon has acquired over practically every seeker of the Kingdom, a power that very few are aware of, and which it is our duty to show up clearly, so that each may know for him or herself and deal with it definitely from now on. This power has so instilled itself into the consciousness of nearly everyone that it is most difficult to free one’s mind from it sufficiently to see the hold it has obtained upon our thoughts and lives. If we will only admit it, it influences unconsciously most of our motives, desires, aims and actions, and it ever drives us onward with the whip of fear so that we cannot reason calmly and see that self is being wholly misled by a false god to the forgetfulness of the Loving One within, who promises if we seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness all things else will be added.

Therefore we say to you, search deeply into your mind and heart and make sure that you have not unconsciously been worshiping Mammon, obeying his mandates and living under his rule, rather than God’s. This applies as much to those to whom the need of money is perhaps at this moment paramount in their thoughts, as to those who have an abundance of it and who are living in an atmosphere of wealth. Money of itself, of course, is no more than a medium by which we exchange one commodity for another, and is therefore neither good nor evil. But a selfishness that seeks more than one’s share of it or more than one needs and can use, is undeniably evil, for that deprives others of their just share or needs.* Such a selfishness, however, has become so common that it is not considered to be selfishness any more. It is deemed to be a normal process of nature—a “survival of the fittest,” when from the foregoing it is plainly seen as perverted nature.

Therefore, many millions of souls are living in a perverted state, entirely under the dominion of a self-created power, existing, maintaining itself and fast gaining a stranglehold upon its creators, solely because they do not realize whom and what they are serving – their own selfish wills. Mammon is thus seen to be crystallized selfishness – nay, entitized selfishness, because money has no power unless it is gathered together in the hands of a few who purposely deprive many others of their rightful share in order to maintain their power and to further their own evil ends.

We will not go further into this phase of the subject at this time, but for fuller light upon it refer to you the article on “The Enemy” in the booklet Brotherhood. One thing each seeker of the Kingdom must clearly determine here and now – the influence that Mammon has had over him in the past, and that this influence must be eliminated from mind and heart henceforth and forever. This means that from this moment his allegiance is to God alone and that he will look to Him only as his support and his supply, and will have full and utter faith in His promise of what will result if he makes the seeking of Him and His Righteousness first in his life.

But realize that much will come to test this faith, and outer circumstances may grow very dark and friends and loved ones may condemn and consider you gone daft. But know that when everything is darkest, and it would seem that God and all else have deserted you, the time of deliverance draws very near. For there is no truer saying than that it is always darkest just before dawn. Those who have the booklet Wealth should read it again in the light of the foregoing. It will prove most illuminating, and you will find its pages filled with inspiration and helpfulness.”

*James’ footnote: although New Thought holds that there is absolutely no lack of supply in the universe, not everyone has the consciousness to draw directly from the universal source. Many who hold the belief in scarcity are reliant upon the economic system for their sustenance. Within this context there is a limited supply, and people who selfishly hoard riches for themselves with no regard for others really are depriving others of their share.

James Allen on the importance of the mind

I said it in my previous article – the mind is not the enemy of spirituality.  It seems that James Allen agrees with me!  Allen was a truly advanced spiritual writer. He knew the trappings of wealth and status, and warned his readers against them repeatedly. He knew that the way to God is the way of love and virtue, and the book from which this quote comes, Above Life’s Turmoil, prescribes virtue as the remedy for suffering and the only means to peace and enlightenment. No-one would ever accuse Allen of being stuck in an intellectual understanding of spirituality – yet even he acknowledges the necessity of developing the intellectual faculty as a prerequisite to spiritual progress. It’s not enough to follow the whims of the heart and assume that every positive emotion equals a spiritual inspiration. It’s a great way to waste time in mysterious spiritual dead-ends, or feed our ego by convincing ourselves that we’re receiving important spiritual insights – but it will not assist the evolution of our souls.  From chapter 6 of Above Life’s Turmoil:

“A man’s spiritual progress will be painfully slow and uncertain until there opens with him the eye of discrimination, for without this testing, proving, searching quality, he will but grope in the dark, will be unable to distinguish the real from the unreal, the shadow from the substance, and will so confuse the false with the true as to mistake the inward promptings of his animal nature for those of the spirit of Truth.

A blind man left in a strange place may go grope his way in darkness, but not without much confusion and many painful falls and bruisings. Without discrimination a man is mentally blind, and his life is a painful groping in darkness, a confusion in which vice and virtue are indistinguishable one from the other, where facts are confounded with truths; opinions with principles, and where ideas, events, men, and things appear to be out of all relation to each other.

A man’s mind and life should be free from confusion. He should be prepared to meet every mental, material and spiritual difficulty, and should not be inextricably caught (as many are) in the meshes of doubt, indecision and uncertainity when troubles and so-called misfortunes come along. He should be fortified against every emergency that can come against him; but such mental preparedness and strength cannot be attained in any degree without discrimination, and discrimination can only be developed by bringing into play and constantly exercising the analytical faculty.

Mind, like muscle, is developed by use, and the assiduous exercise of the mind in any given direction will develop, in that direction, mental capacity and power. The merely critical faculty is developed and strengthened by continuously comparing and analysing the ideas and opinions of others. But discrimination is something more and greater than criticism; it is a spiritual quality from which the cruelty and egotism which so frequently accompany criticism are eliminated, and by virtue of which a man sees things as they are, and not as he would like them to be.

Discrimination, being a spiritual quality, can only be developed by spiritual methods, namely, by questioning, examining, and analysing one’s own ideas, opinions, and conduct. The critical, fault finding faculty must be withdrawn from its merciless application to the opinions and conduct of others, and must be applied, with undiminished severity, to oneself. A man must be prepared to question his every opinion, his every thought, and his every line of conduct, and rigorously and logically test them; only in this way can the discrimination which destroys confusion will be developed.

Before a man can enter upon such mental exercise, he must make himself of a teachable spirit. This does not mean that he must allow himself to be led by others; it means that he must be prepared to yield up any cherished thoughts to which he clings, if it will not bear the penetrating light of reason, if it shrivels up before the pure flames of searching aspirations. The man who says, ‘I am right!’ and who refuses to question his position in order to discover whether he is right, will continue to follow the line of his passions and prejudices, and will not acquire discrimination. The man who humbly asks, ‘Am I right?’ and then proceeds to test and prove his position by earnest thought and the love of Truth, will always be able to discover the true and to distinguish it from the false, and he will acquire the priceless possession of discrimination.

The man who is afraid to think searchingly upon his opinions, and to reason critically upon his position, will have to develop moral courage before he can acquire discrimination. A man must be true to himself, fearless with himself, before he can perceive the Pure Principles of Truth, before he can receive the all-revealing Light of Truth.

The more Truth is inquired of, the brighter it shines; it cannot suffer under examination and analysis. The more error is questioned, the darker it grows; it cannot survive the entrance of pure and searching thought. To ‘prove all things’ is to find the good and throw the evil.  He who reasons and meditates learns to discriminate; he who discriminates discovers the eternally True.

Confusion, suffering and spiritual darkness follow the thoughtless. Harmony, blessedness and the Light of Truth attend upon the thoughtful. Passion and prejudice are blind, and cannot discriminate: they are still crucifying the Christ and releasing Barabbas.”

Allen’s advice to be merciless with ourselves may be a bitter pill to a society that is still recovering from the sometimes traumatic results of shame and fear based religious obedience. But please note that it is possible to be merciless and yet still compassionate with ourselves. We should make no excuse that would allow us to continue in our failings of morals and conduct, but we should love ourselves despite these failings. In other words, we want to develop self-awareness, but not shame. We are aware of our failings and seek to remedy them, but we do not allow the knowledge of our failings to tempt us into feeling that we are in any way bad or less than enough.

In its proper place, the mind is not the enemy of spirituality

One of the great spiritual errors of this age, which has caused much confusion and spiritual blundering, is the idea that the mind is the enemy of spirituality. Like one of our other great errors, the spiritualisation of money, the demonisation of the mind is the result of a well-meaning but misguided rebellion against other errors of the past. In this case, the chief errors being rebelled against are the over-intellectualisation and dogmatisation of spirituality promoted by organised Christianity, as well as the modern ultra-rationalist denial of the spiritual realities back of the physical world.

It is absolutely true that the mind run rampant is an enemy to spiritual advancement. It is equally true that even the most advanced and spiritually inclined intellect will never progress beyond a certain point of evolution until it is prepared to quieten itself and listen for the inspirations that come from beyond the rational plane.

But like the rebellion against Christianity’s poverty fetish, the rebellion against the mind has led to an equal and opposite error, which is the idea that because all true spiritual inspirations come in the form of a feeling, therefore all feelings of a spiritual nature must be true inspirations, and any rational analysis of them is simply an attempt by the ego to stifle them. We are susceptible to be gravely misled spiritually unless we have the intellectual discernment to understand the difference between experiences and promptings that come from a higher source, and those that come from our fragile human emotions, or the anarchic world of the psychic plane.

Certainly, spontaneus spiritual awakenings do happen to people who have no intellectual bent whatsoever. However, we have no way of knowing what these people experienced in previous lifetimes. Perhaps they’ve done all their intellectual growth already and the Universal Spirit, knowing the intellectual phase is a barrier – and sometimes one that is difficult to transcend – reincarnated them as far away as possible from any intellectual temptations. This way, the evolutionary growth of their soul would remain, even if the counscious knowledge gained from the intellectual phase was lost at the moment of rebirth. This explains men like Sidney Banks, the uneducated Scottish welder who experienced a spontaneous spiritual awakening and spent the rest of his life attempting to convey his experience to others. Banks was forever urging his audience to go beyond his words and grasp the spiritual truth behind them, which he described as a feeling.

Nevertheless, Banks’ words helped many. Words, of course, are a product of the intellect. They are not the truth itself, but they can be an effective signpost towards the truth. Spiritual truth may be a feeling, but you cannot just take any old feeling and assume it to be truth. The mind is the signpost, or the compass, that points your feeling faculty in the right direction.

Most of modern popular spirituality is pure feeling, with little in the way of reason to guide it. The classic picture of such a state is the soul who is primarily concerned with the physical world, but who seeks worldly advantage or a lessening of suffering by carrying crystals as lucky charms, calling upon angels and guides, using tarot cards or visualising money. This is not to criticise any of these practices, as they may be entirely appropriate and useful at a particular stage of a soul’s journey. But they should not be regarded as superior to the intellect purely because they may superficially appear to be more spiritual. Some of these things work, either because the user’s belief coincidentally overlaps with the truth, or simply because the belief makes it true.

In David Hawkins’ book Power vs. Force, which is surely the closest thing we have to a scientific study of spiritual evolution, such rudimentary spiritual practices as these fall into the level of consciousness between 200 and 400. Souls at this level of evolution have clawed their way out of victimhood and submission to circumstances, and have begun their first tentative steps towards self-empowerment. But they do not yet possess a rational understanding of the workings of the universe, and settle for whatever beliefs or practices feel good to them. It is only at the level of 400 – designated by Hawkins as the level of Reason – that the soul moves beyond the superficial and pretty spiritual beliefs of the day and into the understanding of the laws that govern all these beliefs.

Some souls get carried away by this newfound intellectual power, and attempt to reverse-engineer spiritual abilities for personal gain through the use of formulas and specific energetic practices. Historically, this type of practice was called sorcery, magic or witchcraft. Other souls stuck in the intellectual phase have more benevolent intentions, but the mind refuses to let go and allow the profounder spiritual experiences that occur beyond the plane of the rational to take place.

The parable of the wedding feast, from the twenty-second chapter of Matthew, instructs us on the necessity of unifying the different aspects of the human constitution – body, mind and soul.  In Chapter 10 of Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning by Thomas Troward, the author reads the parable as a warning against the purely intellectual use of spiritual forces for personal gain, without love as the guiding principle. My own understanding of this parable encompasses Troward’s but takes it further. The wedding feast is a symbol of spiritual enlightenment, also referred to by Christ as the Kingdom of Heaven. A wedding feast takes place after a union, and nobody is invited to partake of the feast until the union is complete. If man has not wholly united the trinity of the human experience – body, mind and soul – then he does not possess a wedding garment and is not invited to the feast. The servants will bind him hand and foot and cast him into the exterior darkness. In Troward’s example, this binding of hand and foot represents the tremendous and dreadful karmic consequences resulting from the misuse of spiritual forces for personal gain. In this example, the mind is dominant and love, or the spiritual factor, is missing. As I have written previously, we simply cannot move into the higher spiritual realms until we proactively cultivate love.

In the opposite scenario, a person attempts to hijack the spiritual realm without first passing through the intellectual phase. If they make no tremendous effort then their beliefs will remain airy and they will not progress much in the spiritual life. However, some people take a more aggressive approach – and the most obvious example of this is the use of psychoactive drugs to induce spiritual experiences.

The spiritual lecturer Alan Watts characterised the typical mumblings of 60s LSD junkies describing their experience as “It was a gas, man.” As Watts pointed out, they were attempting to describe an experience to wider society, when they did not even fully comprehend the experience themselves – thus making themselves look like bumbling eccentrics to most ordinary people. Many people who had such experiences in the 60s found themselves ostracised by their experiences and drifted away from society, finding that it no longer made any sense of them – but sadly they lacked anything higher to cling to that might help to decode the experience and lead them on their upward journey. As a result, many of them lost all will for anything besides finding fellowship with other societal outcasts and taking more drugs. Hardly the road to enlightenment – and yet this is the best case scenario.

We’ve all heard the stories about people who used psychoactive drugs and ended up irreversibly psychotic, believing themselves to be God or Jesus. The drugs artificially induced a sensible experience of the person’s innate divinity, but the unfortunate soul could not understand that this divinity is in all, and that the ego must die to make room for the God within. Instead, its ego remained and became intoxicated with the idea that it is the one and only God, presiding above all.

The bible describes the three stages of spiritual development allegorically in Genesis, where Esau represents gross sensuousness, Jacob represents the intellectual phase, and then after wrestling with the angel, Jacob becomes Israel – the enlightened spiritual consciousness. I will return to this topic in future articles, but for the moment I recommend Chapters 9-11 of Jack Ensign Addington’s Hidden Mystery of the Bible, which delve into this topic in greater detail.

In order to ascend to great spiritual heights, one must fill the mind with wisdom, then move past it. It cannot be the ruling faculty of our lives, but it must always guide our ascent into the higher spiritual realms. In its proper place, the mind is our greatest ally in our forward evolutionary journey.

It will all be alright in the end; if it’s not alright, it’s not the end

One of the most important aspects of learning to spiritually manifest things into reality is learning to detach ourselves from any concern about the mechanism by which our desires will be brought into reality. We must live in the end, and know with confidence that our success is assured – and we do not concern ourselves whatsoever with the means by which the end will be fulfilled. The infinite intelligence of the universe will work things out, perhaps by the most unlooked-for series of events, and it is not our place to second guess infinite intelligence by prescribing what circumstances are necessary for the end to be fulfilled – instead we leave all of that to the Power that knows all.

Although we possess creative power in our thoughts, we too are creations – creations of the Universal Spirit, which used precisely the same process of manifestation to bring us into reality. In The Creative Process in the Individual, Thomas Troward explains that the Universal Spirit, being entirely nonphysical, has only one mode of operation – which is thought. Before the created universe came into being, there was absolutely nothing for the Spirit to contemplate other than itself. It could not manifest anything besides itself, simply because it could not think of anything that is not itself – for spirit, being infinite, is already everything. Therefore, we are the manifestation of the Universal Spirit’s contemplation of itself. Hence it is written that man is made “in the image and likeness of God”. We are microcosms of the Universal Spirit and possess precisely the same creative power.

Although we already exist as true physical beings, the Universal Spirit’s manifestation of us is by no means complete. It is impossible that the Spirit could contemplate itself as anything less than absolutely perfect; therefore the operation will only be complete once each and every human evolves into its perfected state. We are predestined to become God in individualised form, and all the Spirit’s dealings with us are ultimately geared towards that end.

So the process of our evolution is precisely the same process of manifestation known to us, except inverted. In this grand thought of God’s, the end is absolutely assured – humanity will become perfected; each one of us will become individualised representations of the perfection of God. And as God is the thinker of this grand thought, then the means by which it is accomplished is left entirely in our hands. To use an anthropomorphic term, God waits patiently for the full manifestation of his grand thought, and does not concern himself in the least with the means by which the thought is accomplished. The process of manifestation is identical, but the roles are reversed.

As I have discussed previously, Spirit in its universal form is infinite, and therefore completely indifferent to the means by which the thought is accomplished. Spirit is only capable of expressing a preference when it is in finite, individualised form. The infinitude of the Universal Spirit precludes any possibility of it expressing a preference for anything, because if it were to prefer one thing, it must necessarily not prefer another thing. As soon as we speak of the Universal Spirit as being not anything, we are placing a limitation upon the infinite.  The Universal Spirit’s only will is the inherent will of its nature. It wills – nay it must by its very nature – continue to ever increase its livingness, through eternal evolution. It created man – or itself in finite, individualised form – simply because it was the best way to further this evolution of the physical universe.

As individualised spirit, we have no choice as to whether we continue to evolve into perfection or not, for that is assured by the thought of God. But we can choose whether we do things the easy way or the hard way. God does not care about the means – that is entirely in our hands. We are “man the measurer” – created to be the decision making faculty of God, in order to futher the evolution of the whole and bring the glory of its completeness into concrete, manifested form.  Yes, the power of the Spirit is ours to use throughout our journey. If we ask its assistance, and believe with faith that we will receive it, then it will respond to our faith and assist us in any way that we ask. But it will not determine the means by which its grand thought is accomplished – we must do that ourselves, by making the first move.

By understanding this, we arrive at the conception of a God that is infinitely powerful, infinitely loving – for it does not stop loving itself simply because it has taken on individualed form – and cares deeply about our ultimate destiny, but does not care one whit about our temporal sufferings, unless we ask it to remedy them. For it knows that we are completely safe, and that all misfortunes and sufferings along the way to our eventual glorious end are of no more concern than a stubbed toe. It responds to our directing of its will, because we are its decision making faculty, but of itself it is indifferent to such trifles.  It knows more deeply than we can appreciate that the end is absolutely assured. What may seem like a disaster is nothing of the sort, and cannot of itself move the eternal indifference of its infinitude.  Only if we request and expect to receive divine assistance does it stir.

If we accept the principles of the creative process at all then we cannot entertain even the slightest fragment of a doubt that we will eventually reach the stage of perfected humanity, since the Universal Spirit cannot be conceived of as ever stopping short of its object.  Let us remember this and live our lives with full joy and confidence, knowing that absolutely everything works out in the end. And if we’ve been doing things the hard way instead of the easy way, be assured that this is not the Spirit’s will for us.  Again, it has no will at all about the means; that is merely the inevitable effect of the causes that we set in motion by our thoughts and actions. If you have lived a life of suffering, know that you are not cursed and it’s not karma – and you can begin today to set trains of causation in motion which will bring happier effects to you in their turn.

Nor should we take the state of the world to heart, or concern ourselves too deeply with its future. By setting a positive example in our circle of influence, we are doing our part in the great plan. Do not let it trouble you when others around you or people in power fall short, or even act in overtly evil ways. The Universal Spirit will even use the corruption, greed and wickedness of men to shape the world for the better. Do not be so swept up in the individualism and human-worship of the modern world that we forget who is really in charge. To worry or to concern ourselves is absurd – the Universal Mind can never fail to bring its grand thought into reality, for us and for the world.