With the power of choice we created this entire world by choosing to experience it. That's no small power!
We’re not in the world. The world is in us. You're not a body with a mind and a soul in it. You are pure Awareness, occupying the same space as your Source and all life, dreaming about a world where you are somehow inside of a body with a brain and separate from other bodies and from your Source.
THIS dream is created with the power of choice in exactly the same way that our dreams at night are created. And just as the night dreams disappear when we awaken from them, this dream disappears once we've awakened from IT as well.
One of the most amazing faculties we have in this dream is our power of choice. If we decide to be happy no matter what, our attention automatically begins to shift toward the source of happiness within, even in the midst of intense circumstances. Yes, happiness is a choice!
Nothing happens to us in the dream without us choosing it. We have never been victims of anything except our own choices. Our creation and entire experience of the physical dream world flows from our power of choice, whether we remember we made our choices or not.
The whole point of this dream we are dreaming together is to wake up from it. As long as we choose to identify ourselves as being a body / mind, we create a dream experience here that reflects that, where it really seems like we are a separate body.
Within the dream, the beliefs we have chosen to hold about ourselves, even if we're not conscious of choosing them, create the details of the dream itself.
We dream and dream these physical lives, seemingly one right after another, always having our beliefs reflected back to us, again and again. From within the dream it seems like we are at the mercy of the circumstances that seem to be around us until eventually we question what is really going on. At that point we turn within and begin to ask, Who am I, really?
we directly experience the Pure Presence that we REALLY are, then we
discover that this dream arises within us as an exact pictorial,
sensory reflection of our own unconscious mind, with all of it's
beliefs. The unconscious mind is like a movie projector
and our lives (the dream) is the movie.
Let's say that in your previous dream you believed you were inadequate in some way – not smart enough or strong enough to succeed in ways that you wanted to. After that dream ended, if those beliefs hadn't yet come into conscious awareness and were not yet embraced with love, they manifest this current dream, which carries the same theme.
The theme of your spiritual workshop in this particular dream would then involve meeting up with other characters or situations that reflect back to you your beliefs about being inadequate, in various ways. Perhaps your mother, father, or an older sibling or cousin, is condescending to you and treats you like you are mentally and / or physically inferior.
Years ago I rented a downstairs room from a man who was active in a local peace organization. They had meetings in the upstairs room over my bedroom. Often the meetings became heated, sometimes with people angrily shouting at each other. Even though in their hearts they wanted to create peace in the world, their attention was on discord. Therefore what they actually emanated and created in the world was negativity! This powerful demonstration of the power of choice was a wake up call for me to look at MY choices and where I was focusing my own attention.
In the dream it seems like we have many choices, such as whether to have spaghetti or fish filets for dinner, or whether to turn right or left at an intersection. But do we really?
You can watch the YouTube video, “Neuroscience and Free Will,“ where a man lies in an MRI machine and is asked to press one of two buttons to make different choices, while someone else watches which areas of his brain light up as he makes his choices.
What they discovered is that the subject's brain made it's choices 6 seconds before the man pushed the button to choose! So even though the man thought he was making choices, we was simply becoming aware of a choice that had ALREADY been made within his brain.
So even though we think we are making choices and have a certain amount of control over our lives, our conscious mind is actually along for the ride, while the unconscious mind creates the entire dream we experience through the power of choice, even when we don't fully realize what we're choosing.
How this dream flows is all based on the contents of our unconscious mind, which houses our core beliefs and is the movie projector that creates the movie we experience. Our thoughts, emotions, and our physical experience display the results of our beliefs in the unconscious mind.
So... if those beliefs are unconscious and are creating suffering, how can we free ourselves from suffering? This is where the power of choice comes in.
I've read inspiring accounts of Nazi prisoners who endured unimaginable torture yet still experienced a deep peace within. In one account a man said that he simply realized that the one thing his captors couldn't take away from him was his power of choice. He could choose where he focused his attention and no one could change that, no matter what his physical circumstances were.
The one true choice we have is where we place our attention.
Wherever we place our attention determines what we consciously align with. THAT is the power of choice-making. Whatever you choose you are saying "yes" to, agreeing to identify with it and to experience it. You become one with the object of your choice.
If we choose happiness, to align and identify with the truth of our being, we EXPERIENCE that because our focus is lined up with that. As a result, we are consciously one with truth, strength, and love.
On the other hand, if we choose to keep our attention on our history and self-concepts, we identify with being a flawed part instead of being one with Pure Presence. Consequently, we suffer.
A radio is a good metaphor to illustrate the power of choice and attention. Let's say that you choose to tune your radio to station 92.5. You now have access to 92.5 and can enjoy the delightful music of that station. On the other hand, if you choose to keep your radio set to 76.4, no matter how much you'd like to hear the music on 92.5, you won't be able to hear it. Because you've selected 76.4, it is impossible for you to access the music on 92.5. It would simply not be available to you.
The radio has numerous stations to choose from but we must actively CHOOSE the station we want to hear.
A first step in learning how to be happy is to actually CHOOSE happiness.
“No matter what, I am going to be happy. No matter what situations I face today, I will find something about each of them to be happy about, even if it is something tiny. I will focus on that tiny thing and keep my radio tuned to that station, knowing that my positive experience will grow the more I turn in that direction.”
As we begin to awaken from the dream, we naturally become interested in finding out what it is we truly are.
As a result, we begin to know ourselves in a very different way. Although the results of our unconscious choices still play out in the dream through our power of choice, we begin to notice that we are the Awareness that the entire dream is arising in. We begin to know ourselves as the peaceful, calm Presence that we truly are.
You can begin to discover this for yourself by investigating this that is you that is simply here, and also by bringing your attention to the space between your thoughts, which you can explore in these three meditations:
How we use our power of choice and what we focus on is determined by what we value. Even if we “try” to choose to identify with the truth of Pure Awareness that we are, if we value the perspective of the ego (the part of our mind that believes we are a separate body / mind) more than we do the truth of who we are, we will keep choosing to identify with being a part instead of the whole that we are.
However, what we truly are always calls our attention back to it because it IS what we are. Also, we find that choosing to identify with the ego body / mind always creates suffering. Therefore, gradually, after enough frustration from futilely trying to alleviate suffering with something in the physical dream, a desire grows within us to awaken from the dream. That desire causes our attention to shift to the Pure Presence that we are, ever so slightly at first, then usually in gradual steps.
Even a slight taste of ourselves as Awareness begins to loosen the beliefs of separation in the unconscious mind and even in the dream we gradually experience more peace. Then through the power of choice, we naturally choose more often to bring attention to the Pure Presence that we are, because it FEELS good.
As this unfolds, we gradually experience ourselves as a pure love that is different from anything we've experienced in the dream. It's REAL and it's not dependent on a person or any kind of physical experience. It's just HERE. It feels good. And it is what we already are!
We tend to repeat what feels good. With the power of choice, the more we choose to shift attention to the truth of what we are, the better it feels and the more we value it and choose to identify with it. This continues until the balance begins to tip in favor of living in the ever present moment of peace more than choosing the ego and the suffering that goes along with it.
Awakening deepens. More and more we experience what is real and feels right and we withdraw our allegiance to the ego mind of separation. We continue to choose to live from the peace that we are because we inherently know this that we are is unlimited, always at peace, can't be hurt, has always been here, and will always be here.
Eventually we awaken fully from the dream of suffering.
And all this comes from the power of choice!
“If you want to see what you truly want, not just what you think you want, look at what you've got.”
The outer dream (which actually isn't "outer" because everything, including the dream appears IN us), can only reflect whatever is going on in our own minds. When our attention is on peace, our experience of thoughts, emotions and physical circumstances gradually shifts to peace as well.
On the other hand, when we use our power of choice to identify with being a separate body / mind, our experience of the dream FEELS separate. If we think we are a part rather than the whole that we are, we will feel incomplete. Then we're always going to be looking for the rest of the whole. We will look for love, acceptance and approval in what appears to be outside us – in other bodies or experiences.
However, it's important to point out that even as we awaken our spiritual workshop continues as long as the dream continues. Layer after layer of unconscious beliefs come into awareness as we experience situations in the dream that reflect them.
As this happens, we can still experience uncomfortable beliefs, thoughts, emotions and sensations quite deeply. In some cases, it can even feel like they get worse. However, it is actually that we are now more aware of the material that has been in the unconscious mind all along, but was percolating below the surface.
As we continue to meet our thoughts, emotions, sensations and experiences with love and acceptance, we can still be at peace within, as the layers come up for healing.
As I mentioned before, we choose what we value. Further, we can't make ourselves value what we don't actually value, or not value what we DO value.
Our unconscious beliefs play a big part in what we value.
As you begin consciously working with the power of choice, the kindest and most effective path is to start where you are (which is actually where you think you are) rather than trying to make yourself be somewhere you don't feel you are.
Our emotions and body sensations tie in directly to our unconscious beliefs that create suffering. By focusing on the feelings rather than the thoughts and story about our circumstances, we by-pass the trap of being caught in the hamster wheel of the linear mind.
As we allow all of our emotions and feeling / body sensations to arise without trying to make them go away, we begin to feel a deep sense of self-acceptance and self-intimacy. This automatically opens the mind and the self-limiting unconscious beliefs gradually fall away on their own.
Our beliefs shift by themselves according to what we experience. The theme of limiting beliefs are usually along the lines of "I'm not good enough, I'm separate, and no one will love me if they really see who I am..."
As we turn within and WE accept and love the anger, fear, sadness, and etc. that arise within us, the hurt child within begins to directly experience being accepted and loved as they are. This direct experience itself allows the old beliefs to fall away automatically, gradually, in time.
We can use our Emotional Feedback System to immediately find out how we are using our power of choice. If we feel stuck in a loop of negative emotions, we can instantly know we are identified with being a separate, isolated, incomplete body / mind.
On the other hand, as we turn our attention to the truth of what we are – Pure Presence – we automatically start feeling a sense of relief, at the very least. The more often we shift attention to this Presence that we are, the more we experience calm, peace, joy and love.
Our feelings will always tell us
where we stand. They are like a built-in feedback system, letting us know if we are turning toward wellbeing
or away from it.
The roots of our beliefs in being a separate body / mind are tied into control. We're conditioned to believe that if we could just control enough things in our lives we would be happy. However, that mindset keeps us perpetuating the core belief that causes all our suffering in the first place: "I am a separate part." Out of that belief comes the feeling of not having enough, and not BEING enough. Consequently, we try to control our experience in order to gain something we think will complete us.
Ironically, that whole mindset and the resulting chasing around to find happiness IS the suffering. When we get to know ourselves as Pure Presence, the efforting relaxes and our lives shift to a more peaceful state automatically.
To help shift our allegiance from suffering to peace, there are some good questions we can ask ourselves:
To allow the honest answers to these questions to surface, first we must be willing to “not know.” The ego mind always thinks it knows "the truth." Therefore, in order to hear our deeper voice within we first have to be willing to open our mind to hear it.
In this questioning / investigative process, your unconscious beliefs and thoughts of separation will gradually come into your conscious awareness so that you can see how they cause you suffering. You'll notice that they feel tight and small. As you embrace whatever is arising within you with love, everything untrue will fall away..
Being willing to have them come up and be exposed allows us to release them.
From "Make Good Use Of Your Awesome Power Of Choice"
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