(This is a continuation of the previous blog, so please refer to that one first if you’ve just started my blog)

If, like an acorn, you need the right conditions to grow, aren’t you back to the problem of being at the whim of external forces? Here’s where human nature leap frogs over Mother Nature, and where the Law of Emergence takes an evolutionary step past psychological, theological, and even many metaphysical theories. Whereas the acorn is indigenous and, therefore, can only thrive in certain external conditions not within its control, human beings are ‘endogenous,’ which means that your conditions are internally derived or generated.

It doesn’t matter what external conditions you’re planted in, your soul is your soil, and if you generate the right inner conditions – mentally, emotionally, and spiritually — your ‘seed’ will have the right nutrients to thrive. What’s more, whereas most seeds require external light to grow, human beings are ‘self-effulgent,’ meaning you generate light from within. No matter how thick the clouds may be outside or how dark the night, the sun is always shining in your soul, ready to illuminate the seed of your true Self and start the photosynthetic process that nourishes its growth.

Science is now proving these ideas in rigorous studies. The latest research in cell biology, as documented in Bruce Lipton’s The Biology of Belief, shows how our genetics do not determine our mental, emotional, or physical outcomes; rather, it is the environment that the cell is in which dictates its health and growth. And this ‘environment,’ as further described by Dr. Candace Pert in The Molecules of Emotion, is created by the activity of our mind, which causes a cascade of electrical impulses and chemical messengers that speak to our cells, causing them to turn on or off various functions.

The scientific proof of the mind-body connection is irrefutable. And with the understanding that our consciousness, not our genetics, creates our outcome, the ‘sins of the father’ no longer have to be visited upon the son (or daughter). Quantum physics has taken this even further, showing through repeatable studies that our mind and emotions do not just impact – and even create — our body, but that our entire ‘external’ experience is a manifestation of our consciousness.

Unlike the rest of nature, ‘…God created man in His own image…’ (Genesis 1:26-27), which, among other things, means we have been endowed with self-consciousness or conscious volition, giving us the ability to ‘think about what we’re thinking about,’ freely direct our awareness based on those thoughts and, through the power of intention, change the content of our consciousness and, thus, the quality of our experience. And because this Self-consciousness is infinite, and the sole determining factor in creating the conditions for your emergence, you are truly the ‘master of your fate, the captain of your soul.’

No matter what side of the tracks you were born on, what kind of childhood you grew up in, what current conditions you’re slogging through, or what race, color, creed, or age you are, when you create the right inner conditions, the great purpose for which you were born will emerge.

Stay tuned for the next part of The Law of Emergence, when I talk about The Self vs. ‘the self’.

Until then, Stay Inspired!

Derek

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(I apologize in advance for the long entry. I didn’t want to split it up since it’s part of one core idea. Enjoy!)

We’ve been born into a belief that our fate is determined by external conditions, that the things we need are ‘out there,’ and that we must get them by just about any means necessary. This has led to a way of living that is the reverse of how life really works – causing us to constantly struggle against the natural order of the universe. Is it just me, or have you felt many times like you were peddling uphill with the brakes on? Well, you’re not crazy, lazy, or broken, you just weren’t given the correct – or complete — operating instructions for this thing called life.

The basic false belief goes something like this:

We are born blank slates, empty shells, and must ‘make something of ourselves’ – internally and externally. The knowledge, resources, and support systems we need to achieve this are outside of us, in other people and other places that are hard to get to, requiring us to conform to cultural, parental, or societal ‘norms’ to get them, often demanding that we work really hard at something we don’t love for the first 65 years of our life, so we can save up enough money to finally start living the life we were born for…for a few years until we die!

Sound familiar? How about insane? Whether or not you consciously buy into that b.s (belief system), on some level you’re probably living it because it’s part of the collective consciousness of the Western world – and is rapidly being adopted by the rest of the planet in a mad rush toward social stability and economic freedom. Meeting the expanding needs of a country (or family, business, or any organization) is a necessary and noble goal, but if the underlying beliefs and value systems guiding it are in opposition to the fundamental harmony of the universe, it will ultimately result in more suffering and limitation. The acorn principle is something altogether different and, by understanding this aspect of Mother Nature, you will discover a powerful clue to your human nature and how you were actually designed to grow.

The acorn already contains the idea and intelligence to become an oak. It’s not an empty shell that has to figure out how life works, gather a bunch of information to fill itself with then, finally, decide what it wants to be when it grows up. No matter what the ‘good opinion’ of other trees in the forest is, the acorn will never become anything except what’s inside of it – an oak. Even if its parent oaks really want it to grow up to be a pine tree, it ain’t gonna happen! It might fail to thrive or reach its potential if the right conditions aren’t created (which we’ll talk about later), but the acorn’s destiny is to become an oak, just as the apple seed’s destiny is to become an apple tree (or apple pie, depending on your perspective). The Big Questions of life, such as ‘Who am I?’ and ‘For what purpose was I born?’ were already answered before the seed was planted in the ground.

Whatever is true anywhere is true everywhere. As the Hermetic Law of Correspondence states: “As above so below; as below so above; as within so without; as without so within.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, through his exploration of the inner and outer world, discovered that the same processes which occurred in nature – and their underlying principles – could be found in every other area of life. For every natural law there was a parallel moral, scientific, and even spiritual law. A true principle discovered in, for instance, electricity, could be found in psychology, biology, and every other ‘ology.’ In fact, some believe if you could fully comprehend the laws that govern the universe, you could know the ‘Mind of God.’

From this understanding, we can deduce that the basic laws governing the acorn – or any seed — apply to the ‘seed’ of our own being, which already contains the blueprint and mechanics for its perfect unfoldment. Just as the acorn doesn’t have to go out and create an oak or make something of itself, neither do you. (This doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything, but that your actions, when they arise out of a realization of your true Self, rather than a limited self-concept, will always bear fruit richly.) Just as the oak is already planted in the acorn before the acorn is planted in the ground, the gift you came here to give – the greatness you are destined to reveal — was already placed in you before you were placed in your mother’s womb.

James Hillman, in his excellent book, The Soul’s Code, introduced the idea of the acorn as a metaphor of how we grow, although the concept of a ‘calling,’ ‘destiny,’ or ‘governing image’ being in our soul before we are born has been articulated throughout the ages — in the Kabbalah, Buddhism, Hinduism, many indigenous cultures, including Native Americans, and in Plato’s Myth of Er. Hillman called it the ‘acorn theory’ and, by his own admission, believed it was more of a myth than theory; myth in the sense that, while it may not actually be true, by reflecting on our life through this conceptual lens, we can have deeper insights into who we are and why we’re here.

I will take it a step further and suggest that this is a Truth, not merely a myth. And it’s more than an interesting theory, it’s a powerful principle, provable through the law of correspondence, as stated above. What’s more, locked up in the seed of your soul is not just an ‘image,’ ‘calling,’ or the ‘pattern for an oak’ – it is the Mighty Oak Itself, fully formed in the invisible dimension of your being. And, while it may use the raw materials of your life to take shape, it is not dependent on anything ‘out there’ for its existence. In fact, it has the power and substance to manifest whatever it needs, seemingly ‘out of thin air’ if necessary.

As Hillman points out, you can see signs of this acorn in children who, without any external conditioning – or despite it — become interested in things that don’t reflect their parents, siblings, or cultural influences. There’s something unique unfolding that seems to come from within them. Why is it that two children growing up in the same home with largely the same experiences become things as different as a priest and a plumber, or a cop and a crook? Can the ‘nurture’ argument really explain that? Can it explain a Da Vinci, whose parents had nothing to do with the arts, or a Mozart who became a master pianist and violinist at age 4 and created his first symphony at age 5?

Hillman even suggests, and I agree, that many seemingly aberrant behaviors of children (and some adults) are actually an inner conflict between the seed of their calling and their undeveloped conscious mind. On some level they sense this great destiny within themselves but don’t have the psychological or emotional facility to deal with it – and it comes out as problem behaviors. For example, the scared little boy who always clings to his mother’s apron strings, only to become a world-class bullfighter, was actually sensing the great danger he would one day face and reacting to that. Or the shy girl who doesn’t want to talk to people, only to become a speaker addressing the multitudes, was feeling the weight of her public persona and protecting her sense of privacy.

Traditional psychology has often tried to heal children (and adults) of these ‘behavior problems,’ not recognizing that it was their destiny speaking and an underdeveloped psyche trying to comprehend it. How many geniuses have we anesthetized into ‘normalcy’ in our Ritalin-crazy world? How many masterpieces, inventions, and innovations are we repressing with our societal pressure to be ‘good boys and girls?’ Maybe you were one of those problem children, and you developed guilt or shame around your unique thoughts, feelings, and actions. Maybe you even repressed them out of fear, confusion, or a need to fit in, be loved and accepted, or not rock the boat. The signs of your true Self (or acorn) were there from the beginning. Look at the things you were, or still are, interested in, the things you fantasized about, the activities that made you lose track of time, your favorite movies, books, magazines, or people you admired or idolized — and you’ll see your purpose trying to burst forth.

As a kid, I had a strong desire to create, whether it was pinging out songs on the piano, making up stories (sometimes to get out of trouble), shooting super-8 movies, or filling a sketch pad with Utopian worlds. From a purely linear, time-bound perspective, one might have described me as a hyperactive child (which they did), or a dreamer with my head in the clouds (which they did), and attributed no other significance to those activities (which they didn’t) — yet I grew up to be a professional musician, write screenplays, act in movies, and work to create a better world.

My interior life also showed clues of what I was to become. In my teens, I developed a strong desire to learn about my friends’ religions, whether they were Christians, Jews, Hindus, or otherwise. My friends thought I was weird, as did I. After all, what practical need did an average teenager have for such mystical musings? I also had a strong urge to see the good in people, which one friend referred to as the ‘love bomb,’ because I would spontaneously compliment him for no reason. Unfortunately, he didn’t mean it as a compliment, and I often wondered if I might be an alien! But I couldn’t help myself; something was trying to emerge. And I grew up to teach an inclusive spirituality that sees the divinity in everyone, honors all religions, and seeks to create bridges between us instead of walls.

Some might say that my religious wanderings were the desire of a latchkey kid seeking a sense of order and security in the world, or that my compulsion to see the good in people was a neurotic need to believe people were better – and the world was safer — than my chaotic childhood home reflected. That explanation fits comfortably into the paradigm of an outside-in world, where we are victims of circumstances, balls of reactions to our environment, and nothing more than the sum total of our coping-mechanisms. But viewing it from the inside-out model of the natural world – of which we are intimately a part – that would be like saying that the oak tree is nothing but the random result of the acorn’s struggle to survive and feel good about itself!

Isn’t it equally possible that the unstable environment I grew up in was meant to be a catalyst to push my roots deeper? Or that, like the seeds which require a forest fire to germinate, those early childhood conditions sparked a fire within me that cracked open the seed of my potential and allowed it to grow? What I can now see clearly is that all of these powerful promptings were my acorn (or true Self) guiding and directing me, creating opportunities for me to cultivate the inner and outer conditions necessary for its unfoldment.

From a purely materialistic paradigm, we think our desires are indicating something we don’t have — something we need to get or become — but those sincere yearnings of the heart are the seed of your soul speaking to you, the Thing Itself seeking to unfold through and as you. You were not born a blank slate or an empty shell. There is a Divine Pattern within you – even more, a Fully Realized Being. And, like the acorn, when the right conditions are created, it will naturally, even effortlessly, emerge.

Stay tuned for the next part, “Indigenous vs. Endogenous”…

And feel free to send these blogs/articles to people you think will find them interesting.

In the meantime, Stay Inspired!

Derek

(What follows are excerpts from my current book in development, “The Law of Emergence.” I would love your thoughts on these ideas.)

“More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones” — Mother Teresa

I once knew a guy who used the law of attraction to ‘attract’ a Mercedes into his life. “Wow, this stuff really works!” he declared, becoming an instant convert. Two weeks later he lamented that the Mercedes was in the shop – for the third time – and he had spent the last several days trying to pray his way out of the mess he had attracted himself into! The problem was that he manifested the Mercedes, but didn’t develop ‘Mercedes Consciousness.’ He changed the world outside but remained the same inside. This is a common limitation of many ‘New Age’ teachings, which are little more than just metaphysical versions of material practices; instead of using physical labor, they’re using mental and emotional labor. In one sense, it’s a step up – and a necessary step, as we’ll discuss later — but there is rarely much transformational value in it and, because it’s still based on a sense of being separate from the thing we want, it can be just as exhausting. Even some sincere ‘spiritual’ teachings, still rooted in a dualistic perception of life, teach followers to use this Great Power within to get more stuff ‘out there,’ which often leads to spiritual materialism and perpetuates the very problems they’re trying to heal.

Attraction or Emergence
When you use most traditional goal-achieving techniques, your desire is fulfilled at the level of your current self-image – including your limited perceptions, fears, and past traumas – which often causes you to create things that magnify your underlying issues rather than improve them. You manifest a new job, but end up with the same jerky boss, just wearing a different mask. You attract a new mate, but end up in the same fights. You earn more money, but your spending habits just increase with your income, making you broke at a higher level! In contrast, The Law of Emergence is about becoming (or rather ‘revealing’) more of who you truly are, unleashing your infinite, often imprisoned, potential.

There is never a danger of creating the wrong thing, because rather than trying to get something you think you’re missing – which is a reaction to a limited self-concept — the Law of Emergence cultivates the inner conditions that cause your next evolutionary stage to unfold organically, bringing with it everything needed for its fulfillment. Just as when the acorn allows its greater self to unfold, there’s no chance a cactus will appear, when you activate the Law of Emergence, only that which supports your highest potential can show up. If a Mercedes is what you need, that’s what you’ll get. But when you do, you’ll have the consciousness to enjoy and maintain it – and it’ll take you where you really need to go.

I’m not suggesting you do away with all your success strategies or manifestation methods, anymore than we did away with the wheel when we evolved from a horse and buggy to the automobile. We still use wheels, only now we’re not being pulled by something outside our vehicle — we’re being powered by the engine under our hood. In all sciences, as larger paradigms are discovered, they often include the older ones on some level. Likewise, the Law of Emergence contains the principles of planning, action, and attraction. But as you activate the Law of Emergence, you won’t have to ‘work’ these other laws, they’ll work all by themselves. As your awareness expands and you realize you’re already the Thing Itself, your process will become more about Self-realization and, as a byproduct, you’ll be compelled into right action and activate the law of attraction to manifest everything you need to achieve your full potential.

It’s also important to understand that Self-realization is not a straight line, it’s more like a helix that circles around on an upward spiral. We’re all at different developmental stages in various areas of our life, and you might still need to work with other personal growth strategies to stabilize your human structures. If you’re struggling to meet your basic monetary needs, you may need to apprentice under wealth, abundance, and financial responsibility until that area is strong enough that it doesn’t siphon off your energy. If you’re battling to maintain basic health, you may need a gym membership, a trainer, or a new diet so your physical issues don’t take you out of the game. This is true for relationships, career, mental and emotional well-being. If you’re dealing with deep-seated traumas, seeing a therapist, at least in the short term, is not a bad idea.

It all serves a purpose. The key is to not get stuck at any one level – to not get identified with any relative practice or condition — but to keep ascending higher. Because the Law of Emergence is about tapping into the Self that is already whole, complete, and infinite in scope, practicing this principle while you’re working in any of those areas will assure that you remain on the emerging edge no matter what conditions you find yourself in. For now, just consider that many of the ways you’ve learned to ‘manifest,’ ‘attract,’ or create your life are part of an old evolutionary paradigm — and be prepared for a quantum leap up the evolutionary ladder.

Stay tuned for the next section on “The Acorn Principle”…

Stay Inspired!

Derek

(excerpted from the book, “There’s No Business Like Soul Business”)

“Each word before leaving my lips seemed to have passed through all the warmth of my blood. There was no fibre in me which did not give forth an harmonious sound. Ah, grace! The state of grace! Each time it is given me to touch the summit of my art, I recover that unspeakable abandonment.”
— Eleonora Duse

The “War of Art”
As conscious artists and enlightened-entertainers-in-training, we have to fight a never-ending battle for our art. Or so it seems. Our implements of war are not guns and bombs, but awareness and attention. And the only enemy we ever truly have to face is “the enemy within our own household.” (Mystically speaking, this refers to our consciousness.) Finally, the greatest “act of war” we can take is to “be still and know,” to “take our bloated nothingness out of the path of the divine circuits,” as Emerson would say.

Still, we fight skirmishes almost daily. Mapping out the terrain we want to conquer. “Humping it” through the jungles of our mind, where voices echo from behind every tree. Trudging through the thicket of our heart, where a firefight of unresolved emotions threatens to cut us down at every turn. Slugging through the swampland of our soul, where strange and terrifying creatures stir just beneath the murky depths.

And this is just to get out of bed!

Resistance. Procrastination. Competition. Fear. Doubt. Worry. Desire. Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk! These are just some of the combatants we confront as we sneak behind enemy lines, secure the bridge, and try to claim that frickin’ hill! But claim it we must. Whatever that hill is to you: your daily script pages, writing a song, rehearsing a scene, researching a character, having a production meeting. The path to our creative potential seems riddled with land mines. But there is a strategy to winning this war. Ironically, however, it begins with giving up the fight. In fact, the first step to claiming any kind of victory begins with one simple act.

Surrender.

Heal Your “Broken Art”
Whether or not you consider yourself an artist, you are a creative being by nature. Yes, even if you are a studio executive. We were all created out of the same Creator (or Creative Intelligence), which has endowed us with Its creative capacity. As the ancient teaching states, “Ye are gods.” This could have just as easily said, “Ye are creators.”

That being said, many of us — even the “artists” — have experienced so much criticism and negative conditioning around creativity that we suffer from a “broken art.” And what does that feel like? Much like a broken heart, only the core of the wound is around our artistic endeavors — although it ultimately permeates every area of our lives and sense of self. Approaching the object of our artistic affection brings up emotions akin to a jilted lover. We feel anxious, unsure, self-doubting, angry, sad, depressed. We procrastinate making a connection to the object of our “art.” We are bipolar in our relationship to it — an “approach-avoidance” pattern — feeling both an aching to be in its warm embrace, and a fear of getting burned by it. We’re not ourselves. We get involved in addictive, self-destructive habits, like eating or drinking too much, compulsively cleaning our office, mindlessly surfing the Internet, and watching infomercials all the way through!

We think there’s something wrong with us: We’re lazy, stubborn, chemically imbalanced, creatively impaired, karmically challenged — just plain retarded! Maybe we’re not meant to do this after all, maybe we’ve been lying to ourselves all along, maybe this whole “creative thing” is just a pipe dream — maybe our dad was right and we should get a “real job”! In fact, a career in the food services industry is sounding really good about now…

That’s not the problem. You have a broken art. Your art is aching. It has Coronary Artistry Disease! It hasn’t been given the kind of love, attention, and recognition it needs to feel nurtured — initially in your childhood, then later by you. Your broken art feels abandoned, betrayed, wounded, stepped on, walked all over, treated like a doormat, cheated on. And there’s only one way to reverse this hardening of the art-eries (I couldn’t resist). Take off all the protective armor, open your art, and risk breaking it all over again.

Everything in this book is geared, in one way or another, to giving you back to yourself, to reconnecting you with your heart and your art – and making a living at it. By doing the work in these pages, you are taking a big step on the road to recovery. But you’ll need to do some very specific things to really heal your art. The rest of this chapter is dedicated to that.

Feed the “Starving Artist”
I’ve already talked about the destructive effects of Starving Artist Syndrome. If you believe you have to be starving in some hovel to create great art, you’ll set up a personal law — through the power of your belief — that manifests as either living in a shack while you slave away at your craft, living abundantly but too guilty to create at all, or giving up altogether in favor of a career that affords you something other than mac ‘n’ cheese.

The problem with this thinking, besides being a false concept of the creative process, is that it sets up an “either-or” mindset. Damned if you do and… well, you know. But that’s not how life operates. There is no lack in this infinitely abundant universe. The key is to think in terms of “this AND that,” versus “this or that.” You can choose to be rich AND brilliant. Pacino, Streep, and Hanks are all pretty good actors AND have made a few bucks. Spielberg, Fincher, Eastwood, and Howard are powerful directors AND their bank accounts are doing okay. Ron Bass, Akiva Goldsman, and Steve Zallian are Academy Award–winning screenwriters AND million-dollar ones. At the height of Picasso’s career, he could doodle on a napkin and pay for anything.

That’s artistic success, baby!

But feeding the starving artist in you goes beyond merely the monetary aspects. If you harbor a withholding consciousness toward yourself in this area, you’re likely to be depriving yourself in other ways as well. It’s like the idea of spiritual ascetics, who think the way to God is by starving themselves, isolating themselves, and sleeping on a bed of nails! While I understand their reasons, and bless their path, I don’t believe you need to torture yourself to reach enlightenment. And I don’t believe you need to chew glass or contort yourself into bone-numbing postures to achieve artistic Nirvana either. You don’t need to be in painful, insane relationships that end in bloody betrayal and heartbreak in order to write deep, passionate love stories or love songs — even if Tom Petty supposedly did just that to rip songs out of his soul. And you don’t need to be a neurotic mess to be a great writer or actor — although I knew an actress who refused to get therapy for fear that if she “healed” she wouldn’t be able to act any more!

I’m not passing judgment. Every artist has a right to put themselves through hell to create something heavenly. But I am challenging the idea that you have to suffer for your art. Suffering is not a requirement, it’s a choice. In every moment. In every project. The point is, it’s not an either-or issue. You can have great art AND happiness. You can create great work AND be a functional person. You can get your act together — and still have enough material to write that second act! If you’re living in the world of normal human beings, I guarantee you’ve got a warehouse full of painful experiences to draw on — more than you could use in a lifetime. And if that’s not good enough, look around. The world is full of suffering. Millions of people have already done the heavy lifting — and continue to. Just be empathetic, compassionate, and perceptive, and you’ll have a palette full of all the emotional pain you’ll ever need to cover the canvas of your creative life.

So how do you “starve” your artistic self? Like I’ve touched on, if you’re harboring a belief that good art comes out of pain or suffering, on some level you’ll create painful circumstances; you’ll sabotage relationships that could’ve otherwise thrived; you’ll blow opportunities that could’ve fulfilled your creative and practical needs; you’ll send a message to the universe that says, “I’m not worthy,” “I can’t have all of my needs met,” “I don’t deserve to be happy,” “I’m afraid if I’m fulfilled, I’ll become artistically empty.”

There’s a reason many artists are unhappy, broke, in dysfunctional relationships, and on an emotional rollercoaster — and it’s not because that’s the nature of artists. It’s also not because people with emotional or mental problems are more likely to become artists than healthy people. It’s because of the ego’s long-running war to rid the world of art and its inherent power to set us free. The dimension that art arises from is a mystery with the capacity to transform the soul. That’s a big threat to the ego’s reign. And over the centuries it has sought to scare us away from this realm — or at least render us relatively impotent in it — by deriding, judging, and spreading a smear campaign about it.

This has conspired to create a limited belief system around the creative endeavor, a belief system powered by our fear, a belief system that becomes our experience when we accept it. Many creative people have consciously or unconsciously signed this contract and bought into its litany of lies. And because “a lie acts as law until it is neutralized” many artists continue to starve themselves, believing there is a famine — when in fact they are surrounded by fields “white unto the harvest” and “cattle on a thousand hills.” In other words, unlimited wealth and abundance!

So how do you release these lies and reap this bountiful harvest? First, you become conscious of the false contracts you signed under duress — and tear them up. Next, you create a new contract in consciousness by affirming the truth of your divine birthright:

I am a thriving artist!
I am rich AND artistically fulfilled
I am happy AND dynamically creative
I have a totally abundant life AND I’m a prolific creative genius!

And then you begin acting as if it’s so.

This might mean “getting therapy” and becoming a healthy, functional person again. (If you’re reading this book, I imagine you’re willing to do this.) It might also mean being willing to have a healthy romantic relationship that lasts longer than a few months, trusting that you can still write great love stories or songs without all the drama and theatrics in your real life. It might mean that you become willing to “adopt a life of luxury,” as Deepak Chopra says. This will look different for different people. But essentially it looks like having enough of what you need — more than enough — an abundance of everything. You might be thinking, “Well, of course I want this, what do you think I am, a masochist?” No, not consciously. But the mind always moves toward its definition of pleasure. So if you’re experiencing lack, limitation, pain, or suffering in any chronic way, you’re getting a psychological or emotional “payoff” from it.

Feeding the starving artist also means nourishing your creative self by living a life of variety and adventure. It means breaking out of habits and routines; taking a different route home, eating at a different place and eating something you never thought you would, shopping at a different store, traveling to a different vacation spot, hanging out with different people, reading books and magazines you wouldn’t otherwise look at. Feeding the starving artist within you means being open and available to the infinite creative input and possibilities that exist in every moment.

Rather than living in lack and suffering to generate creative expression, a sacred artist binges on a banquet of abundance, variety, sensual, soulful, and spiritual possibilities. Can you imagine what you could create out of that alchemy? Life really is a cornucopia of delights. Let your inner artist feast on it until it is fat and jolly with fulfillment. Then watch it burst forth with a level of creative strength and stamina heretofore unimagined.

“Nothing moves except Mind.”

When this thought first bubbled up in my mind, it startled me.

I had been contemplating the idea that consciousness being infinite, there couldn’t be anything outside of it. But this took it to a new level. Not only could there not be anything outside of consciousness, there can’t be anything other than consciousness (or Mind, in the absolute sense).

I found my attention drawn to my hand and I moved it. Then I realized that my hand hadn’t moved, my mind had. There was an impulse in thought, which was translated into electrical and neurochemical impulses, that then traveled down my spinal cord and cascaded through my nervous system, resulting in a message being sent to the muscles of my hand… “Move.”

Then I remembered the ‘phantom limb’ phenomenon, which is where people who have lost limbs still feel the presence of the limb, and sometimes even have pain or itching in the missing limb. How is this possible? Because the experience of the limb is all in their mind.

I continued this exercise, moving through my whole body, realizing that every action, every function, was not really the activity of my body, it was the activity of my consciousness translated into material expression. The beating of my heart was an activity of consciousness, the breathing of my lungs was an activity of consciousness – indeed my whole body was happening in my consciousness.

This led to another realization: the body doesn’t give us life, our consciousness gives the body life.

The heart or lungs can’t give or take my life away; of themselves, they have no life. Take my consciousness out of it, and neither the heart nor the lungs can function. The eyes don’t allow me to see, nor do the ears allow me to hear, because without my consciousness they are nothing but inert matter. It is my consciousness that sees and hears.

As I followed this beyond my body, I could see that every activity in the ‘body of affairs’; every creation, every relationship, all of the comings and goings of my life, were first a movement of my consciousness. Nothing, no action, no reaction, no creation could enter my experience except as a movement first in my consciousness.

Then another thought occurred to me: “My hand can’t turn and attack me.”

That seemed strange at first until I realized the implications. Why can’t my hand turn and attack me? Because it has no power of itself. It’s nothing until my consciousness moves through and as it. I am the creator, it is the creation. I am cause, it is effect.

That led naturally to the realization that nothing in my body can turn and attack me – not a heart, not my lungs, not a germ or a virus. All of that is inert until I give it life through my consciousness. And that led to the realization that nothing in my ‘body of affairs’ can have any power over me either. Nothing ‘out there’ – all of which is an effect of my consciousness – can do anything to me.

Then a line from scripture surfaced, a line spoken by Jesus to Pontius Pilate when he was on trail. Pilate told him that he had the power to give him life or take it away, and Jesus responded with:

“Thou couldst have no power over me lest it was given thee from above.”

Now the metaphysical meaning of ‘above’ means higher consciousness, the divine consciousness that isn’t caught up in the human, material world. And I realized that was the witness consciousness I was experiencing; the consciousness that wasn’t identified with form, but was the energy that moved all form, the cause behind all effect.

All power, all substance, all creative energy, all causation lies in consciousness. Nothing happens until consciousness moves. Nobody and nothing ‘out there’ has any ability to determine our life experience.

The ONLY power over our life, on every level, is in our consciousness. We are always at the point of power; we are the center of our universe and the source of all that flows into it.

I know this is pretty heady stuff, but experiment with it yourself and see where it leads you!

Stay Inspired!

Derek

We’ve been brought up to believe that the best way to advance our life and work is to solve the problems that inevitably present themselves. Seems logical enough. An obstacle appears, we attack it with whatever tools we have, whatever knowledge we have or can get — and either move it out of the way or obliterate it. From the Newtonian, linear, cause-and-effect understanding of the universe, this seems to be the most effective approach.

This is the logic that leads to invasive medical practices that attack the disease, aggressive legal tactics that bludgeon the opposition into submission, toxic pesticides that kill the pesky invaders, brutal business approaches that crush the competition and, finally, all-out war. Personally, this is the logic that leads me to almost daily struggle against one issue or another.

On the surface, these approaches seem to have served us and helped us evolve as a society.

But have we evolved that much?

Or have we just figured out more and more ways to dominate, manipulate, and control our environment? And at what cost? Have you ever noticed that in most sci-fi stories that take place hundreds or even thousands of years in the future, all the technologies have advanced, but most of the people still look and act like we do now? And they’re almost always facing some impending annihilation of the planet — or universe — because of these advancements in technology and lack of advancements in their humanity or spirituality.

What we know now from the insights of Quantum Physics, as well as the deeper wisdom of ancient mystical teachings, is that the kind of energy we put into something is the kind of energy we get back; the vibration we are putting out is the vibration that is creating our next experience. So if we’re trying to solve or overcome anything from a place of fighting and resisting it, we are setting up more energy of fight and resistance — THAT MUST ULTIMATELY MANIFEST IN OUR LIVES.

Is it just a coincidence or just ‘the way it is’ that every time we combat a disease as a society, something worse shows up on the scene? From smallpox to AIDS to SARS to whatever the next pandemic is. Is there any connection between the fact that we now have more drugs to fight just about every known ailment, but we are, overall, sicker than ever? Have all our wars put an end to war? Have they even ‘made us safer’? Or have they created even more clever, diabolical enemies that can infiltrate our war machine and take us down with box cutters? In virtually every area where we fight and resist as a mode of problem-solving, you are sure to find even more complex problems popping up in response.

So what is the answer? It’s simple, but not easy, because it goes against everything we’ve been taught. It’s not even a new idea, but even though we’ve heard it before, we’re reluctant to really practice it. It seems counter-intuitive and downright reckless. But the only way to solve our problems is…

Stop fighting or resisting them.

Our problems aren’t the problem. Our enemies aren’t the enemy. The truth is that ‘the enemy is in our own household’, meaning it’s in us, in our consciousness. There are no problems or enemies ‘out there’. Just symbols representing where we are living in consciousness; teachers trying to point us back to ourselves for quiet reflection and deep introspection, that we may unearth the false belief, toxic emotion, and ultimately the destructive actions creating our problems.

The truth is that the problems, obstacles, and enemies in our life are ‘evolutionary catalysts’, whose purpose is to evoke an evolutionary response within us.

It’s like the seeds that require a forest fire to crack open their shells and cause them to germinate. If those seeds had a mind of their own, they might see the fire coming and set out to combat it, put it out before it reached them. And on the surface that would have seemed like a success. The only problem is they would have remained seeds and missed their opportunity to make the evolutionary jump into becoming a majestic tree.

Worse, they would be robbing the forest of its next wave of growth; growth that would not only have made it a more beautiful forest, but also provided housing and nourishment for many other creatures and supported the entire eco-system. What’s more – and this is key – the protective environment that would have been created by the new growth, and burning away of dead growth, has been thwarted, making the seeds and forest even more susceptible to a devastating fire that could burn it all down.

I realize this is a controversial thing to pose. And I’m not suggesting that firefighters shouldn’t go out and stop the fires from burning up people’s homes and lives. Nor am I suggesting that doctors stop performing surgery or administering cancer-fighting drugs. But the metaphor still works.

The problems and enemies are there to provoke us into digging deeper, asking deeper or just different questions, calling up latent talents, gifts, and abilities and, most importantly, activating new qualities and capacities in consciousness, such as love, forgiveness, compassion, humility, honesty, courage, and faith. In short, every problem is a call to connect more fully to our divine nature, the self that is already whole, perfect, and complete, and bring it forth into expression.

When we do that, we don’t solve problems, we outgrow them and our larger light dissolves them, because after all, they’re just symbols of ignorance or darkness, and darkness is not a thing of itself, but a lack of light or intelligence.

What’s more, as the problems dissolve, we evolve.

We are not the same person on the other side. We’ve become more of our true self. And the energy we’ve put out – energy of love, compassion, humility – is the energy we get back. So rather than creating more complex problems, we find the problems dissolving before we even get there.

Love your problems. Forgive your enemies. Bless the mess. And give whole-hearted thanks to every challenge and obstacle in your path, knowing that it has come to set your free. And watch as you go from ‘problem-solving’ to spiritually evolving.

So when you are confronted with your next crisis, instead of trembling in fear, thrill with enthusiasm because you know you’re about to grow and reveal more potential than ever before!

Peace & Blessings,

Derek

Even with all we know about the power of our mind to create our experience, it’s still so easy to forget that — since we are the creators of our experience — nothing outside of us has any power over us. We may believe we can manifest something using our mind, but when an event happens that knocks us off center or upsets us, we can easily fall into the trap of believing that the experience is causing us to feel bad.

I found myself the other day receiving some not-so-good news about one of my projects, after having just receiving good news about it the day before, and I went from feeling happy and inspired to feeling disappointed and disillusioned. It was a familiar rollercoaster ride. And I was swept along the experience like I had no control.

Then I caught myself…

I remembered that nothing outside of me can determine my attitude or emotional response, even though it seems like it can — and we’ve been raised to believe it does. In fact, everything I think or feel is always created within my own consciousness. It actually has nothing to do with what’s going on ‘out there’. Some event occurs, my mind assigns a meaning to it, tells me a story about it — and presto! I’m believing and feeling a certain way based on that story.

But if you take the mind out of the equation and step back from the story, the outer event has no meaning; it’s neutral. If it was experienced by several different people, there would be several different meanings and emotional responses, based on the story their minds were weaving.

It has nothing to do with the event!

As soon as I remembered this, I was able to gently withdraw my attention from the experience, focus on what was good about it, what was working, what the gift or lesson in it was, what I was grateful for…and in a relatively short time I was feeling good, even inspired again — in the midst of the ‘bad experience’.

And we can do this for any experience, any time.

We can choose where we put our attention. And because energy flows where our attention goes, we truly become the masters of our fate. No experience can bring us down; every experience becomes an opportunity to either celebrate a success or reward, or learn something that will pull us deeper and take us higher.

Of course this takes some practice. But it’s just like training a puppy. You make them sit still, they run off…you pull them back, they run off again…over and over. But eventually they are trained. The mind works the same way.

So I invite you to join me in this daily practice of becoming the masters of our attention, and choosing to focus on what we want to experience regardless of the outer conditions; looking for the lesson and the blessin’, the gift and the opportunity, in everything that comes our way; and letting our inner intention for spiritual liberation and creative freedom determine how we feel, rather than letting our experience pull our strings

And then watch as our experience shifts to reflect just how good we’re feeling!

Good luck — and stay inspired!

Derek

I’m back. When I started to blog, I did it primarily to start expressing my thoughts and ideas instead of waiting for the ‘professional opportunities’ to do it (like getting hired to write a script or selling my books, etc.).

And before I could even get going, I started getting hired to write scripts, sold books, started speaking and teaching around the world…

And I got too busy to write the blog!

Many scripts, workshops, and two books later (“There’s No Business Like Soul Business” and “I Could’ve Written a Better Movie than that!”), I’m jumping back into the blogosphere (as well as social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkeIn, and Plaxo, so come join me!) But it made me realize a very important principle that has been at work…

I call it The Law of Emergence (incidentally, that’s the title of my next book). And the basic idea is that we are already whole and complete; we already have everything we could ever need embodied within our consciousness — just as the oak is already in the acorn — but we must create the right conditions for this potential to emerge.

The acorn doesn’t have to struggle and strive to become an oak. It already is. And when the conditions are right, the oak emerges.

Likewise, we don’t have to struggle and strive to ‘become somebody’ or ‘achieve our dreams’. We’re already it. We just have to create the right inner and outer conditions (mostly inner), and the great destiny for which we were born begins to emerge organically.

When I decided to just express myself and ‘act as if I was already the thing I wanted to become’, I begin to create the inner conditions of inspiration, joy, and fulfillment — three key qualities that must be cultivated for our emergence — and within a relatively short time, the things I had been struggling to achieve began to emerge in my life.

So I encourage you to look around and ask yourself, “What am I putting on hold until the conditions ‘out there’ are right?” And then find a way, any way, to do that thing, express that quality, and be that person…NOW. Every day.

More on this later.

Until then, have an inspired and productive day!

Peace & Blessings,

Derek

Welcome! I am Derek Rydall and this is my personal blog.

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