Belief IS the Magic
From the book: Peak Vitality: Raising the Threshold of Abundance in
Our Material, Spiritual and Emotional Lives
"A wonderful collection of essays about well being and peak performance. With short chapters just 5 to 15 pages long, the information is easy to digest and implement in your life. Equally impressive is the list of collaborating authors including Mehmet Oz, Deepak Chopra, John Gray, Eckhart Tolle and Prince Charles to name a few." LA Chronicle, Mar 15, 2008
I'm not usually fond of anthologies, especially when it comes to political or historical subjects, but when it comes to matters of the spirit or health, I kind of like the idea. Elite books has published a series of interesting books along these lines. Peak Vitality is the latest. Jeanne House was the editor on this one. The following is a slightly longer version of her chapter from the book. I especially liked her unique take on Ponce de Leon and Aladdin and the Lamp. Their search is our search. Editor
The author and her twin sister Janet
Belief IS the Magic
by Jeanne M. House
Who are we? Whence did we come? And what are we doing here?
I remember first asking these questions when my identical twin sister and I were five years old and we were innocent and still had our inner sense. She was she and I was me, yet we both came from the very same womb, the very same “stuff”.
No two people are just alike, of course; we are all unique individuals, yet at the same time we are indivisible from our Source. Even at five my sister and I understood that we both had our very own worthwhile purpose. To “us,” anything was possible; yet to “them,” that wasn’t the case. Since we appeared exactly alike, most people tried to convince us that we actually were. So, we learned very early not to mistake appearances for reality.
Joseph Campbell advises us to follow our bliss. Despite the efforts of the nuns in our Catholic school, that is exactly what we did! My sister took her most cherished desires outward and experienced them with all of their flying colors, in action. I experienced bliss in a more inward way. So even though we appeared exactly alike, we were actually polarities of one another. And this served our collective purpose very well. Whenever she needed a quick reading on her soul, she would check in with me. And whenever I needed to launch a brilliant idea, I would check in with her. My twin sister and I mirrored each other’s opposites and reflected back to one another our greatest strengths.
Light shines through a crystal and suddenly a rainbow of colors dances across my desk. Brilliant red, orange, yellow, green, blue and, finally a violet hue shimmers all around me. This reminds me that each one of us is a perfect gem with our own unique color, frequency, and vibration originating from the white light that shines through the prism. As we radiate with that frequency we contribute to this Great White Light. If we try on someone else’s frequency, however, the white light could no longer exist; it needs every hue in the spectrum to be complete.
We are all authors of our own destiny and masters of our own circumstances. As children, most of us understand this and the world seems full of infinite possibilities! But by adulthood we lose this wisdom and consciously or unconsciously give away our own power, either to other people or to outer circumstance. That is well and good for a time, but at some point we will become fed up and seek to take the reigns back into our own hands.
Who are we? Whence did we come? What are we doing here? When we start to ask ourselves these questions it is usually a sign that we are about to embark on a journey of self-mastery. Once we get a taste of this magic in us, we are no longer satisfied to be enslaved by other people or the world around us. Our lives then become more vitalized, joyous, and adventurous. Outer judgments, appearances, and opinions cease to matter so much and we begin to focus inward, where we can imagine and believe in a whole new world.
Throughout history and around the world most people have felt the inner stirrings of divine dissatisfaction with even the “best” of day-to-day existence. This craving for more arises in those quiet moments when we know, deep down, that no amount of money or status, no credentials, career, or ideal mate can ever really fill us up or make us feel whole. While it may be tempting to think of our discontent as some modern developmenta kind of circumstantial ennui symptomatic of contemporary Western lifeit is a basic aspect of the human condition. It was this very yearning that inspired the greatest stories and heroic journeys of all timebut the dissatisfaction is only the beginning. Recognizing and acting on it is the real adventure.
Back in the fifteenth century, a Spanish explorer named Juan Ponce de Leon grew bored with his material wealth. He began to fixate on a tale he had heard as a boy about the miraculous “Water of Life,” an eternal wellspring that flowed unimpeded and never gave up! Assuming this to be a literal youth-rendering spring in a far-off land of plenty, Ponce de Leon launched an expedition across the Atlantic to the Americas. He searched high and low, holding fast to his dream…but to his great disappointment he found neither the fountain nor the salvation he sought.
The story of the Fountain of Youth lives on in our memories as a symbol of our hope for eternal life. It can even be viewed as the power of positive thinking over challenging circumstances or rejuvenating our attitude in order to revitalize our minds and hearts. Yet, like Ponce de Leon, we often seek approval, success, and fame outside of ourselves. Whenever we draw near to an illusion it simply disappears and reappears in the distance. After all, mirages are simply images that we mistake for reality. Instead of striving for something outside of ourselves, however, we can access the very same magic within us, saving ourselves the trouble and wasted energy of deluded journeys.
It is up to each of us to choose how we spend the natural resource of energyof lifewith which we are born. Whether we understand this gift as Aristotle did when he first coined the term energy to express the concept of vigor of expression, or as a more spiritual, cosmic force, as they taught in the Mystery schools, each one of us is a unique aspect of the universal energy, personified. We express this energy through our thoughts, our feelings, our words, and our physical activities. In this way, the eternal wellspring flows unimpeded through our worlds. It is within our power to properly direct this fount of energy so that we can lift ourselves out of mediocrity and into true vitality.
There is magic in believing and hoping for a better tomorrow. We dissipate the magic when we doubt its existence and limit our focus to that which is external to ourselves. Our attitude and our attention are our directors on the journey. Our focused attention is a sieve through which the pulp of life is pressed. What comes out in our day-to-day lives is molded by our own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Yes, we are creating our life circumstances from our very own essence. It isn’t something “out there,” but “in here” that should matter to us most of all.
Energy and vibration, correctly applied, are as scientific as our radio or electricity. A live wire is a live wire, regardless of our opinions about whether it has a charge or not. We accept outside opinions because we have forgotten about our own energy source. But when opinions about who we are or what we do are destructive, they kill our higher aspirations. They clothe light with discord instead of harmony. We can access our inner vitality anytime, without chasing after outer illusions, by simply proving this Law. When we remove the limitations of fear, doubt, and worry, then, energy will naturally flow through our lives and bring our dreams into manifestation. Faith is the key to what seems like a mystery. We must concentrate on the good and not the bad that can happen. Of course, this takes work; it is not simply a mental thing. It takes courage, stamina, and discipline to stay on course. Seeking after our ideals will most likely take us on some unnecessary detours and a few wild goose chases.
It is essential, during these times of frustration and setback, that we remember the alchemists’ Law of the One: as above, so below. Concentrating only on the failures, disappointments, and hurts of our past douses the inner flame of truth and vision. If we nurture this flame within us, the flow of energy and vitality will keep us youthful and vibrant. Anytime we judge other people, our life circumstances, or ourselves we tie ourselves to matterinstead of what really mattersand dam up the pure stream of our consciousness with con-dam-nation.
If we are experiencing inner poverty or inner bankruptcy, we should pay closer attention to which sticky point of our past is preventing us from moving forward in this otherwise fluid stream toward perfection. We may also want to carefully consider what compels us to journey to barren lands rather than the land of plenty. When we tune into what the divine intends for us, we are free to drink of the Fount of Truth. We then realize that behind the appearance world lies an infinite world of masterful causes. We also discover that we matter in the great scheme of things and this fuels our journey, propelling us forward.
Attention is key to our victory! In order to change our mood or mental state, we need to change where we place or attention by deliberately focusing on something more desirable. Our will directs our attention and our attention affects our vibration. If we cultivate the art of attention, we solve the secret of mastering our moods and mental states. To change our world we must change our consciousness. What we experience in life are finite ideas projected into materiality. Behind what we see is what spirit sees, and that infinite vision constitutes Reality.
The Attractor Factor
Energy moves through our consciousness and is either utilized as is, or it is altered according to our vibration and energy field. It is shaped by and shows up in the world according to our consciousness. In order to attract true abundance in our lives, we need to cultivate the faith vibration. At every turn along our journey we must believe that we can take part in these masterful causes and not merely be blind instruments of our past actions. We must keep reminding ourselves that no thing “out there” has any power over us, unless we let it.
The faith vibration attracts all that we have and experience. If our faith is pulsating to the “just getting by” frequency, then so, too, it is reflected in our world. If our faith is dialed in or set on insufficiency, there will never be enough. You see, our “All-seeing and All-knowing Self” sees no darkness; it only sees infinite possibility! It cannot want or it would not be. This pure thought energy is a mighty power force that presses and radiates through our consciousness with unlimited supply, boundless prosperity, and overflowing abundance.
But, in order to maximize this force, we must watch our motives. Even if we are doing spectacular work for an outer cause, we might fail all of the time due to desire for power, place, and self-satisfaction. In order to reach the lost horizon, we need to proceed with wisdom and selflessness in every act. As we gain more faith muscles, the Water of Life flows at a more rapid speed and we enter a more purified stream of awareness that has a much faster vibration. We need to guard our intent, because the journey gets perilous while we gain speed. We can fall as far backward as we have come forward. We need to make sure that we don’t gain riches at the expense of others. The goal is self-dominion, not domination over people, nature, or the world around us. Only when we have learned self-mastery, when we cannot harm a single creature, can we master the elements of the world around us and gain our rightful inheritance.
This may have been where Ponce de Leon got caught up. If he had indeed found an actual fountain that ran with the waters of youth and eternal life, his discovery may have served a “higher” good of bringing miraculous healing to humankind. But his focus was external, and his vision limited and ego-driven.
Tales of magic carpets, incredible voyages, glorious fountains, and wish-fulfilling lamps are eternal symbols of our yearning. As reminders of the reality of the presence of perfection they give us hope when much of our daily attention is focused on distress and imperfection. But, each time we deny this imperfection, we can refocus our journey upward in our consciousness: like the church spire pointing towards heaven, or our majestic mountain ranges, or the graceful pine trees swaying ever so slightly to and fro, (which are designed to remind us to look upward to the perfected realms of our own consciousness). When we do this, we are both renewed and refreshed.
The very same building block of the Ageless Wisdom is contained in all these stories: the concept of all-sufficiency. The ancients knew how to release divine energy from within in order to transmute discord into harmony, ignorance into wisdom, fear into love, and lack into abundance. But the Secret of the Ages was not just given to anyone. It was only divulged to those who had eyes to see and ears to hear. For century upon century, many of us have spent much of our vitality trying to discover the secret to lasting life. Each part of the world has a different concept of that dream. Traditionally, the East has been the land of spirit and mystery, whereas the West has been characterized by the cult of the concrete, in which money, science, and machines are the idols worshipped. While Aladdin’s carpet is a magical means of transportation of spirit, we in the West, known for our material focus, have preferred our rugs on the cold, hard floorbeautiful at best, and by all means “practical.”
It is true that Westerners have believed primarily in things that we can touch and feel. Lately however, even our scientists have begun to understand the unseen forces that make and mold the universe. They have discovered hidden laws and powers that lie beneath the seemingly manifest reality. And these same powers are within us.
At long last…the secret is revealed. The secret is: There is no secret. There is only LAW ~ the One Law of Eternal Perfection.
We are perfect, we just forgot. Anything else is simply various vibrations and energies leading away from or to the Undivided ONE Source, which is Perfection. It just takes a shift of consciousness to embrace this idea. But if we doubt this One Law of Eternal Perfection then we doubt the immutable law that under-girds the whole universe.
You see, Ponce de Leon was searching for temporal things. He was chasing after effects instead of causes. He didn’t discover the Eternal Abundance, the treasures already buried within. Instead, he believed that he alone would find the secret to lasting youth and joy. Because he didn’t know where to look, he came up empty. What he didn’t realize was that this secret was available to everyone no matter what their life circumstances appear to be. Everyone is born with free will, so we all have the power to choose at any moment where we place our attention: on poverty or abundance. If we just believed in our rightful inheritance and guarded that belief, the riches could be ours, too.
Each of one of us has the same potential for genius. Interestingly, the common understanding of this word genius, “wit or talent,” is in fact the third, most abstracted definition of the original Latin definition. The first is “guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth; spirit, incarnation.”¹ Take into account the related word genie and it becomes clear that this magical spirit of our own potential is with us all the time, simply awaiting our recognition and command.
In the story of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, Aladdin discovers two genies: a genie or slave of the ring, given to him by a conniving sorcerer who wants to use Aladdin for his own purposes, and a genie or slave of a lamp, which he discovers by accident.
This story is our story. The two genies illustrate that we are slaves of both the Ponce de Leon-like slave of satisfying our outer senses (represented by the ring) and the slave of the Greater Light in the lamp, which Aladdin eventually embraces as his own light source. We simply have to choose whom we will serve at any given time. We can either be a slave to our human desires and get wrapped up with the enchanted treasures of our mental vision, or we can become the Slave of the Lamp, so possessed and rapt up with the extraordinary light that the boundary between self and Self fades and we become a vessel of Light. When there is no boundary between us, and the Light of the Lamp, we cannot possibly be surpassed by any man upon earth, either in high degree or in wealth and opulence; nor could the mightiest monarch attain to the all-sufficiency of the Lamp and its magical means.
It wasn’t always easy for Aladdin to believe in himself; even his mother didn’t believe that he could transform from a poor, wayward, wanderlust vagabond to be worthy of marrying a princess and eventually rule an entire kingdom. Once the sorcererthe traitor withinhad given him the ring, it seemed that Aladdin might get lost in the illusion of riches and shiny things. But he eventually transformed his own paradigm and reversed the negative spell by using the magical ring for more productive purposes. In this way, the ring within the story is a part of a greater tradition of rings or circles, resonating on three different levels with ancient esoteric meanings of this symbol:
1) The Circle of Onenes: Every time Aladdin acted upon his One- Eyed -Vision of marrying the princess, he would see his one-pointed objective as absolutely good, real and achievable. This would automatically summon the Genie of the Lamp, his inner sense or his sixth sense, to be at his command and fulfill his every rightful desire.
2) The Ring-Pass-Not: Aladdin also used the magical ring as a “ring-pass-not.” He visualized a ring of light around himself that repelled all thoughts or beliefs from the outside that would tarnish his one-pointed vision of becoming a prince and ruling his own kingdom.
3) The Circle of Necessity: The copper ring magnetized back to him, his exact same energetic frequency. Every time he was double minded and couldn’t quite see himself as royalty, he accessed the genie in the sorcerer’s ring, (his own conniving sorcerer within). In his two-eyed vision-- his perception of himself was limited to his five senseswhich limited his scope and destroyed all hope. Thereby, what “comes around; goes around,” and while he chose this ring, his world was nothing but rounds and rounds of the very same thing.
Early on in the story, all Aladdin could do was outwardly magnetize his own poverty consciousness. Thank God he met the sorcerer, or he would have never find his True Source of power. When his mother accidentally rubbed the lamp he realized that he would have to worksomething he had tried to avoid all his life. He had some serious subconscious programming to get over and one of them was idleness. But once he did the work and rubbed that lamp and let Light do its thing, the Slave of the Lamp showed him how to produce gold in the twinkle of an eye! With Light it is easy, because the light does not work, it simply joyously acts on our behalf.
Consciousness is the weapon of the master. It took Aladdin a while to become conscious that the power of the lamp was actually the power that was hidden within him. In the meantime, he was running the genie in the Lamp ragged. But all he had to do was acknowledge that he and the genie were one and the same. It wasn’t until he lost the lamp by the cunning of the sorcerer who traded new lamps (and new paradigms) for old that Aladdin realized that he would have to discover this very same power for himself.
The turning point in the story was when on one of his byways, Aladdin was booby trapped beneath a cave and nothing from his past behaviors helped him escape (the limited conditions that he placed on himself), so he prayed ‘I testify that there is no God save thy alone…thou art my Sufficiency and thou art my Truest of Trustees, and ‘in a twinkling of an eye,” his annoy turned into joy and he was transported directly to his home. This experience gave Aladdin a new way to behave. Now he knew to bow before this inner Light, in order to remove his chagrin and to begin a new journey within.
Like a true hero, Aladdinwhose name comes from the Arabic Ala’ al Din, or “nobility of faith” ² transforms himself over the course of his story, shifting his small, outward focus within to find the magic of his own true nature. Compare this to his Western counterpart, Ponce de Leon, whose limited understanding of his own quest brought him nothing but frustration and failure. Of course, one of these stories is historical fact and the other metaphor, but like so many other tales from cultures around the world, they share the common theme of a search for the elusive mystery that will lift the characters out of mundane “reality” and into bliss. What these heroes are really searching for is a state of being, entirely independent of physical locations or material things.
The Western logical mind is finally catching up with the Eastern adepts. Our scientists are teaching us that light is pure action, uncontaminated and perfect. It is eternally sustained, indestructible, and self-luminous. Max Planck taught us the importance of the action of light when he discovered that action comes in wholes and that light is intelligent. “Thus,” he wrote, “the photons, which constitute a ray of light, behave like intelligent human beings: out of all possible curves, they always select the one which will take them most quickly to their goal.”³ Light, by which we can see, cannot be seen.
Light Is Not Seen: It Is Seeing
This light is only part of what we see in our daily world. The sun shines through a prism and the invisible light rays show up as color(4), red light having long wavelength and low frequency, and violet light shorter wavelength and higher frequency. Over the range from red to violet the frequency of light doubles (one octave), according to Arthur Young. This reminds us that we are all vibrating at a certain frequency, but that we can also change the speed of our frequency at any time. I wonder how it would be, if we double our frequency?
If we aim the light carefully we can transmute the red of our passions into the violet hue and become anew. Like the light flowing through Aladdin’s Lamp, we can visualize this pulsing energy as liquid gold that is qualified by our feelings and etched with a stamp of intention as it travels throughout our nervous system. By changing our feelings, we can change our attention. And by guiding our attention and governing our feelings, we can direct this living light to a greater height and, thereby, master our world. Remember, no thing or circumstance “out there” has any power over us unless we feed it our energy and give it our attention.
Like Aladdin we can care not what is going on in our world but take a stand for our spiritual rights. Each one of us determines our pathway, because when we use our minds and feelings in constructive ways it is impossible for our ideals not to come into our physical world. The nervous system is like a network of fine wires, which carry the messages of our thoughts, feelings, attitudes and beliefs, throughout our body. It is only our discordant feelings that cause disintegration, old age, lack of memory, and every other failure in our world. When we dwell on imperfection, especially in our feelings, which qualify our thoughts, we lower our vibrations and then we become prey to depression, poverty, ill-health, and so on. In this way, we don’t subdue our emotions, but we simply transmute them into pure substance. And with this new energy we can paint a new landscape.
True visualization helps us to bring perfection into our worlds. We can manifest any secret into life if we hold our attention unwaveringly. But we must acknowledge the Light within us as the doer. Because what we see, hear, taste, touch and smell are our beliefs objectified and our experiences are merely effects. When we judge the effects, we believe “them” and give them power over us. Many of us find ourselves pondering…if I could only find my dream. Is such a method a fantasy? A power greater than ourselves surely put our dreams in our mind’s eye to remind us that we are far from small and insignificant. We must believe that the power is within us because the magic is IN the believing!
Even as children my sister and I instinctively believed in this magic and knew not to believe only in appearances. But, after much seeking and trying to embody each other’s apparent talent, we finally discovered the seemingly hidden Law of the Contrary. We didn’t have to lose either our key talents; we merely needed to naturally blend with our opposite. For her, being in action was fine, but it was better to act on the I. And I realized that a vision is important to launch any project, but that a goal is a dream with a deadline.
A quick powerful change of attention can do wonders. To every negative thought, tie a positive one. Ponce de Leon and Aladdin would have discovered this ancient method of mastery sooner, if they had met. When we become masters of our mental and feeling states, instead of being servants and slaves to them, the universe will be at OUR command!
¹ According to the online etymology dictionary at www.etymonline.com.
² According to the online etymology dictionary at www.etymonline.com.
³ Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers, trans by Frank Gaynor. New York: Philosophical Library, 1949, p. 178. Quoted by Arthur Young in The Reflexive Universe, Ch 2 New York: Delacorte, 1975.
4 Arthur Young, The Reflexive Universe: Evolution of Consciousness, Ch 2 Anodos Publications, 1976, Cambria. Ca.