The phrase you create your own experience has soured for me over the years through being disappointed with promises from other mystical teachings, which claim that if I think about something, then it will come. I felt like the proverbial donkey with the carrot on the stick urging me forward without the satisfaction of obtaining what it is that I think I want. With this jaded thought process, I delved into the second chapter of The Way of Mastery.
The first section is headed: What You Perceive Is Communicated Always. The initial concept which leaps out at me is that as humans we are constantly using forms to communicate. Form is defined as anything we physically see through our eyes, and this includes the body. This was shocking because my body is explained to be something like a garment or radio. The only purpose my body has is to be a learning and teaching device to other bodies. As I read on my mind reeled with the words, “Remember the mind does not reside with the body, but the body resides in your mind.”
I had to sit and breathe with that concept for a while. I pictured my body as some kind of neuron flash in a giant mind. I am a thought arising and passing away in the greater scheme of things. The vision was really deep and hard to hold on to, and I read further. Three questions were asked:
What am I committed to communicating?
What will my creations express?
What will my creations convey to others?
In the past, I have been committed to communicating fear and love, trust and mistrust, prosperity and lack, and a myriad of other emotions. What I have created speaks of what I believe will keep me protected and will make others appreciate and like me. I have wanted others to make me feel unique in the world, so I would finally feel secure and loved.
These creations are the product of my current beliefs. According to The Way of Mastery, each thought is a deliberate choice to create the world around me. Everything that happens is from a choice I made and invited to the field of my experience. Just like I would choose the groceries that go into my cart, I choose my perceptions in the world around me. I am forever the infinite creator.
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Cue the inner rebellion because I still think that if I take on the responsibility, then where does that leave the responsibility of everyone else? Since I do not have that answer, I read further in the section: Peace Flows From Alignment With The Mind Of God. The word God throws my mind into an internal hissy-fit because I was raised with the perception of a vengeful God, a jealous God, a God of sacrifice, and a God who acted a lot like a human. I really did not want to align myself with a petty God, but my curiosity got the better of me, and I read on in the section.
I was assured that the God I grew up with was a perception, and that I could choose something different. The goal is to return home, a journey that has no distance only the memory of who we have always been. My resistance felt quelled for the moment. I was introduced to the concept that my purpose is not to change the world, but to align with what is true. I was given examples of what it is to be out of alignment: Death, fear, and guilt are all concepts not of truth. That felt nice and then I was given some examples of what alignment with truth is: Eternal life, fearlessness, peace, innocence, joy, and forgiveness.
These seemed like flowery concepts, which feel nice in the moment, but I felt like I needed a concrete example of what it means to create with my thoughts. The next few paragraphs did just that. The notion of a garden was presented, and that we are gardeners. We all plant seeds (our thoughts) and a flower or a plant grows. Subsequently, it continues to flourish, or it withers and dies. As humans, we taught that unless our creations grow then we are failures. The Way of Mastery teaches that all things are neutral, they are just an experience and so there is no such thing as failure, only neutral creations.
That was another idea I needed to breathe through. I have been taught that there are certain signs of success and firm signs of failure. The realization that I determine the meaning was mind-blowing. Further on I read that every physical thing is temporary. The purpose is to acknowledge it, enjoy it, and let it go. The thought of an ocean wave came to mind. I appreciate the beauty of the shape, size, and power, of a wave, but I would not imagine running into the water to try to keep the wave from returning to the ocean where it came from. The thought was comforting and gave me the courage to continue reading in the section: Mastery Arises From Innocence.
This short section discusses the necessity to become like a little child. A child looks on things with innocent wonder and trust. A child has no guilt, conflict, or feelings of unworthiness. If we are to be peaceful in this world, it is imperative to become like a little child. I plowed on into the next section headed: What You Decree, Is.
In this section I was given an exercise to become aware of where I am, to feel the weight of my body, and listen to the sounds around me for five minutes. After the exercise is complete, I am to repeat that I am the creator of my experience. Since I am in my home, the exercise is very centering and peaceful. Then my internal struggle rises with a vengeance when I read that, “I need do nothing.” My mind screams that I will die if I do not do what needs to be done. Then I read further that there is a huge difference between wanting to do something and needing to do something. My mind spasm quieted, and I continued in the section: Practicing The First Two Axioms.
The axioms are:
“I am created as my Father created me to be. I am free. And nothing sources my experience but me in each moment.”
“Nothing has an effect upon me whatsoever, save that which I choose to allow to affect me. I need do nothing.”
Here I am given another exercise to practice morning and evening for five minutes. I am to repeat the phrase, “I need do nothing.”
My mind still softly rebelled, but I want to side with the belief that I do not have to do what I do not want to do. The section moves on to convince me that it is my destiny to be a creator. Then the text illustrates a comical false picture of God sitting on a throne wondering if he is worthy to create everything, including us and through us. I admit that I did laugh out loud realizing that is how silly it is that I wonder if I am eligible to create what I want.
The final section in this chapter is: Exercise In Conscious Creation. I am given my last exercise for today. I am to select an activity that seems utterly ordinary and devoid of any spirituality. Each time I perform that act, I am to become aware of it as something self-created and stop and say, “It is very good. I have done this, and it is good. I have created.” I chose taking sips of tea from my cup as my mundane task. I soon recognized how often I was going to repeat this lesson.
In the remaining text, I was assured that I am not alone in traveling this path, neither am I the first to traverse it. I am encouraged to practice the exercises with zeal and outrageous playfulness. Spirituality and playfulness have never been in the same realm for me, so I am excited to continue the journey through this book, and I hope you will read along with me.