Into the Void

Knowledge and courage take turns at greatness. Because they are immortal, they can make you so. You are as much as you know, and if you are wise you can do anything. The uninformed person is a dark world unto himself. Judgment and strength: eyes and hands. Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit.

·    Baltasar Gracián - Aphorism No. 4, The Art of Worldly Wisdom - A Pocket Oracle

I like to know things. I like to know things in my head. For some reason, I continually battle with the illusion that if I know in my head how things are going to be - what's going to happen and when - then I'm safe.

That's entirely different than the way my life works now. And the way it works now is better. It's more exciting. It's fun. It's vital. I'm always solving one mystery or another about what I'm learning, where I'm going next, and what this grand universe is going to reveal to me in the next light show.

Sometimes I do get a glimpse of what's going to happen. But things don't always happen exactly that way. Because when I can accurately picture the future in my mind, I'm still thinking in one dimension - a stick figure in the causal body of my mind. That doesn't leave room for intuition, emotions, the guidance of spirit, and the unraveling of the light show with a series of physical events leading to the grand surprise - the lesson I'm learning. What I think is going to happen is a freeze frame of one event in the ongoing movie reel of life. It's a one- or two-dimensional picture.

A sneak preview.

And what I see in my head doesn't usually involve what I have to do first: jump into the void, surrender control, go through the experience, feel my emotions, and in the process discover my soul and find my spiritual path.

Old habits die hard, or so people say.

The habit of thinking one-dimensionally and hoping and wishing for a one-dimensional life that gives things to me without my active participation is unrealistic, wishful thinking.

Make room in your mind, emotions, body, and soul - in your heart - for all the twists and turns life takes, for all the emotions it generates, for all the guidance you'll receive from your intuition and body, and for all the lessons you'll learn, the growth you'll achieve, the work you'll accomplish, the people you'll touch, and the ways you'll be touched by them. Make room for surprises.

Make room for multidimensionality.

Make room for miracles, too.

Melody Beatte, Finding Your Way Home - A Soul Survival Kit ©1998


Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.

·    Denis Waitley

We are all familiar with the motions of life: One day you’re up, another day you’re down. If only you read the newspapers, you experience it. If only you look in the mirror, you see it. If only you get up in the morning, you know what I’m talking about. We all have mood swings. And so, apparently, does our economy, our life cycle, our entire world.

A few weeks ago, the local newspaper 4 was reporting that the unemployment rate had “reached an eight-year high of 6%”, but recently I read that it looks increasingly better, and that Cal State Long Beach even reports that they “are going to look back on (the recent slowdown) as a cycle that was very, very mild compared to the early 90s”. 5 Both articles were representing the truth, one from a glass-is-half-empty point of view, and the other from a glass-is-half-full perspective. And, in hindsight, we can conclude that it is not all that bad a situation these days …unless, of course, you’re on the receiving end of the lay-off cycle.

It seems that maintaining our sanity in today’s world depends on our perspicacity and our ability to anticipate the increasing spiral of changes. It’s almost frightening what’s happening around us. The rate of change is speeding up to a fear-provoking level; like a song that starts out mellow, but takes off in rhythm as it proceeds, until it reaches a crescendo like an out of control piece of the hardest rock you’ve ever heard. Take computers: wasn’t it just yesterday that a 1 gig hard drive was top of the line and top of the possibilities, and now, we’re easily talking hundreds of gigs in one single processor!

So, if change is developing like a fast-forwarding movie in front of weary eyes, what is the secret of keeping up with it? Because, unfortunately, the other side of the coin is, that we have to deal with the fact that the changes in our species are not happening THAT fast. We are physically the same creature today as we were 10, 100, or even 1000, years ago, and our evolution only happens in millions of years. So, will this, then, mean that we’re racing toward a crash? Or is there a possibility for us to anticipate? And how do we do that?

The only acceptable reasoning I could come up with is, expecting the unexpected, and not thinking linear anymore. Never, ever, ever again. For “nothing sets a person up more than having something turn out just the way it's supposed to be, like falling into a Swiss snow drift and seeing a big dog come up with a little cask of brandy round its neck.” 3 Forecasts? Take note of them, but don’t accept them as given, for they have been known more to be misleading than to result in reality. Accountant- reports? They are statements of the past. Economical analyses? They calculate what’s happening today based on the past: and they come up with the most contradicting outcomes. Ever compared one economical perspective with a few others? If you want to have a frustrating day, do that! Financial overviews? They try to detect trends for the future based on the past and on the current situation: in a linear, and hence, obsolete, way. The power that will keep your head above the rapid stream of developments is, the power of anticipation. And with anticipation comes an infinite amount of flexibility.

Whether anticipation can be perceived as no. 1 on the list or not, it sure hits the top-ten in importance for leaders! Every leader with intentions to maintain his/her position for years to come knows this much: the only certainty is uncertainty; the only constant is change; the only guarantee is the full surprise of tomorrow; and the only way to deal with every possible tomorrow is to anticipate.

How shallow is, therefore, the act of mentally attaching oneself to whatever one’s current status may be. Moreover, how superficial is the act of judging anyone on appearances. How ultimately narrow-minded is consequently the process of underestimating any living creature, since “you can't expect a person to see eye to eye with you when you're looking down on him.” 1

How shortsighted are also our attempts to control our fate. How thoughtless is our attitude of arrogance, captured in a swollen ego, and how preposterous, on the other hand, is excessive fear.

So, what are the essentials then? Here goes: Anticipate! And become a full part of life’s flow. Anticipate! And be prepared for everything. Anticipate! And guarantee your mental growth. Anticipate! And become strong. “For, he that expects nothing shall not be disappointed, but he that expects much - if he lives and uses that in hand day by day - shall be full to running over.” 2

Contributed by Joan Marques
Joan Marques believes that the journey called 'life' should be as pleasant as can be, that one should reach out for themself, and for others within their reach. Her company specializes in teaching personal and organization leadership in higher education and promoting and teaching the how-to's of spirituality in corporate work settings. Her goal is to transform every experience into a worthwhile experience by teaching that, "nothing is worth doing if it is not fun."

Article References:
1 Best of Bits and Pieces, Online Quotations from Cyber Nation International, Inc.
2 Edgar Cayce, Online Quotations from Cyber Nation International, Inc.
3 Claud Cockburn, Online Quotations from Cyber Nation International, Inc.
4 Cox, J. (2002, Thursday, May 16). Area job outlook is good. Daily News, pp. 1-2.
5 Hopkins, B. (2002, Saturday, May 4, 2002). 8.59 million now jobless - Unemployment rate climbs to 6%. Daily News, pp. 1 & 3.
6 Denis Waitley. Online Quotations from Cyber Nation International, Inc.


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

·    Psalm 139

It takes a lot of courage to invite miracles into my life. One has to believe that a miracle will be there if it is the right thing at the right time. One must believe. Belief invites trust and faith to be a part of the process. For me, that was not an easy thing to do just a few years back. It takes faith to take a risk. It is fearful to know that, when I leave the known to go into the unknown, that I will either find a firm footing or learn to fly. Herbert Otto put it this way, "Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life."

In the Book of Mormon, the ancient prophet Ether wrote his thoughts of hope, stating that it comes of faith, making "an anchor for the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast." In other words, we can have hope and take risks and "experiment" with life if we have faith. Package deal. Don't leave home - uh, experiment - without it. I believe that having the confidence to take risks (which will surely result in change and growth) also comes with the development of personal faith.

Good fortune has a few rules, too. Wisdom brings with it the understanding that not everything depends upon chance. Fortune is helped along by effort. But the best plan of action is based upon prudence and virtue. Bad fortune is often rooted in rashness and imprudent decisions. I am becoming more able to place trust in my discernment because I am, more frequently, able to say that my decisions are based upon virtue and prudence, and to confidently go forth into the void.

It is not a simple reliance upon the strength of my own physical or mental powers alone. It is a matter of depending upon the whisperings of Spirit, the paradigm of experience, and the boldness of having made a decision and owning the consequences of it, knowing that even if it turns out to be the wrong thing to have done, a positive and useful lesson will be the result.

Madame Helena Petrova Blavatsky, founder of Theosophy, offered this thought: "To act and act wisely when the time for action comes, to wait and wait patiently when it is time for repose, put man in accord with the rising and falling tides (of affairs), so that with nature and law at his back, and truth and beneficence as his beacon light, he may accomplish wonders." It is vital that I know when it is time to act and when it is time to exercise patience, and to be well prepared for each.

Is it possible to anticipate things? I believe so, if I am always doing so, like Denis Waitley suggests. There is a power in the soul that knows how to gather energy while things are slow, in preparation for the trials which are surely ahead. There is a confidence in the soul that knows when to take risks, when to act prudently, and when to virtuously withdraw.

I claim the power in my soul. I invite miracles into my life, as the Universe sees fit to send them. And I am certain that I am going to be surprised, no matter what else may happen.



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