The Refinement of Everyday Thinking
The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.--Albert Einstein
There is a significant difference between thinking you know and actually knowing. Just as there's a significant difference between superficial change and change on a cellular level. It's one thing to move the furniture around for a fresh new look; it's quite another to rearrange your "DNA" - your destiny, nature and aspirations - which is exactly what you're doing when you search for your authenticity. Start to do that and you get a fresh new life.
When I started writing this book, I knew that if I integrated gratitude, simplicity, order, harmony, beauty, and joy into my daily round, a sense of lack diminishes and a sense of abundance increases. That seemed to be quite enough. What I didn't know or even anticipate was the potency of the Simple Abundance process when combined with passionate and persistent reflection over two years. It is virtually impossible to write a book on authenticity as a spiritual and creative path and not be profoundly changed by it.
On paper, Einstein's mathematical equation E=mc2 appears rather benign, doesn't it? But it led to the development of the atomic bomb.
On paper, gratitude / simplicity / order / harmony / beauty / joy = authenticity appears equally benign. But I have discovered that this equation leads to complete personal and spiritual transformation - a mystical metamorphosis of our particular "DNA" that's so deep our egos don't know whether they're coming or going. One minute we're sure of ourselves, the next, we're second-guessing. This can be very disconcerting to our conscious selves.
Of all the definitions of the ego I've ever discovered, my favorite is Joseph Campbell's: "What you think you want, what you will to believe, what you think you can afford, what you decide to love, what you regard yourself as bound to." Now, there's one tough babe to reckon with, and she's got a stranglehold on your destiny, nature, and aspirations that's so strong it will take nothing less than a Divine detonation before she lets go.
Don't worry. About this time, you're poised for critical mass - that point when a self-sustaining chain reaction occurs.
In physics, nuclear fusion occurs when two separate elements, like hydrogen and helium, are forced together. Through the exertion of extreme pressure and temperature, a surge of energy as powerful as the sun is suddenly released until the hydrogen and helium are completely transformed, producing an entirely new force in the universe. This is how new stars are created.
In your search for authenticity, a similar process occurs. You fuse the six Simple Abundance principles, or outward lifestyle changes, with your own inner work, or what Einstein called "the refinement of everyday thinking." Now exert real life's pressures and the heat of your own passions on the six principles, and ponder for at least one to two years. The result? One day the transformative process builds to a point at which it can no longer be contained within. A huge surge of creative energy is suddenly released, bringing forth a completely new entity: your authentic self, the visible manifestation of your soul.
When this happens, "what you think you want, what you will to believe, what you think you can afford, what you decide to love, and what you regard yourself as bound to," will seem as if they belonged to another [person]. They did.
After passionately and persistently exploring the origins of the universe, Albert Einstein came to know that "Something deeply hidden had to be behind things." When you passionately and persistently search for Wholeness, you'll know as well.
-Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance - A Daybook of Comfort and Joy©1995
There is so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the best of us,
That it ill behooves any of us
To find fault with the rest of us.--Anonymous
This month is one of gifts - custom, ceremony, celebration and consecration - not wrapped in tissue and ribbon, but as cherished memories. We have begun this period of celebration and custom with the gathering of our loved ones to partake of a meal together. But while not all of us had the opportunity to celebrate the Day of Thanks with our loved ones, we still found a moment or two to be thankful for our blessings, and to remember holiday seasons of the past with fondness.
We have recently given thought to the gift of loving family and friends, the gift of good health, and the most treasured gift of the opportunity to learn those lessons that will help us to move further along our Path and grow into the person that we are meant to be. This time of year, we begin to think of others, to become less selfish, and open our hearts and our purses for those we love as well as those that are less fortunate. We consider the gift of the royal Son, born in a stable... the return of Light after the longest night of the year. It is a time of Love and of Miracles.
This is also a time when we look back upon what we have accomplished during this year, measuring our progress against memories of where we were and what we were doing this time last year, or the year before. As children, we might have tried to fit into clothing that we had outgrown, which was too small for our growing body. Now as adults, we may try to hold on to old, outgrown attitudes or ways of thinking. What seemed so special to us last year may not work for us anymore, because we have grown. It is a time of endings, a time to put away the old and prepare for the new. This is a time of year to accept changes, to realize that the season of some things in our lives is past, and to move on with hope for what the future holds. Let last year's toys be what they are: last year's toys. Remember them with fondness for the part they have played in your life, then put them away and make room for the new.
And so, we come to this final month of the year, cheering ourselves with festivities while the darkness grows longer each day. We bring the evergreen into our homes to remind us of the immortality of the soul, that not all things die. We light candles in ceremonies that remind us of covenants and promises made and kept. And we consecrate ourself to personal growth and improvement, to sharing our blessings with others. While all about us in nature seems to decay and grow dim, it also dreams about the rebirth and renewal - within the bare bones of the landscape are the seeds of a glorious Spring, an abundant harvest. This is a time to consecrate yourself to those seeds within you that will grow and bloom, to sow that you may reap. Put your faith in the abundance that this time of year has for you, and share the blessing of it with others who are dear to you.
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