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Imagine you are a denizen of the 18th century. It’s just past 8:30 P.M., you’ve got your night-cap on. You blow out your candles and fall asleep to the smell of the wax and the wick, which gently fills the air around your bed. Some hours pass. 2:30 AM. You awaken, grab your coat, and visit the neighbors because they, too, are up. Doing quiet reading, prayer, or even having sex. Well, apparently before the age of electricity, sleeping twice a night was completely ubiquitous.
Back in those times, we slept twice a night, getting up for an hour or two for recreation before heading back to bed until dawn.
The existence of our sleeping twice per night was first uncovered by Roger Ekirch, professor of History at Virginia Tech.
His research found that we didn’t always sleep in one eight hour chunk. We used to sleep in two shorter periods, over a longer range of night. This range was about 12 hours long, and began with a sleep of three to four hours, wakefulness of two to three hours, then sleep again until morning.
References are scattered throughout literature, court documents, personal papers, and the ephemera of the past. What is surprising is not that people slept in two sessions, but that the concept was so incredibly common. Two-piece sleeping was the standard, accepted way to sleep.
“It’s not just the number of references – it is the way they refer to it, as if it was common knowledge,” Ekirch says.
An English doctor wrote, for example, that the ideal time for study and contemplation was between “first sleep” and “second sleep.” Chaucer tells of a character in the Canterbury Tales that goes to bed following her “firste sleep.” And, explaining the reason why working class conceived more children, a doctor from the 1500s reported that they typically had sex after their first sleep.
Ekirch’s book At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past is replete with such examples.
But just what did people do with these extra twilight hours? Pretty much what you might expect.
Most stayed in their beds and bedrooms, sometimes reading, and often they would use the time to pray. Religious manuals included special prayers to be said in the mid-sleep hours.
Others might smoke, talk with co-sleepers, or have sex. Some were more active and would leave to visit with neighbours.
As we know, this practice eventually died out. Ekirch attributes the change to the advent of street lighting and eventually electric indoor light, as well as the popularity of coffee houses. Author Craig Koslofsky offers a further theory in his book Evening’s Empire. With the rise of more street lighting, night stopped being the domain of criminals and sub-classes and became a time for work or socializing. Two sleeps were eventually considered a wasteful way to spend these hours.
The science seems to back up our history books. In a 4-week study with 15 men living with restricted daylight hours, something strange started to happen. After catching up on their “sleep debt” – a common state of affairs for most of us – the participants began to wake up in the middle of the night:
They began to have two sleeps.
Over a twelve hour period, the participants would typically sleep for about four or five hours initially, then wake for several hours, then sleep again until morning. They slept not more than eight hours total.
The middle hours of the night, between two sleeps, was characterized by unusual calmness, likened to meditation. This was not the middle-of-the-night toss-and-turn that many of us experienced. The individuals did not stress about falling back asleep, but used the time to relax.
Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience at Oxford, points out that even with standard sleep patterns, this night waking isn’t always cause for concern. “Many people wake up at night and panic,” he says. “I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern.”
Although the article mentions there are no benefits for sleeping twice a night, it’s difficult to imagine there wouldn’ t be some major effects on our daily consciousness. How much would we benefit from a few hours of “unusual calmness, likened to meditation”? Seriously. I haven’t tried “bi-modal” sleep, but I think many of us, including myself, have stumbled into it. Our maddeningly busy digital schedules prevent us from considering the possibility, and benefits, of interloping with the sidereal realms of consciousness for more than an 8-hour “sleep debt” crash.
But we can’t go back to a pre-electric lifestyle of early-to-bed, early-to-rise. Yet, maybe we can we utilize this knowledge to enhance our quality of life, and open us up to alternative modes of mind and time.
This leads me to a book I’ve been reading through lately.
Swallowing the Information Age in a Single Gulp
If you’re interested in reading more on the modern world’s impact on our mind, look no further than Douglas Rushkoff’s new book:Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now:
“The point is that time is not neutral. Hours and minutes are not generic, but specific. We are better at doing some thing sin the morning and others in the evening. More incredible, those times of day change based on where we are in the twenty-eight day moon cycle. In one week, we are more productive in the early morning, while in the next week we are more effective in the early afternoon.
Technology gives us the ability to ride roughshod over all these nooks and crannies of time. We can fly through ten time zones in as many hours. We can take melatonin or Ambien to fall asleep when we’ve arrived at our destination, and later take one of our attention deficit disorder-afflicted son’s Ritalin pills to wake up the next morning…
Where our technologies may be evolving as fast as we can imagine new ones, our bodies evolved over millennia, and in concert with forces and phenomena we barely understand. It’s not simply that we need to give the body rhythms… the body is based on hundreds, perhaps thousands, of different clocks, all listening to and relating to and syncing with everyone and everything elses. Human beings just can’t evolve that quickly. Our bodies are changing on a much different timescale.”
What Rushkoff suggests, however, is not to toss aside our iPhones and “always-on” digital lifestyles, but to figure out a way for our technology to enhance our biology:
“Yes, we are in a chronobiological crisis of depression, suicides, cancers, poor productivity, and social malaise as a result of abusing and defeating the rhythms keeping us alive and in sync with nature and one another. But what we are learning gives us the ability to turn this crisis into an opportunity. Instead of attempting to retrain the body to match the artificial rhythms of our digital technologies and their artifacts, we can instead use our digital technologies to reschedule our lives in a manner consistent with our physiology.”
I’m not sure I’ll be adopting a ‘bi-modal’ sleep, but I can definitely see the benefits of recognizing, and attempting to live by, a new understanding of time. Time as quality. Duration. Flavor. One of my favorite 20th century cultural philosophers, Jean Gebser, wrote in 1949 that time was at the heart of Western civilization’s crisis. In our attempt to be “in the new,” we try to be tapped into everything happening, at once. But maybe that’s the wrong approach. The wrong attitude about time. It’s not important to quantify time like we do. Maybe what’s needed is to step back and be present, not like the “present shock” Rushkoff is critiquing the digital age for, but in presence. In swallowing the information age in a single gulp.
It could be that our contemporary crisis with being in the now is no different than the Zen koan of “swallowing the ocean in a single gulp.” You can’t do it if you literalize time into little bits, tiny ticks of the clock, emails, Facebook notifications and bleeps on the LCD screen. It’s just far too much. But our information overload may, in reality, be a limitation not of the digital age but of the mode of quantifying consciousness we bring to it. What do you think? How do we deal with the “Flood” as James Gleick calls it?
Some of the best comments I found are here…
Some of us with newborns/babies still have two sleeps. Can’t believe breastfeeding wasn’t even mentioned here, as either a cause or reason for the practice, or as an “activity” in the night. Working class folks had lots of kids you said? Well that’s lots of nighttime feeds. You go to sleep with the baby, wake up when they’re hungry in the middle of the night, then go back to sleep until morning.Excellent point. The author also neglected tending the fire. Electricity brought us more than light and iPhones.
Right its not really possible, interestingly someone found out that its the blue part of the spectrum that switches off melatonin production, so im guessing maybe by wearing blue blocker shades some aspects of pre industrial sleep might return, but it gets hard to see things properly.though! also do a search for “Sleep We Have Lost: Pre-Industrial Slumber in the British Isles” for the original article about this.
I’d heard of this before. I wonder if they also had more lucid dreams then, since waking up mid sleep for an hour or so is often noted as a potential catalyst…
I’d love to do this, but I feel a twinge of sadness from even glancing at the words “sleep debt”.
I found this extremely interesting, as I have always thought that I had a problem. I consistently wake up after 3-5 hours of sleep. Usually I lay there and try to fight it, but sometimes I get up and read, watch television or other things. I found that I would sleep better after getting up for an hour or two and then going back to sleep. However, I still felt that I was supposed to fight it and go back to sleep. Wow! Here I thought something was wrong with my time clock, but it’s the time clock of the rest of the world that is messed up.
Needless to say, that interview with Pope Francis has been the equivalent of an ecclesial tsunami. The core of the interview – seemingly lost in both secular commentary and conservative criticism – is Francis again referring to Emmaus. When speaking to the South American Roman Catholic episcopate in July, Francis held up Emmaus as an icon for the contemporary Church, asking “are we still a Church capable of warming hearts?” In the interview he again returns to this theme, on the need for the Church whose message “makes the heart burn” rather than imposing “a disjointed multitude of doctrines”.
It is, of course, too early to say what might lie at the heart of this pontificate, but the icon of Emmaus does seem to loom large. Francis is asking us, ‘how can we be Church on the road to Emmaus?’
The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.
I say this also thinking about the preaching and content of our preaching. A beautiful homily, a genuine sermon must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation. There is nothing more solid, deep and sure than this proclamation. Then you have to do catechesis. Then you can draw even a moral consequence. But the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives. Today sometimes it seems that the opposite order is prevailing. The homily is the touchstone to measure the pastor’s proximity and ability to meet his people, because those who preach must recognize the heart of their community and must be able to see where the desire for God is lively and ardent. The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ.
Just prior to this section of the interview, Francis provides a lived example of those whom Emmaus Church will seek to walk with, to minister forgiveness and healing:
I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it.
It is difficult not to think of a question posed by Rowan Williams in a not dissimilar context, regarding individual journeys and the Church’s proclamation – what is the good news for this person? (Williams asked the question regarding the gay Christian in response to the St Andrew’s Day Statement.) Francis’ answer proclaims the abundant grace of the Triune God, embracing the prodigal, leading from death to life, making Cross to be Resurrection:
God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else—God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.
It is a message to make hearts burn, a living encounter with the Crucified and Risen One. Such is the message and the hope of Emmaus Church – and an appropriate theme to reflect upon on the eve of the feast of Matthew, tax collector and sinner, apostle, evangelist and martyr.
from Bill Moyers & Company
May, 1954 – Brown v. Board of Education
When, in 1951, the Sumner School in Topeka, Kansas refuses to admit 9-year-old Linda Brown because she is black, it unknowingly sets the stage for the Supreme Court ruling that would mandate desegregation of all public schools, push segregation and Jim Crow into the public eye and fuel what would become a decades-long civil rights movement. Brown’s case is one of several class action lawsuits brought to the Supreme Court by the NAACP on behalf of black schoolchildren. The Court holds, unanimously, that racial segregation in public schools violates a clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that prohibits a state from denying anyone under its jurisdiction equal protection under the law. It overturns Plessy v. Ferguson, an 1896 decision that held that segregated public facilities were legal so long as they were equal. “We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place,” writes Chief Justice Earl Warren in the opinion of the Court. “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”
Many officials in the most segregated states feel that the Court’s decision violates states’ rights, and implement only token measures to begin desegregation. Some officials are openly defiant, challenging the decision from different angles in court and passing laws to circumvent it. Integration proceeds very slowly.
August, 1955 – Emmett Till’s Murder
Left: Emmett Till, about eight months before his death. Right: Emmett Till’s body at the open-casket funeral.
An African-American teen from Chicago is visiting relatives in Mississippi when he makes a fatal mistake. By whistling at a white woman in a grocery store, Emmett Till breaks the unwritten laws of the Jim Crow South. Three days later, two white men drag him from his bed and brutally murder him. In Chicago, Till’s mother makes the fateful decision to let the world see what has happened to her son, and has an open-casket funeral. Thousands witness the brutality the boy suffered, and photos are published and disseminated nationwide in Jet magazine. Despite national outrage and the testimony of eyewitnesses, Mississippi finds the two accused killers not guilty at trial. A short time later, safe from being tried twice for the same crime, the men admit their guilt and describe details of the lynching in Look magazine. Till’s death and his killers’ acquittal help ignite the civil rights movement.
1955-1956 – The Montgomery Bus Boycott
Just a few months after Emmett Till’s murder, a 43-year-old civil rights activist, Rosa Parks, refuses to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and is arrested. Parks’ arrest inspires black leaders to mount a one-day bus boycott. With the help of Jo Ann Robinson of the Women’s Political Council, 40,000 people are organized in just two days.
On the night of December 5, 1955, elated at the day’s success in emptying the buses, boycotters assemble at the Holt Street Baptist Church and vote to keep the protest going. A main speaker is a new minister in town, the 26-year-old Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Because he has no history with the town leaders, other ministers, including Ralph Abernathy and Fred Shuttlesworth, persuade King to lead the Montgomery Improvement Association and the boycott. King delivers an inspiring speech, saying, “If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong.”
The boycott lasts until December 1956. Boycotters walk and rely on volunteer drivers in a carpool system to get where they need to go, and gain strength in nightly mass meetings. The bus company suffers economically; violence erupts; bombs are thrown at organizers’ homes; and the white Citizens Council and the Ku Klux Klan hold rallies. At last, a Supreme Court decision integrates the buses, and soon thousands of black riders are on the buses again — sitting where they please.
1957-1962 – Desegregating Southern Schools
Southern whites resist the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954, which states that separate school facilities are inherently unequal and orders school integration. Several Southern governors lead the way in preventing integration, claiming the Federal government is intervening in state matters and pledging to maintain the South’s traditions and heritage. The NAACP’s legal team files suit to open the doors of public educational institutions to African Americans.
Mob rule and violence are used to keep Autherine Lucy from enrolling in the University of Alabama in early 1956, although a court decision backs her efforts. In Arkansas, the Little Rock Nine — a group of African-American high school students — pass through angry crowds to integrate Central High School in fall 1957. They are protected by paratroopers dispatched by President Dwight Eisenhower, and advised by state NAACP officials including Daisy Bates. In Virginia, the governor chooses to close schools rather than integrate. In New Orleans in 1960, white residents riot over four black girls entering a desegregated first-grade classroom. And in Mississippi, in 1963, James Meredith is barred from registering at the University of Mississippi by Governor Ross Barnett. As segregationists gather on campus, armed with guns and homemade explosives, the governor and President John Kennedy engage in fruitless negotiations. Kennedy has to decide whether he will take the political risk to actively support civil rights, even as tensions mount. When he sends Federal marshals to the campus, the mob erupts in violence, killing two people and wounding many others before the U.S. Army is sent to restore order. Meredith will enroll and ultimately graduate from the university.
1960 – Sit Ins
Southern cities maintain segregated public facilities including movie theaters, hotels, and lunch counters in downtown stores. In Greensboro, North Carolina, four black college students stage the first sit-in at a white lunch counter.
African Americans take seats in the “white only” section of a Woolworth’s in Atlanta for the second straight day, Oct. 20, 1960, during a sit-in demonstration. The counter was closed as soon as the demonstration began. W.O. McClain, manager of the Woolworth store, second from right, talks to a spectator. (AP Photo/Horace Cort)
Activist Jim Lawson holds workshops in non-violent protest at Nashville’s Fisk University. He attracts people like college student Diane Nash and seminarians John Lewis and C. T. Vivian, and teaches non-violent direct action tactics adopted from Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, including peaceful resistance.
The protesters, dressed in their best clothes, target Nashville’s lunch counters, where they sit and wait to be served. The stores respond by closing the counters, but the students continue to sit, quietly doing homework. After several weeks, their protest attracts gangs of white toughs, and police who arrest the activists for disorderly conduct. More students sit to take their places, filling the jails and refusing to pay fines. When punched or assaulted by segregationists, the protesters do not retaliate, but simply protect themselves and each other.
The sit-in movement spreads to 69 cities across the South, black communities organize economic boycotts, and sympathetic Northerners picket local branches of the department stores. In Nashville, a climate of fear culminates in a bombing that destroys the house of Alexander Looby, a black lawyer who has been working with the activists. Thousands march to City Hall and confront Mayor Ben West. After the mayor concedes that the lunch counter segregation is wrong, businesses quickly desegregate. Elated with their success, students found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC.
1961 – The Freedom Rides
After the 1960 presidential election, civil rights activists pressure the Kennedy administration to support their cause and existing laws. The Supreme Court has banned segregation in interstate travel twice, but Southern states widely ignore the rulings. In May 1961, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) sends mixed-race groups of non-violent volunteers, known as Freedom Riders, on bus trips into Dixie. They meet minor resistance in the upper South, but when they get to Alabama, trouble erupts. Segregationists firebomb a bus in Anniston, Alabama, and Klan members attack the passengers as they disembark in Birmingham.
Attorney General Robert Kennedy tries to protect the Riders, telling Governor John Patterson he will send federal troops if the state can’t maintain law and order. On the next leg of the trip, from Birmingham to Montgomery, the promised state police escorts evaporate. The Riders are assaulted and bloodied when they arrive in Martin Luther King’s home town. As the violence rages, Kennedy calls in U.S. marshals, and ultimately Patterson is forced to dispatch the Alabama National Guard as well.
When the riders continue into Mississippi under protection, they encounter heavy police presence and no violence — but they are arrested in Jackson and sentenced to the maximum-security Parchman Penitentiary for trespassing. CORE sends more riders to the South to keep the protest going. Over the course of the next few months, 300 riders are arrested and sentenced in Mississippi. The activists find camaraderie in Parchman, singing freedom songs and providing mutual support. Ultimately, the Freedom Riders win their battle when Kennedy gets the Interstate Commerce Commission to ban segregation in interstate travel.
Birmingham, the largest city in Alabama, is notorious for its segregation and racial hatred, gaining the nickname “Bombingham” for the many violent acts against black citizens. Governor George Wallace declares, “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever,” in January 1963.
Spring, 1963 – Project “C” in Birmingham
Activists in Birmingham launch Project “C” — for “confrontation.” Although the city government is in a state of confusion following a disputed election, the segregationist commissioner of public safety, Bull Connor, takes charge. When Martin Luther King is arrested, he writes his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” which justifies the movement’s work. In early May, activists begin recruiting children to march. By the end of the first day, 700 have been arrested. On May 3rd, 1,000 more children show up to peacefully protest, and Connor turns high-pressure fire hoses and police dogs on them, creating some of the most indelibly violent images to date. Horrified Americans see it all on the news. After five days, 2,500 protesters fill the jails, 2,000 of them children.
Birmingham business leaders make a deal with protesters after 38 days of confrontation. The city promises to desegregate public facilities and begin an employment program for black people downtown. In response, George Wallace says the deal was not made by the legitimate leaders of Birmingham, and the Klan bombs King’s hotel. Though King has already left town, a crowd gathers, and are beaten by state police with clubs and rifles. A riot follows, and black protests spread to other cities, showing that the non-violent approach has limits.
In September of that year, the Ku Klux Klan bombs the 16th Street Baptist Church on a Sunday morning. Fifteen people are injured and four young girls are killed, filling many in the movement with rage. It will be 14 years before the first of three men, Robert Chambliss, is brought to justice in 1977; his companions Thomas Blanton, Jr. and Bobby Lee Cherry will not be convicted until 2001 and 2002, respectively.
August, 1963 – The March on Washington
Soon after the events in Birmingham, civil rights leaders announce plans for a mass march in Washington, D.C. to demonstrate for jobs and freedom. Attorney general Robert Kennedy, fearing more violence, is opposed to the plan. But long-time labor and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph, who first proposed such a march during Franklin Roosevelt’s administration in 1941, and Bayard Rustin, organizer of the march’s complex logistics, press ahead.
On August 28, more than 200,000 people gather in peace and unity on the National Mall. Behind the scenes, SNCC leader John Lewis’ speech causes conflict for its harsh words against the Kennedy administration and the nation’s slowness to correct injustices. Persuaded by the 75-year-old Randolph to tone down the rhetoric, Lewis delivers an amended speech and few know of the controversy. The speech that will go down in the history books, however, is the one delivered by Martin Luther King as he stands before the Lincoln Memorial. “I have a dream,” he declares, “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…”
I am Wayne Dyer, and I am well. In fact, I am perfect health, and, by the time this program is over, you’ll have a much clearer understanding of what those words really mean. This show is called Wishes Fulfilled. It’s based on a book that I have just completed.
I spent the last year or so in writing it, researching it, living it, practicing it, and have come to a place in my heart where I know that it’s really not so much about what you want in terms of what you manifest, it’s who you are. You manifest what you become as a human being, and this program is about teaching you to become the highest-consciousness being that you can be, to be aligned with your source, to be aligned with God. And when you are, you become a creator and a co-creator in your life.
I’d like to open this program with a poetic offering from Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who wrote the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and he also wrote a poem that I used earlier in my life, in one of my earlier books, Real Magic. Listen to the words and ask yourself if, if they really, if they really mean something to be true for you, if you really believe in what the poet is offering here. He says, what if you slept and what if, in your sleep, you dreamed, and what if in your dream, you went to heaven, and there picked a strange and wonderful flower. And what if, when you awoke, you held that flower in your hand. Ah, what then, the poet asks. Do you believe that it’s possible to bring something from the world of the formless, from the world of a dream, into the world of the physical. The poet was speaking metaphorically, but I am not.
This is really a program about applying those words in your own reality. Most of us were raised to become ordinary, and I’m not putting down ordinary, but ordinary is just not good enough for me. Ordinary is you go through your life and you fill out the forms, and you pay your taxes, and you do what your parents tell you, and you’re honorable, and you’re honest, and you’re a good citizen, and then you die. Extraordinary is something very, very different. This is about recognizing within yourself that there’s something very, very extraordinary that you haven’t been trained to believe in, to come to a place where you can apply it and put it into your life.
And I want to say to you that I have been working in my life at living an extraordinary life, and so many powerful things have happened to me I’ll be sharing with you throughout this program. But more than that, you can go way beyond ordinary.
You can go way beyond just being average. There’s not an average person watching this show. There’s not an average person in this room tonight. All of us are extraordinary. We just have to come to believe it.
There was a friend of mine, her name was Portia Nelson. Portia passed away a few years back. She lived up in Seattle.
And she was at a seminar and they ask her to, and they ask everyone, to write on a five-by-seven sheet of paper or card the five chapters of their life. They only wanted to give them five-by-seven cards because they didn’t want them to get too wordy. And Portia Nelson sat down and wrote these words about the five chapters of her life, and I thought I would share them here with you. They’re so beautiful. She said, chapter one of my life, I walked down the street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I’m lost. I’m helpless. It isn’t my fault, and it takes forever to find a way out.
Chapter two of my life, I walk down the same street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I’m in the same place. It isn’t my fault, and it still takes a long time to get out.
Chapter three of my life, I walk down the same street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there. I still fall in. It’s a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It’s my own fault, and I get out immediately.
Chapter four of my life, I walk down the same street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
Chapter five of my life, I walk down another street.
Isn’t that great? Portia Nelson.
I walk down another street. And this is another street. Look, it’s called New Street, Old Street. Walking down another street means leaving behind ordinary, and when I use the word ordinary, it has deep and profound meanings to me.
Ordinary just simply isn’t enough. Ordinary is when you want to become average and to fit in. But to get to extraordinary, what you do is you have to consult the invisible place within yourself, and this is called your soul.
And your soul, well, I jotted down a few words about the soul, based on a lecture I heard from a great teacher of mine who lived in Bulgaria. He was an initiatic science teacher, and his lecture was very profound, and I wrote these words after listening to one of his recorded lectures. He said, the ideal of the soul, the thing it asks for is neither knowledge nor light, nor happiness. The ideal of the soul is space, immensity. The one thing your soul needs is to be free, free to expand and reach out and to embrace the infinite. Yes, the ideal of the soul is infinity. It is miserable when it is circumscribed and restricted. It is a fragment of the universal soul, which is infinite. That’s what I speak about here in this program.
The need to move beyond just fitting in, the need to move past being circumscribed, the soul does not like when you get fenced in, when it is told what to do, when it’s told it has limitations, when it’s told it can’t become that. And so many of us go through our life with these enormous limitations that we’ve placed upon ourselves that have been handed to us from the time that we were little boys and little girls. If you look on the screen, you’ll see something that is very important and powerful to me.
I was swimming not too long ago up in Minneapolis. I went to see my daughter, Tracy. And up and down I would swim the pool, and every time I would look up, I would see this written on the wall, and I thought, as I was preparing to do this program, this is just so important and significant. If you would like to accomplish something, you must first expect it of yourself.
And my question to you is, what do you expect of yourself? Do you expect to be able to perform miracles, to attract into your life the kind of prosperity that you are entitled to? Do you expect that you can manifest the kind of relationships that you would like? In order to be able to have these kinds of expectations for yourself, you have to make a dramatic change, a dramatic shift. You must change what’s possible for you and what you believe is possible for you, but the question becomes, who am I?
Here, I’ve been teaching philosophy for 40 years now, either at the high school level, or junior high school level, or university level, graduate school, and now on stages all over the world and in front of audiences such as this watching at home and here this evening.
Who are you? And what is real? My teacher in India, his name was Nisargadatta Maharaj. He was asked the question, Swami, what is real, Master, what is real? And his response was, that is real which never changes. So, what part of you is real by that definition?
Who are you that never changes? So many of us believe that we are our bodies. I don’t know about you, but this body that I’m in right now is changing all the time, very fast, as a matter of fact. In fact, I, Wayne Dyer, the I that is I, have been in many, many bodies since I incarnated for this first time here on this planet, right here, 71 years ago.
So, I was in a, oh, my goodness, look here. What happened to that body? And there it is, there’s another body that I was in, and there’s another body. And, oh, there’s my brother, Dave, and there I am on the right, another body. And then I was in, look at that haircut. They did it with garden shears in those days but I lived in foster homes. There I am, look at that hair. Can you believe that? Is that, is that possible? And then I was in this body, and then I was in this body.
And I have been in toddler bodies, baby bodies, teenaged bodies, macho bodies. Mustache bodies. Endless bodies I have been in with my little ones and my eight children. And the fact of it is that, when you think about it, when I was in the 20-year-old body that I was in, I really thought it was real. Didn’t you?
I mean, even the body that you’re in, all of you look at your body and think, well, let’s see, I was in a 20-year-old body, and is it real, was it real? Well, you believed that it was real, but I’ve been looking for that 20-year-old body for 50 years now. I can’t find it. And the fact of it is, the body that you’re in right now is not who you are, because it doesn’t meet that fundamental definition of what is real. What is real is what never changes.
The fact is that who you are keeps occupying new bodies every single moment that you are here on this planet. There was a great poet, her name was Emily Dickinson. I feel like she was, must have been a sister, a soul mate of mine. She once had a poem, she said, holding up a handful of dust, she would reach down and say, this quiet dust was gentlemen and ladies, and lads and girls, was laughter and ability, and sighing and frocks and curls. This passive place, a summer’s nimble mansion where bloom and bees fulfilled their Oriental circuit, then ceased like these.
That’s who all of us are if we identify ourselves with our body. The fact is that everything in this physical universe doesn’t meet the definition of what is real.
Who you are is that soul that I spoke about a few moments ago, that soul that says, I want to expand, I want to be free, I want to go to a place where I understand that who I am is birthless, deathless, changeless, and live from that place, because what this involves fundamentally is reprogramming yourself from the belief system that has been your ego, the part of us that has come to believe that who we are is what we have, and who we are is what we do, and who we are is what other people think of u like ou reputation, and who we are is separate from each other, and most egregiously, who we are is separate from God, from our source.
And so we’ve been raised and taken out into the world and said, go out there and prove who you are by achieving, by accumulating, by getting other people to like you.
I wrote a book and did a film not too long ago called The Shift and in there I spoke about and used these words: The direction we take in life is far more important than the place that our ego parks us in this present moment, that who we are is this divine infinite being that keeps occupying new bodies, endlessly, until we leave this body and then move on, and there is no beginning, there is no end, there is only now, each and every one of us.
So the soul, the part of you that is extraordinary, the part of you that came into this world and knows, I can be anything, I can do anything, I can accomplish anything that I place my attention on, because if you want to accomplish something, you must first just expect it of yourself, and this means changing around the expectations that you’ve been conditioned to believe are your dharma, or are your destiny, I am limited, I am not entitled to prosperity, I am unable to deal with my physical ailments, I need something else, I need to take pills in order to do it, I need to have somebody else do it for me, that within each and every one of us there is this marvelous knowing that is really and truly God ourselves, each and every one of us.
Over the years, I’ve written many books, 37 of them to be exact. This, what has come to become really clear to me in the last few years of my life is that there really are, there really are two selves within each and every one of us. Muktananda called the ego, the part of us that has edged God out, e-g-o, edged God out, the false self.
And the false self is this part of us that is not authentic. It is, it is the ego. This false self is the part of us that is always trying to, trying to win, trying to own things, trying to prove itself. We send our kids off to school and we tell them, you know, be ahead of everybody else, win no matter what, and so on. And they have a tendency just to believe that who they are, are these bodies, even though the body they’re in is going to change, and you’ll never be able to find it again.
And then there’s within each and every one of us a higher self. And this higher self is, is really the soul, it’s really the spirit, it’s really, it’s really God. But these two selves are sort of constantly at, they’re not at war so much with each other, but there’s a, there’s this battleground that we have within us.
I’ll give you an example of it in my own life. Somebody on the Internet, a guy named Watkins, has put out a list, because there’s lists for everything, the 100 Most Spiritually Influential People Alive, and they put out this list, a hundred people. And they rank from number one to 100. And I’m on the list. Not only am I on the list, but I am, according to this list, and they’ve got all this criteria on how you get on this list, I am the third most spiritually influential person alive.
How about that, huh? So the spiritual part of myself, my soul, the higher place within myself, says to me, this is not relevant. You’re not any better than anybody else, just because somebody has put you on a list. In fact, you shouldn’t even be, you shouldn’t even know about that list. And perhaps the people who are most spiritually influential aren’t even on that list and don’t even want to be on the list, because they don’t care about those kind of rankings and comparisons and so on.
But then there’s the ego over here that says, what do you mean, number three? Well, what’s going on with that? And who are these people who are more spiritually influential than you? And how are you going to take them down?
So there’s this sort of constant thing about, it shouldn’t make any difference, who I am is, you know, is the same as everyone else, we all come from the same place, and we all return back to the same place, but then the ego says, let’s see, the two people ahead of me on this list, one of them is Eckhart Tolle but he had Oprah. And she’s only number eight on the list anyway, so.
And he got on there every week, and that’s not fair, so and then there’s the Dalai Lama and I figure Eckhart and I maybe can get together and take the Dalai Lama out of this thing. Or maybe I should align with the Dalai Lama, and anyway.
The ego is doing this, this number on us.
But there’s also the part of us that is divine. And this is the place that I’m addressing here in this program. There’s a quote from Joel Goldsmith. Joel wrote so many great books. A Parenthesis in Eternity was one of them.
And this is what Joel said. He said, then there are those who reach a stage in which they realize the futility of this constant striving and struggling for the things that perish, things which, after they are obtained, prove to be shadows. It is at this stage that some persons turn from this seeking for things in the outer realm to a seeking for them from God.
And that’s who you tuned into today, on this program. I have left this pursuing things, and money, and fame, and winning, and being better than others. It’s taken me awhile, but it has been, it has been a powerful journey. As a matter of fact, I had said to my ex-wife, I said, can you imagine, did you ever in your wildest dreams, could you ever have imagined that you would be married to the third most spiritually influential person alive? And she said, I just, she said, they didn’t call me when they made that list. And she said also, she said, I don’t want to upset you, dear, but you’re not in my wildest dreams.
Yeah, all right.
So moving to this higher place is, is really understanding that in, in the second chapter of Wishes Fulfilled, I call it the higher self, and it gets defined very specifically by this great Bulgarian teacher, his name was Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov. And he’s, he was teaching what’s called the initiatic sciences, and I have had his teachings show up in my life in a very powerful way. I’ve studied his writing.
I’ve listened to many of his recorded lectures that took place back in the ’50s and ’60s and ’70s and, and I brought a quote of his that I’d like to share with you.
Our higher self is perfect, omniscient and almighty, a fragment of God himself, a pure, transparent, luminous quintessence. And that, within each and every one of us, there is a place inside of each and every one of us that is all knowing, that is almighty, that is actually a fragment of God. He then went on to say, the creator has planted within every creature a fragment of himself, a spark, a spirit of the same nature of himself. And thanks to this spirit, every creature can become a creator.
And this means that instead of always waiting for their needs to be satisfied by some external source, human beings can absolutely look inwardly by means of their own thoughts, their own will, and their own spirit, to obtain nourishing, healing elements that they need. This is why he said to all of us, the teaching I bring to you is of the spirit, of the creator, and not of matter, a spark, a spark that is in each and every one of us.
And this spark I want you to be able to recognize, because that spark, I’d like to see you have it grow from just a tiny little spark, which means you can hardly see it, to a fragment, to a piece, to a larger chunk, if you will, to a section, so that this spark within you, that you see up here, is growing and growing and growing, until it absolutely becomes even more than you imagined.
T. S. Eliot, the great American poet, said, we shall not cease from exploration, but at the end of all of our exploring will be to return to the place from which we originated, but to know it for the first time. I paraphrased that, it’s off a little. To know it for the first time. I think that T. S. Eliot might have been speaking about death, but I’m not.
I think that we can come to know this place from which we originated, the place to which we return, all of us, by allowing this spark to become something bigger than just an occasional thing where you extend an act of kindness someplace, or you have it at the church, or at the mosque, or at the synagogue on a holy day or a holy observance, that it can become your way of being.
There was a great teacher in India, his name was Vivekananda. Vivekananda came to the West as a young teacher, a very profound teacher, and he was asked the question, but how do you do this? How do you, how do you access this higher self? How do you make this your reality? And he said these words to his devotees, and I say them to you.
He said, in the springtime, go out and observe the blossoms on the fruit trees. He said, the blossoms vanish of themselves as the fruit grows, and so, too, will the lower self, the false self, the ego, vanish as the divine grows within you.
It’s about allowing yourself to recognize you must have this spark, because this is what you came from, and this is what you’ll return to. And as this spark becomes a fragment and becomes a section, and becomes larger and larger, you reach what I call, in Wishes Fulfilled, the third chapter, the highest self.
And what is the highest self? This is the one that’s going to surprise you a bit. The highest self is the self that you haven’t been trained to believe in. You’ve been trained to believe in your ordinary awareness. Your highest self is where you begin to recognize your connection to your source, to the Tao, to the divine, to God. There were three very important teachings that came to me before I put this program together and before I wrote Wishes Fulfilled.
The first was a, a book by a man named U. S. Andersen, U. S. Andersen, passed away in 1986, a very profound teacher. And he wrote a book called Three Magic Words, which I have had people tell me you must read. So it’s, it’s fairly heavy reading but the kind of reading that I love.
And there’s 12 chapters in the book, and you get to the 12th chapter, and you keep waiting for the three magic words because he doesn’t say what they are. And at the end of each chapter, there’s a meditation. And in this meditation, you practice and put into the awareness within yourself of recognizing the highest place within yourself. And ultimately, at the very end, he said these words, Chapter 12, the very end of it.
It’s called The Veil Removed.
This is the ineffable secret, the ultimate illumination, the key to peace and power. You are God. Those are the three magic words. If you will accept this towering truth, and dare to stand atop this magnificent pinnacle, universal consciousness will be revealed to you from within. God is there.
It is he who peers from behind your eyes, who is your own consciousness, who is your very self. You are not just a part of God, you are altogether God, and God is altogether you. Now, that’s scary stuff for a lot of people. We weren’t raised to believe that.
I’m not saying that you ought to go out into the world and say, excuse me, but, uh, you know who you’re talking to, that I am God. And the reason that we laugh is because we think of God as the God that we’ve created in our own image, the God of the ego, the God who’s angry. The God who wants special favors, the God who has the ability to heal, but withholds it. But there’s another word that Jesus used in the New Testament, and this is the God I speak of, quoting him. God is love. And he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
God is love, pure, unconditional, blissful, divine love. That’s who you are.
The second great teaching was a man named Neville. Neville Goddard, passed away in 1972, lectured over in California, particularly in the ’40s and ’50s and ’60s I read his book, The Power of Awareness, seven times. I gave it to each one of my children at Christmas a couple of years ago. And they called me up and they said, Dad, it’s great, but I don’t understand it, it’s a little heavy. And I said, well, then maybe it’s part of my dharma to make it a little clearer. And Chapter 27, the last chapter of his book, The Power of Awareness, it says this.
In all of creation, in all of eternity, in all of the realms of your infinite being, the most wonderful fact is that which is stressed in the first chapter of this book, you are God. You are the I am that I am. You are consciousness. You are the creator. This is the mystery.
This is the great secret known by the seers and prophets and mystics throughout the ages. This is the truth that you can never know intellectually. If you want to understand something intellectually, what you must do is analyze it, come up with a formula for it, study it, look at other experts about it, and come up to a conclusion. If you want to understand something spiritually, you must first experience it. You must come to know this within.
In the New Testament, which I read completely before I wrote Wishes Fulfilled, Jesus is about to be stoned. And he says, why would you stone me? And they say, because you blaspheme, you are a man and you claim to be God. And Jesus responds, in his words, is it not written in your laws that I have said, you are Gods, all of you.
We are all Gods. We have within us, not the God that so often we are taught is outside of us, but the God that is love, the God that is perfect love, the soul that wants to expand because it is infinite and doesn’t want to be restricted.
And I came across some great teachings that were sent to me. They showed up, as we often think they show up as accidents, but you come to realize that there are no accidents in this universe. Everything that takes place is, had the pieces moved around by something bigger than all of us.
And so it was called The “I Am” Discourses. And I quote from The “I Am” Discourses. The first expression of every individual, everywhere in the universe, either in spoken word, silent thought or feeling is, I am, recognizing its own conquering divinity.
The student, me, you, all of us, endeavoring to understand and apply these mighty, yet simple laws, must stand guard more strictly over his thoughts and expression in words or otherwise. For every time you say, I am not, I cannot, I have not, you are, whether knowingly or unknowingly, throttling that great presence within you. These words, I am, I opened up this program with the words, I am well. I am perfect health. And where do you think they came from? What do these words, I am, mean?
A very quick retracing of the story of Moses.
Moses, this little baby, who was born at a time when the Pharaoh had ordered all male children to be drowned in the Nile, and Moses’ mother took this little baby, put him in a basket and floated him down the Nile. Moses was discovered by the Pharaoh’s daughter. The Pharaoh’s daughter raised Moses as her own son, and the Pharaoh’s grandson.
But along in his late teen years, he got into a conflict and ended up seeing one of the Israelite slaves being mistreated, and he ended up killing him. So Moses had to take off, because he was afraid for his own life. And he went out into the Sinai, and there married Zipporah, and had children, and was out as a shepherd. And as the Torah tells us, as it says in Exodus, he comes across a burning bush one day that is not being consumed.
And the bush speaks to him. And rather than even misquote this, even a little, I brought from my hotel room. You wouldn’t steal the Bible, would you, Wayne? No, I’ll put it back. So the bush speaks in Exodus, Chapter 3, and says, Moses, Moses, and the first words that Moses says to God are, here I am. Then he said, do not draw near here, this place.
Take off your sandals and your, for your feet, for this place where you stand is holy ground. And God speaks to Moses and says, I want you to go to the Pharaoh, and I want you to free your people. And Moses is going, well, wait, wait, hold on here. Who am I, and who are you? Moses says to God, who am I, that I should go to the Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?
So he said, I will certainly be with you, and this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you. When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.
Then Moses says to God, indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and I say to them, the God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, what is his name, what shall I say to them? And God says to Moses, I am that I am. And he said, thus, you shall say to the children of Israel, I am has sent me to you. This is my name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations. My name is I am that I am.
Now every single time that you use the words, I am, you are citing the name of God, right from the holiest books. And every time you say the words, I am weak, I am poor, I am unlucky, I am unhappy, I am sick, I am unable to attract into my life what you want, you are desecrating the name of God. God did not say, I will be. My name is, I hope things work out well. My name is, maybe things will show up that I wanted, but possibly not.
He said, I am that I am. You must be conscious of how you use these words, I am. I am strong. I am well. I am content. Even if your senses tell you something different, I am.
And as we move now into the meat of this program, you’ll see that putting the words, I am, in front of something into your mind and imagination is a very powerful way to attract into your life, recognizing your own divinity.
I am God is not blasphemy. It is your identity.
In my study of the work that I mentioned earlier, particularly the work of Neville, and the work of U. S. Andersen, and The “I Am” Discourses, I came up with, in putting that all together, five, what I call five Wishes Fulfilled foundations for being able to attract into your world and become the kind of person that you expect yourself to be. Remember what I said about the quote on this wall of the swimming pool.
If you want to accomplish anything, which means to become an extraordinary level of consciousness person, you must first expect it of yourself. You must see yourself and be unafraid to say to yourself, I am connected at always, at all times, to my source, to the divine mind, to the Tao, to God, to that which is the creator of all. I am a part of it.
And the first of these five foundations I call imagination. Imagination. Many of our greatest thinkers have spoken about the power of imagination.
William Blake said that, what is now proved was once only imagined. Now think about the importance of that. If you want to have something show up in your life, the kind of person you would like to become, manifest something new into your life, something powerful, whatever it might be, you obviously must first be able to imagine it. Your imagination, this is yours and yours alone. You can place anything into your imagination that you want to place there.
Independent of what anybody else says about it, independent of what your senses tell you, independent of all the evidence that may be to the contrary, you can place into your imagination an I am that represents what you would like to attract into your life and make it come into fruition. Einstein’s most famous quote, one of his most famous observations, he said, imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
Placing these I ams into your imagination I had a, some of you, I’m sure, know about it because it’s been all over the papers and so on, a diagnosis of leukemia, a couple of years ago. And for awhile, I kind of began to believe some of the things that were being told to me about what happens when you have this particular kind of leukemia.
And I have, instead, in the last year or so, had some of the most amazing, astonishing things happen into my life, where I have felt just so, I was just so alive and so strengthened, and so fully connected to my source, knowing, I mean, basically, I have a knowing in here that life itself is a sexually transmitted, terminal disease.
Okay? I mean, that’s basically the fact, all right? So I’m not saying that all you have to put into your imagination an I am that says, I am, and you’re going to live forever. It isn’t, that isn’t, but every moment that you do have, until you are called, can be a moment of exquisite, extraordinary power, living from that place, and that’s the decision that I made. I have never felt so powerful as I have the last several years, since I recognized the power that I have in my imagination to place something there and live from it.
Einstein once said, if you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairytales. If you want your children to be more intelligent, read them more fairytales.
It’s one of the reasons I’ve taken to writing children’s books, to give children an opportunity to explore that thing called their imagination, from the time that they’re just little boys and little girls.
And what I have in my imagination is a do-not-disturb sign, and it’s like mentally inside, I’ve placed that in there, I do not, anyone to disturb or try to change around anything that I have placed in there about what is possible for me. So you never want to place into your imagination any thought that you would not want to materialize. You never want to allow in your imagination to be contaminated by the way life used to be.
Your imagination is yours. Don’t let any other people influence you. Never allow people’s ideas about what is possible or impossible for you to occupy your imagination. I’ve called it, throughout my life, I’ve called it being a scurvy elephant.
When I was in the third grade, I was living in a foster home out in Mount Clemens, Michigan, and I came home from school, and I talked to Mrs.Scarf, and I said, Mrs. Scarf, what’s a scurvy elephant? And she said, where did you hear that? And I said, I don’t know, Mrs. Pool, my third-grade teacher was talking to the principal, Mrs.Smith, and she said, Wayne Dyer was in this classroom, and called me a scurvy elephant.
So she got on the phone, and she called up, and the principal said, oh, that’s Wayne, he gets everything mixed up. She didn’t say that he was a scurvy elephant in her classroom, she said that he was a disturbing element in her classroom. A disturbing element is someone who has in their imagination the possibility that they can do anything, that all things are possible. Again, it’s one of those great lines from the New Testament, with God, all things are possible.
Now you tell me, what does that leave out? What does all things are possible leave out? That doesn’t leave out the possibility that we can defy gravity, that we can soar, that we can heal ourselves, that we can create magnificent prosperity in our life, that we can change the world.
I said at one of the breaks here, to the audience here tonight, I really believe that if this message gets out there into the world, we can shift the consciousness of this planet. If enough of us begin to believe, we’re placing into our imagination a world that we want to live in that has no limitations and that is based on living from a place of love and kindness and God-consciousness and spiritual awareness, divine mind at work.
I believe it’s possible.
Einstein, once again, this man of imagination said, logic will get you from A to B, but imagination will take you everywhere. That’s the first of these Wishes Fulfilled foundations.
The second foundation is very significant and very important.
I call it, Living from the End.
This is one of the harder ones for people to get, but I’d like you to go, again, to the New Testament, look at Romans 4:17, in the presence of him, whom he believe God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did, and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.
Those are very important, significant words. You have to be able to call the things which you have not seen yet materialize and manifest into your physical world. You have to be able to say to yourself, I call those things that I would like to become as if they already do. And you place into your imagination, fearlessly, the I ams which you would like to create for yourself.
And when it’s time for me to write another book, I don’t even know what it’s going to be. I just know that it starts germinating inside me, and it’s like a calling, it’s like a passion. And I’m over there at my writing space, and before I do, I come up with the title, and before I even write one word, I, I did it with this book, Wishes Fulfilled, this, I take a jacket, which is, this isn’t even my book. And I take this jacket, and I ask the art department at Hay House if they will please design a book with this title, and I put it around another book, which that I have done, and I set it on my writing space, next to Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Jesus Christ’s picture, and Paramahansa Yogananda, and my children, and the people that I love deeply and profoundly in my life, and I look at it with three white candles that I light every single time I sit over there, and I look at that jacket, and I, it’s as if I call those things.
The book does not exist. I call it as if it did.
When my leukemia diagnosis came in, the information that was sent to me continuously was it’s incurable, this is something that you can’t change.
And I would say to my children, who would send me this stuff, I’d say, I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t send me that kind of stuff. And they’d say, what do you mean? Why do you, why, Dad? Why wouldn’t you want us to send that? It says that right in there. I said, what part of I am well is it that you don’t understand? Because I have placed that into my imagination.
I have a wonderful quote by the man I’ve cited before, his name is Neville, and it goes like this.
He says, disregard appearances, conditions, in fact, disregard all evidence of your senses, that is, what your eyes and ears tell you, that deny the fulfillment of your desire, whatever it is you want to attract into your life. Disregard appearances, conditions, in fact, all evidence of your senses that deny the fulfillment of your desire.
Rest in the assumption that you already are what you want to be, for in that determined assumption, you and your infinite being, your extraordinary self, which is what this program is about, are merged in creative unity, and with your infinite being, God, all things are possible. God never fails, and you are a piece of that which never fails.
And you are going to move beyond just being a piece, and just being a fragment, and just being a segment, until it becomes your overwhelming knowing, that you have within you this divine capacity. You don’t need evidence of your senses.
I wrote a book a few years back, the title of it, I had to get my publisher because they didn’t understand it, they called back, they said, I think you got this wrong. I said, no. It’s called, You’ll See It When You Believe It. Not the other way around. People will say, well, I’ll believe it when I see it.
It doesn’t work that way. You will see it when inside you have a knowing.
And Neville also said, therefore, to incarnate a new and a greater value of yourself, you must assume that you already are what you want to be, and then live by faith in this assumption. Now this flies in the face of so much of what you’ve been told, because you have a tendency to believe that what your eyes and ears tell you is reality. But this is what we know by our senses, just this little tiny fragment. I can’t even get, you know, it’s like a millionth of a millimeter, and all that is unknown is in the invisible, in the imagination. And most of our attention is focused on, this is my beliefs and my disbeliefs about what is possible and what isn’t possible, are here, and it’s an endless, an endless universe. So placing I ams into your imagination is one thing, it’s an intellectual act.
Living from the end means that you call the things which do not exist as if they did.
You begin to say to yourself, you don’t have to say it to anyone else, you don’t have to write it down, you don’t have to get anybody else’s approval, you don’t have to look on the Internet, you don’t have to do anything like that.
I have had such a magical experience. While I was writing Wishes Fulfilled, I had, I had so many divine things come into my life. I had a man who lives down in Brazil, in Abadiania, named John of God come into my life, in a way that was so profoundly life-changing that it’s almost hard for me to find the words to express it.
At the same time, I had a woman come into my life, a woman from Bulgaria. This country is just on me. She’s here tonight. Her name is Mira Kelly. And she brought with her something off of the Internet about a near-death experience, about a woman in Hong Kong whose name is Anita Moorjani. She’s an author, a Hay House author now, and she’s written a book, a powerful book. And I read this story about Anita, and it seems that on the 2nd of February, in the year 2006, this woman was wheeled into a hospital in Hong Kong. She had been sick for five years. Her organs had all shut down.
Her family was gathered at the emergency room, her husband, who is here tonight, I’m honored to have met, beautiful man, named Danny. And the doctors had told her family and her husband that these were her last hours. She was down to 86 or 88 pounds. Anita emerged from her coma, some 30 hours in a coma, and she has a story to tell that is so compelling, she’s here from Hong Kong to share with you some of the lessons that she learned while she was in this comatose state and what she came back to teach us.
She’s one of the most beautiful human beings I’ve ever been privileged to know, and honored to support, and write a foreword for her book, and she’s here with us today, and I’d love you to meet her.
Anita Moorjani, please, come up. Be seated.
Moorjani: Thank you. Hi, good evening, everyone.
Dr. Dyer: Tell us, Anita, you’re in a coma, your husband is whispering in your ear, your mother is there, your brother’s on his way to see you, everybody’s waiting for you to take your last breath. What were you observing, and what did you learn, and what did you come back to teach us?
Moorjani: Wow. There’s so much there. Even though I was in a coma, I was actually aware of everything that was happening around me.
I’m sorry, I still get emotional when I think of that state.
It was, it was five years ago, but I still remember it as if it was, it was yesterday. I was in a coma, but I was aware of everything the doctors were doing. I was aware of my husband. My mother was crying. She was, because the doctors had told them that, that I only had a few more hours to live, my organs had shut down, and these were my last hours. And, and I wanted to assure them that, that I was feeling fine, that I was feeling great, but I couldn’t. I, I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t communicate with them.
And each time it felt as though I was getting involved in the drama, and my emotions were being pulled towards feeling for my mother and my brother, at the same time, it was as though I was being pulled away, and it was as though my energy, or my awareness, or consciousness was just expanding. And it was just expanding and expanding, and just getting bigger and bigger. And it felt as though I could feel what everybody was feeling. I could feel what my husband was feeling, what my mother was feeling, and the doctors, as they were running around trying to, trying to save my life. And then I became aware of what I can only describe as unconditional love.
It was as though I was, it was as though I was just surrounded, or embraced, by this unconditional love. And when I say unconditional, I mean really unconditional. It was like I didn’t have to do anything to prove myself or to be anything, or I was loved unconditionally, regardless. It, it was as though, even, even things that I could have perceived to have done wrong in my life, it wasn’t as though I was being judged. There was no judgment whatsoever. There was only compassion.
It was like compassion, and it was like I understood, in that state, why, why I would do whatever I did in life. It was, everything I did was out of the limitation of being in a physical body.
Dr. Dyer: So you were looking at your body, and you were given a choice, is that right, whether to get back into this sick, sick body.
Moorjani: That’s right.
Dr. Dyer: Or not.
And what did you do?
Moorjani: I became aware, actually, I became aware of the presence of my father. He had passed away 10 years before me. And I also became aware of my best friend, who had passed away two years before and I had missed her desperately, because she was like a sister to me.
Dr. Dyer: And did you feel, when you were in that near-death experience state, in that coma, watching it, that coming back also meant that you had something to teach everyone? And what was it that you felt you had to teach them?
Moorjani: I felt that I had to come back because there was a greater purpose. Because at first, I didn’t want to come back into my body, because my body was so sick, and it, there was just so much unconditional love on that side. It’s really, really hard to leave, so if anybody has lost anyone, I can completely understand why they would stay there. But also, I seemed to get the message. I seemed to understand that it wasn’t my time, and I had a mission. I had a purpose, and I had not yet fulfilled.
And I seemed to understand that, even in order to fulfill my purpose, I wouldn’t have to really go and figure it out, or I wouldn’t have to pursue anything. I would just have to go back and live fearlessly and just not be afraid to be myself, and that’s all I had to do. I also sensed that my husband and I still had a purpose to fulfill. My husband is, he’s truly my soul mate, because he was there talking to me all the way through, talking in my ear, and holding my hand, and I was aware of that.
Dr. Dyer: You learned some very important things.
Was it like just about being positive, to be a positive thinker, was that?
Moorjani: No, in fact, being positive is not enough. I used to always be positive, because I was a people-pleaser. I used to always stay positive, because I never wanted to bother anyone or trouble anyone. I learned that more important than being positive is being yourself. I learned that that’s actually the most important thing, is to be yourself, because that’s why we’re here. We’re here because we’re, we’re facets of one. It was as though we are all one. Without my body, it felt as though I was connected to everyone and everything.
Dr. Dyer: Was fear a big part of your life and had something to do with this?
Moorjani: With being ill.
Dr. Dyer: Your being sick?
Moorjani: Yes, fear was a big part of my life before I was sick. I used to live a life in fear, a fear of not being good enough, fear of everything, fear of illness, fear of not meeting other people’s expectations, and, but my near-death experience taught me that there’s nothing to fear. In fact, when I was given the choice, I felt I reached a point where I had the choice of whether to come back or not, and it was my father and my best friend who actually said, now that you know who you truly are, go back and live your life fearlessly.
Dr. Dyer: And have you been doing that?
Moorjani: Yes, I have.
Dr. Dyer: Ladies and gentlemen, Anita Moorjani.
Dr. Dyer: Thank you, thank you. It gets better and better, honestly. It’s hard to top Anita Moorjani’s story, but the lessons are very, very profound here.
The third Wishes Fulfilled foundation is called, Assume the Feeling of the Wish Fulfilled.
Assume the Feeling of the Wish Fulfilled.
So here’s where we are. We have used our imagination. We have placed something into our imagination as an I am, which is the name of God.
I am strong.
I am healthy.
I am kind.
I am prosperous.
I am getting the job that I’m applying for.
I am, whatever it might be, I am.
And then you have practiced calling it as if that which does not exist as though it did.
And then you move now from the world of the intellect, because understanding something intellectually is very different than understanding something spiritually. To understand something spiritually, you must experience it. And in order to experience it, you have to experience it in your imagination as an I am, but you must be able to feel it. Our feelings are the things that take place in our body.
It says, Neville says, and I have this on the, next to my bed, where I live in Maui, make your future dream a present fact by assuming the feeling of the wish fulfilled. So whatever it is that you would like to experience in your life, this, remember, your imagination is yours. Everything that now exists was once imagined. Therefore, everything that is going to exist must first be imagined.
Henry David Thoreau had probably the greatest definition of success that I have ever heard. He said, if you advance confidently in the direction of your own dreams, and endeavor to live the life which you have imagined, you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. It will chase after you, if you can place into your imagination what it is that you would like to attract, and begin to feel it.
Listen to Neville.
This is one of my most favorite quotes from The Power of Awareness.
That which you feel yourself to be, you are. And you are given that which you are. So, assume the feeling that would be yours, were you already in possession of your wish, and your wish must be realized. So live in the feeling of being the one you want to be, and that you shall be.
Every feeling makes a subconscious impression, and unless it is counteracted by a more powerful feeling of an opposite nature, it must be expressed.
Your feelings are different from your thoughts.
Your feelings are what you experience in your body.
A dominant of two feelings is the one expressed.
I am healthy is a stronger feeling than I will be healthy.
I am healthy says, I feel healthy, and I feel healthy.
I feel great.
I don’t determine if I am well on the basis of what it says on a piece of paper, or on the basis of what somebody else out there tells me.
I live my life feeling within my body that I am strong, I am capable, I am able. And that is not just something that I say. It’s not just an affirmation. An affirmation is an intellectual exercise.
This is a spiritual knowing within that I am well, I am content, I am prosperous.
But the words that Neville used there are the subconscious.
Every feeling that you have makes a subconscious impression upon your body and upon your awareness. Now, you need to understand this subconscious mind of yours. Your subconscious mind rules your life. Ninety-six to 97% of everything that you do is done as a result of your subconscious mind. And when your subconscious mind gets programmed, it goes ahead and responds to whatever it is your conscious mind has placed into it.
I was 18 years old. I was in the United States Navy for four years. And they sent me to a school in Bainbridge, Maryland, to become a radioman and a cryptographer. And we spent an hour a day, every day, for the first three or four weeks we were there on a typewriter learning Morse code. Okay? And my conscious mind had to program my subconscious mind. Now, this subconscious mind of yours is operating all the time. You’re sitting here watching a television show.
You got up, you picked up your remote control, you turned the channel on, you got dressed, you ate lunch, you went to the bathroom, you go to work, you get into your car, you drive to work, you put, you don’t think about what I’m going to do. And everything that is going on in your life, everything, everybody in here in this room, you know, you got here through your subconscious mind. You didn’t have to think about every single thing that you were doing, but there was a time when you did, in order to learn that.
This habitual, subconscious mind of yours rules your life.
So I’m 18 years old, I’m taking Morse code. Di-dah-dah, here’s the alphabet, a little bit of it anyway, di-dah, dah-di-di-dit, dah-di-dah-dit, dah-di-dit, dit, di-di-dah-dit, dah-dah-dit, di-di-di-dit, di-dit, di-dah-dah-dah, dah-di-dah, di-dah-di-dit, dah-dah, dah-dit, dah-dah-dah, di-dah-dah-dit.
That’s A through P, check it out.
That’s 53 years ago, and my subconscious mind is still keeping track of the dah-di-di-dit dah-dah-dah dah-di-di-dit di-di-dah.
You’re doing the same thing, only you don’t use Morse code, but you’ve programmed your subconscious mind with di-di-di-dit dah-di-dit, I can’t do that, di-di-dit dah-di-dit, I’m not very attractive, di-di-dit dah-dah-dit, I’m overweight.
I can’t do, make things happen.
And it’s di-di-dit dah-di-dit dah-di-dah, still there, 53 years later. You, and you go through your life with this subconscious programming with a, with an awareness that you are not in charge. You’re not able to extend or transcend this, this way of thinking. This subconscious mind of yours is most impacted by your feelings. A change of feeling is a change of destiny.
A change of feeling is a change of destiny.
Write it down. Stick it on the wall next to your bed. If you came into where I sleep, you would see that. I look at that all the time.
I want to practice putting into my subconscious mind the assumption of the feeling of what it is that I would like to attract into my life as if it already existed and to feel it. Not just to think it, but to feel it. Neville’s law of assumption says this. If this assumption about what you would like to become is persisted in until it becomes your dominant feeling, the attainment of your ideal is absolutely inevitable. You must first assume the feeling of a wish fulfilled in all aspects of your life.
So, you have to say to yourself, what does it feel like to be prosperous?
What does it feel like to be content?
What does it feel like to be well?
And I had to remind myself of that when I had this leukemia diagnosis.
I had to remind myself, I was, I was down about 30 minutes, until I realized that virtually everything that shows up in my life has been a blessing, virtually everything. All of the struggles, whether it’s in, you know, addictions, or whether it’s in living in foster homes and being abandoned, whether it’s my wife and I separating and the pain of that, whatever it might be.
A dear friend of mine was Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. She passed away a few years back, and she was the one who wrote so much about death and dying. She had a wonderful and important message for us. She said, if you shield the mountain from the windstorms, you’ll never see the beauty of the carvings. And the beauty of the carvings comes from being able to be in a state of gratitude for the storms that show up in our life, just as much as the things that we would like to have show up in our life.
You have to start retraining your subconscious mind, and your subconscious mind, it responds to what it is that you suggest to it. Now, the intriguing thing about your subconscious mind, your habitual mind, is that it can’t make a distinction between what it is that you are feeling as a result of what you have placed into your imagination and assumed the feeling of it, and what you are experiencing every day in your life.
If you tell, if you go around feeling unhappy, depressed, miserable, sad, whatever, if you, your subconscious mind says, oh, so this is what it is that you would like to attract into your life, and the universal subconscious mind, to which we were all connected, that we call the creative source of the universe, the divine mind, God, the Tao, whatever you might want it to be, that it will begin to offer you experiences that match up to what it is that you are feeling, so your body responds to what it is you place into your subconscious mind.
You have to retrain it, because 53 years later, here I am, dit dah-di-di-dah di-dit dah.
It’s like, it’s there, but that’s innocuous. That’s not, that’s not going to hurt anything. But if I’ve programmed into my subconscious mind feelings of, poor me, I can’t do anything about my life, other people are responsible for the reason why I can’t get myself happy and healthy and, and so on, if I, if I live with that kind of consciousness within me, you’re going around feeling it all the time.
Your feelings, your feelings create the destiny that you want.
If this assumption is persisted in until it becomes your dominant feeling, the attainment of your ideal is absolutely inevitable.
And what’s the paramount feeling that you want to have?
The feeling of, exactly, the feeling of love. Love is the feeling you must assume.
This is the message that Anita brought to me and brought to all of you, that when you place a feeling of love, which is all there is, it seemed to me, on the other side. Is that right, Anita? I mean, it’s just, it’s just nothing. She tries to describe this, and I’m pushing her.
Here, I’m 71, I’m cramming for my finals, I mean, I want to know, what’s it like over there? You know, we all want to know that. And all she says is, it’s just pure love. It’s just, it’s a love that you are bathed in, if you will. Bathe yourself in that kind of love. Live from that place and know God is love.
The fourth Wishes Fulfilled foundation I call Attention.
This is really crucial. Your imagination is able to do all that you ask in proportion to the degree of your attention. So what kind of attention do you place on your desires?
Let’s say, well, I’ll give you an example, the one of, of myself, with this business of this chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
My kids just got me this wonderful gift. I hadn’t had it before. They wanted me in the 21st century. It’s called an ipad. I just got, I just got my first e-mail address, and I’m not telling anybody what it is, because. So, but it’s just this wonderful, they’ve got this wonderful feature that I really think we should have in life, and it’s called trash. Which I had never seen before.
They were explaining this to me. So anything that comes in that you don’t want, you just push this little button, and it’s just like this. And it goes like this, whoop. It actually moves, and you can, and it makes a little sound, whoop. And then there’s a little button over on this side that says delete. You know?
So it’s something you put into the trash, and then you hit delete, it’s gone forever. That’s the kind of way you want to use your attention.
There are two kinds of attention, according to Neville, the subjective attention and objective attention. Subjective attention is different from objective attention. You want to use subjective attention, not objective attention. Neville says, there’s an enormous difference between attention directed objectively and attention directed subjectively, and the capacity to change your future depends on the latter.
Whatever you have placed into your imagination, you always go to your reality and call that which does not exist as if it did. I am.
And you, I have a rule about it, it’s don’t complain and don’t explain. You don’t have to explain what you have placed into your imagination. It is totally yours.
One of my great teachers in my life, in my early doctoral years, was Dr. Abraham Maslow. He said, become independent of the good opinion of other people.
Trust yourself, subjective attention. You, and only you, capital Y-O-U, are the subject that impacts the burning desire in your imagination. You are living and feeling as if your future dreams are a present fact. Objective attention, you become the objectified result of other people telling you what you can’t do, what’s impossible, and so on. Subjective attention, mine is mine.
I have an image that I use. I call it the superglue method. And when I have an intention about what it is, including doing this program, when I have an intention about making this program a reality, and it involves a lot of money and a lot of, a lot of expense, a lot of people, a lot of things have to come together. It involves going over into my writing space every single day, never giving up on it.
For even if I don’t feel like writing, four or five hours every single day, because I superglue, I superglue my intention into my imagination, and I don’t allow anybody else’s opinions to do anything to distract from that.
I don’t care if they tell me I can’t do it, or if it’s impossible, or it’ll cost too much, that we can’t do. My intentions are superglued there, and I have that do-not-disturb sign placed on my imagination, and it is mine.
Don’t allow anybody else’s opinions, don’t allow what it says on the Internet, don’t allow the research, don’t allow what anybody out there tells you is possible or not possible for you.
I just want to reemphasize that this really works.
I mean, it really does work if you just put in the minimal effort that I’ve been speaking about, about realizing how powerful your imagination is and assuming the feeling of what it is you want to be, as if it already were your reality. A change of feeling is a change of destiny.
The fifth foundation, before I go to it, you may have noticed my little hat here, right? How about that? I just took a group of people to Assisi, Lourdes, and Medjugorje, three great spiritual places where miracles have taken place. And I got one of these hats, and I don’t think I’ve taken it off since. It’s my new uniform.
The fifth foundation, the Wishes Fulfilled foundation, I call it Now I lay Me Down to Sleep.
And it is about the most practical of all of the five Wishes Fulfilled foundations.
This is something that you can do when the show is over tonight, when you go to bed. In the Book of Job, there is a very important statement. The statement says, in a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men while slumbering in their beds, then he opens the ears of men and seals their instruction.
Your subconscious mind is most comfortable when you are unconscious. You are unconscious when you are in your sleep state. And in your sleep state, your subconscious mind is busy at work. And it’s so important, these, I call it the last five minutes of your day.
So you get into bed, every day you get into bed, it’s, you get ready to go to sleep, and you are now about to, you’re in that state between being awake and being asleep, where you’re getting drowsy and, and you are going to marinate for the next eight hours in your unconscious subconscious mind.
You are preparing your marinade.
And the question is, how do you want to prepare yourself for having your instructions sealed? Your ears are opened, and your instructions are sealed. So, most people use the last five minutes of their day, as they’re about to enter into sleep, to review all of the things that they don’t like, and all of the things that didn’t work, and all of the people that hurt their feelings, and all of the stuff that is going on in their life that they wish weren’t happening.
This is their worry time. This is the time when you fill your mind with all of this stuff, and then you go off into sleep and he opens your ears and seals your instructions while you are slumbering. That’s right out of the Book of Job. So what you want to do is reverse this practice, because your subconscious mind is listening to how you are asking the universe to provide for you what it is that you would like to attract or manifest into your life. And if you fill your subconscious mind with all of the things that you don’t want, that you don’t like, that make you unhappy, that make you depressed, that make you worry, then your subconscious mind, which is impersonal, and remember, it can’t make a distinction between what it is that you are feeling as a result of what you place into your mind or what is actually happening in your life.
It doesn’t distinguish one from the other. It’s totally impersonal. It’s just open to suggestion. And here you are, suggesting to your subconscious mind, which will, when you awaken, you will align with the universal subconscious mind, the one mind, you know, there’s millions of people out there in the world, there’s millions of you watching this program, and you can see the difference between each and every one of you on the basis of your appearances, but there’s only one mind.
That’s what the great spiritual texts all teach us.
So now, if you, if you program your subconscious mind to tell your, to go over all the things you don’t want, all the things you don’t like, all the things that shouldn’t have happened, all the ways that you were mistreated, all about how terrible the economy is, and you know, we live in a fear-based world.
You want to shift away from that kind of consciousness and use the last five minutes of your, of your day to program your subconscious mind with what you have placed into your imagination with your I ams.
I am well.
I say it to myself every night, especially when I get into that, that state, you know, that weird state, where you’re sort of half awake and you’re half asleep and you know you’re heading towards that, sort of that subconscious place, and I just remember what it says in the Book of Job.
I don’t want my instructions sealed by going over, I am sick, I am poor, I am unhappy.
I just say, I am content, I am lucky.
When I wake up in the morning, I don’t say, oh, good God, morning. It’s the reverse. I say, good morning, God.
You know, it’s like, being grateful rather than being in that place where the things that you don’t want are what you have programmed your life to be.
I always think of this as, you know, like you have a currency, and, and if I were to give you currency to go out and purchase what you, what you want, and every place you went you took this currency that you have to purchase what you want and you purchase what you don’t want, and then when you get home and you wonder why your house and your life is filled with everything that you don’t want, it’s because you’re insane. That’s just insanity. It is.
I mean, why would you take what, the currency that you have to buy what you do, that, that’s there for what you do want and spend it on what you don’t want? When the currency that you have for attracting into your life what you would like to have are your thoughts and your imagination and your, and your I ams, your God-consciousness, why would you use it to say, I am unable, I am unlucky, I cannot, I will not?
You’re throttling, that’s what it says in the “I Am” Discourses, you’re throttling that great I-am presence that is located within you.
And so, the last five minutes of your day, as you’re about to marinate for eight hours in your subconscious mind, with your unconscious state, you want to go into that state, even if you just, even if your senses tell you, oh, this is, well, you’re just fooling yourself and so on. You don’t want to use your senses and the Internet and other people’s opinions, what you see, what you hear.
You want to let go of all of that and recognize that anything that you want to attract or create for yourself in your life begins with what you have placed in your imagination and have assumed the feeling of that wish fulfilled, and now you’re going to practice it, because you want, I’ve been trying to get, I mean, getting stuff out of your subconscious mind is a big job.
It really is.
People, most people are just not willing to do what it takes. I still can’t get the Morse code out of my subconscious mind. I need to have a major deprogramming thing. There’s that exit sign, di-dah-dah-dah-dah, di-di-dah, it’s always there. But that’s just harmless.
What isn’t harmless is, you know, placing into your subconscious mind all the things that you’re reviewing about what you don’t like, about what didn’t happen, about who mistreated you, about how sad you are, about how this can’t happen.
You are a creator.
Neville put it this way.
He said, the feeling, which comes in response to the question, how would I feel were my wish realized, is the feeling which will monopolize and mobilize your attention as you relax into sleep.
How would I feel were what it is that I would like to attract and create, and I don’t care what it is, whether it’s about the, the, the condition of your body, the disease state that you’re in, the fact that you’ve been overweight for, for three centuries or three decades or whatever it is the fact that you’ve been addicted, you ignore it, even if you’re drinking the coffee and doing the drugs and, and, and drinking alcohol or eating the sugar and so on.
Ignore what your senses tell you. Ignore what, what you see on the scale.
Ignore all of that, and say, I am sober, I am healthy, I am well-being, I am content, I am happy, I am perfect health, because ultimately, that’s how you will attract it. You have to be able to see the wish fulfilled already in advance and call those things which do not yet exist as though they do.
Now, as I get ready to conclude this program of love, there are two really significant things.
You’ve gone to sleep. You’ve programmed your subconscious mind.
And I want every one of you, every one of you watching this show, I want you, when you get into bed tonight, just try it tonight, instead of using these five minutes to review what you don’t want, review everything that you’ve placed into your imagination.
And keep this in mind.
When people say to me, and they say it to me all the time, what if I do everything that you say and it doesn’t work? It just doesn’t work. The student should constantly remind yourself, if it doesn’t feel natural, if it doesn’t feel natural, it isn’t going to work, okay?
Now I was being interviewed on a national television show by a guy who is about five-foot-seven and weighed maybe 140 pounds, and he did this long, intensive interview with me, and he said, you mean to tell me that if I do everything that you say, that I can become a linebacker for the New York Giants professional football team, because he lived in New York?
And I said, does it feel natural for you to be a linebacker for the New York Giants? Does that feel natural to you? And he said, no, it doesn’t. And if it just doesn’t feel natural to you, then all of the rest of this is just a waste of your energy.
Now the question isn’t whether you’re going to become a linebacker on a professional football team, but does it feel natural for you to say, I deserve prosperity? Does it feel natural for you to say, I deserve to be in a state of well-being, I deserve for my body to weigh exactly what I want it to weigh, what it is supposed to weigh?
Does it feel natural for you to say, I am beautiful, I am strong, I am capable, I am loved?
If it doesn’t feel natural, you’ve got a real problem going with your subconscious mind.
You’ve got a Morse code in there, di-di-di-di, I am fat, di-di-di-dit, I am poor, dah-dah-dah-di, I am unable. You have to start reprogramming your subconscious mind to say, I came from a place of well-being, I came from a place of perfect health, I came from a place of love, and I am well-being, I am wealth.
Now on the other hand, there are some people, like there’s a basketball player out there in the NBA, his name is Muggsy Bogues.
Muggsy Bogues is about two-foot-three. No, he’s about five-foot-seven or five-foot-eight, and he can dunk a basketball. He’s five-foot-seven and he can dunk a basketball. I’m six-foot-two, I can hardly see the rim. But somehow, for this man who is five-foot-seven, it felt natural for him to be able to elevate his body and grab onto a rim that’s 10 feet off of the ground, and it feels natural for him and he’s able to do it.
And there are so many examples of people who have accomplished things that they have never had a belief system that it was impossible for them.
So for every single one of us, the intention needs to be, it feels natural to me, even if I don’t know how to do it, even if I have no experience with it, even if it’s something that everybody else has told me isn’t, I can’t do, you need to be able to say to yourself, yes, I feel natural being happy, being loved, being prosperous, being all the things that I placed into my imagination.
The second thing that I’d like to say in conclusion is that, I was trying to manifest something into my life, and I did everything, but it still wasn’t working. And then I re-read the “I Am” Discourses, and one of the things that it says in Discourses that is very, very powerful is that, as long as you are having any thoughts of condemnation, criticism or judgment towards any of God’s children, you are throttling the great I-am presence within you that is God.
And I realized that my attempt to manifest what I wanted for myself into my life involved some judgment, some criticism, and even some condemnation toward someone who had done things that I felt that that person shouldn’t have done. And when I let go of the judgment, and I let go of the condemnation, and I let go of the criticism, almost instantly what it was that I was looking to manifest showed up in my life.
You can’t have any thoughts towards any of God’s children that involve criticism, judgment or condemnation. We are all just doing what we ow how to do, and we can’t ask any more of anyone.
Those of you who have followed me over the years know that one of my very favorite songs is Amazing Grace.
It’s a very powerful song. We have to walk down a new street. There it is, a new street, and not just for ourselves but for the planet and for our children. There’s a wonderful prayer that the Native Americans would say. When we walk upon the Earth, we place our feet very carefully because we know that the faces of our future generations are looking up at us from beneath the ground, and we never forget them.
Sometimes I think we have forgotten them. Sometimes I think we forget that we are borrowing our planet from them. This is theirs, and they’re just letting us use it. This, on this stage with me, I’m proud to say, is the San Diego Children’s Choir. And I would like to tell all of you, ladies and gentlemen, the story about the song you’re about to sing.
This song was composed by a man named John Newton, who lived back in the 18th century. And he was in the business of selling human beings into slavery. He was 22 years old and he was a slave-ship captain. And in this hideous practice that was so commonplace in the 17th and 18th centuries in the British and American Empires, he was taking people from West Africa on his ship to the New World, to South Carolina, to be sold into slavery.
And halfway across the ocean, he encountered a storm, and he heard, from the wailing of one of the people that was to be sold into slavery, the sounds, and he took out an envelope and he wrote on the back of this envelope the words to a song, I once was lost and now I’m found.
I once walked down an old street, and I’m walking now on a new street. And in one moment, his life was changed.
And the storm passed, and legend tells us that he turned his ship around and he went back to Africa, and he released all of the people who were still alive, and then he took his ship to a place in England, called Bristol, and gave up being a slave-ship captain and became the most ardent spokesman for the abolition of slavery and was almost single-handedly responsible for ending this horrible, nefarious, hideous practice of selling human beings.
And it all happened in one moment, one instant, one quantum moment. Any of us can change our lives in one moment and reverse the old street and begin walking on a new street.
So the San Diego Children’s Choir, we’re so proud to have you come out here and conclude this program on Wishes Fulfilled and they’re going to sing for you Amazing Grace.
San Diego Children’s Choir: ♪♪Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me.