“Procrastination is like a credit card; it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.” ~Christopher Parker
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” ~Albert Einstein
“It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.” ~Oscar Wilde
“The greatest gift you can give yourself is a little bit of your own attention.” ~Anthony J. D’Angelo
“Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow.” ~Yiddish Proverb
“The basic fact is that humanity survives through kindness, love, and compassion. That human beings can develop these qualities is their real blessing.” ~The Dalai Lama
“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.” ~Jiddu Krishnamurti
“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” ~Bhagavad Gita
Enthusiasm equals life. You feel it when you look at a small child who’s running around and laughing, or when you play with your dog. When we get excited we feel alive and apart from enthusiasm being the strongest motivational power in the world to get things done, we also just want to be happy in the here and now.
People have different ideas and plans in what they want to achieve for themselves, but we all pursue them for the same reasons: We want to feel good. We believe that when we reach a certain goal we’ll feel content and fulfilled, but this is not the case. Rather it will be a slight disappointment because the goal is achieved, yet nothing really changed.
The nature of goals
This is something that came to my mind as I was reading about the philosophy of having no goals. The idea behind it is that setting goals and achieving them creates more stress than happiness and that we don’t need to set goals in order to be productive. The reason why is because enthusiasm alone is the biggest driving force behind success and achievement and is a much stronger source of motivation than having a deadline or a goal on your to-do list.
This makes sense. I myself for example don’t get excited about things because they happen to be on my list of goals, but because I love doing them! The same applies to things I’d rather not do. Just because those things are on my list doesn’t mean I get more excited about them, but rather it becomes a source of stress and frustration. Instead of forcing yourself to do something you dislike, it’s also possible to rearrange your mental programming so that you can get excited about those things.
Pleasure and pain
What we like or dislike is not something that’s set in stone from the moment we’re born, but it’s something that’s programmed into our system in accordance with our experiences. Human beings are driven by the desire for pleasure and the aversion towards pain. What is pleasurable or painful is not a matter of fact, but a matter of perception.
Those who are into advertising know all about changing perception by linking pleasure to whatever they want you to buy. Because these processes usually happen on a subconscious level we’re not even aware of the huge amount of influence commercials have on us. So why wouldn’t we use this science to condition ourselves in a way that is beneficial to us?
What I’m talking about is basically NLP and it’s a very practical method for reprogramming self-limiting attitudes and systems of belief by changing the parameters and values of pleasure and pain. We will get motivated as soon as we link pleasure rather than pain to doing something that we didn’t feel so excited about before.
The supreme state of being
But to me that’s not enough. As far as pragmatism goes my mind also needs philosophical nourishment. I want to go beyond pleasure and pain and see what really drives me. The pleasure of getting a certain result is one thing, but the enthusiasm in the moment itself for doing what you love makes the result irrelevant. It is that feeling which everyone is trying to pursue as they set their goals and imagine their future achievements.
The illusion is that fulfilment is waiting for us in the future. Life happens in the present moment only and that’s why they say there is no way to happiness, but that happiness is the way. It is the passion itself that makes life worth living, because it’s in that state that we really feel alive. The proof that results and achievements don’t equal happiness can be deducted from the fact that there are many successful people who don’t feel fulfilled and happy.
In the end I believe happiness in itself is the biggest success of life and that it’s impossible to go wrong when you feel excited and enthusiastic about the things you do. The best thing is that apart from personal fulfilment it also creates a wave of upliftment that affects the people around you. Everybody likes to be around those who feel good, because it makes them feel good as well.
Be a good person
Our biggest desire is to be in that state of happiness, fulfilment, excitement and passion. I believe that is what life is all about, because it can only be lived in the here and now. Enthusiasm is something as profoundly beautiful as a blossoming flower and should be treated with care and love.
I find it really awful when people bash in each other’s enthusiasm and excitement. Would you ever do that to your child? I don’t suppose anyone would. At the very least nobody wants to be part of those who do. There’s definitely something to be said about a realistic approach, but that doesn’t mean that there is no space to let an idea grow into something that we can work with.
When we’re supportive then not only will beautiful ideas grow into realities, but also we will nourish the enthusiasm and passion that will blossom within ourselves and others to create even more beautiful things and live a fulfilling life. It becomes a productive cycle of happiness that other people will want to contribute to.
Not so long ago I was reading the book titled Mastering your Hidden Self by Serge Kahili King. It’s a book about the ancient Huna philosophy regarding the different aspects of human existence to learn about ourselves and experience ourselves completely by establishing harmony. I promised to write a review to share some interesting insights that I picked up along the way so perhaps you’ll feel inspired to check out the book for yourself.
I remember hearing about the book while I was listening to an audio book. It was only mentioned very briefly, but I immediately knew it was something I needed to check out and so I did. The same day I ordered it and when it got to my mailbox I immediately started reading. The simple and pragmatic approach to human psychology appealed to me and it was also more complete than any other kind of psychological paradigm I have ever studied. I suppose this is also because the teachings aren’t dogmatic so they can be interpreted as guidelines to understanding your own truth.
The book covers many different aspects of our existence and is not limited to just knowledge, but also hands you some tools to get started with your own spiritual integration so to say. In this post I will go over some of the most important aspects that are thoroughly described in the book. What made it special to me is that I didn’t feel like I was being introduced to a radical new idea, but rather that my current knowledge was being expanded and that things started to make more sense than ever before.
Most of us will agree that we have a physical body or kino, but there is also an energy body which doesn’t appear as physical. This is not a matter of opinion, because science has proven its existence by taking pictures with specific filters to show a certain kind of aura around living things. This is what the Kahuna’s call the aka body through which energy can flow. This life energy is what they call mana. Then there is the mind which is not the same as the brain. The mind consists of a subconscious, conscious and superconscious part, named respectively ku, lono, and aumakua.
The reason why I use the Huna terminology for these aspects is because their existence and purpose can be explained through the root meanings of the Huna language. For example the conscious mind (lono) has its root in the word lo which means ‘to achieve’ and aka (energy or astral body) means ‘transparant’, ‘reflection’ or ‘essence’. I won’t elaborate much on this further, but it’s interesting to realize that the names that were given to the different aspects of our existence collaborate with the root meanings of that ancient language. Even more interesting is that the roots of the language can be traced to other ancient civilizations around the world.
So let’s get started with the most important part: The mind. It’s interesting to note that the Huna philosophy is not so different from the ideas of big Western philosophers like Freud and Jung. There are definitely differences, but there are also similarities. For example, both Freud and the Kahuna’s believe that our complexes are rooted in the subconscious part of the mind and are also largely responsible for undesired behaviour. However, Freud thought that this part of the mind was to be controlled, whereas the Kahuna’s believe that it’s only a matter of reprogramming our behavioral patterns and corresponding beliefs.
The Subconscious Mind
The most important function of the subconscious mind is memory. This is also the reason why all our automatic behaviour is rooted in the subconscious mind, because that’s where it’s stored. Because the subconscious mind is logical in nature and all our experiences with corresponding sensations are recorded, it means that a good part of our automated behaviour can be traced back to past experiences. Especially at a very young age we’re susceptible to subconscious programming, because we lack the decision making power of the conscious mind to change our way of thinking. As a result these years are often at the basis of many mind patterns and can be hard to change, because we tend to subconsciously identify with them.
It is when we start to establish a good communication with our subconscious mind that we get a much better understanding of our behavioral and thinking patterns, from which we can start to consciously reprogram the mind. It is for this reason that the Kahuna’s believe that the subconscious mind should be lovingly treated as a child who needs to be trained and desires direction from the conscious mind. When there is no direction it will switch to its automatic pilot, becoming a product of its environment in the process.
The subconscious mind is also the part where all our emotions come from. This is why we can experience the intensity of past situations when we think back of them, because the emotions are anchored to the memory itself within the subconscious mind. This knowledge is also very important to NLP practitioners, because emotions create the strongest anchors inside the mind. In the game of seduction it’s well known that when we establish physical contact during an emotional moment the memory will be much more powerful.
There is so much more to be said about the subconscious mind, but for the sake of this article the most important function to understand is that of memory. We can utilize the subconscious to remember pretty much everything as long as we have the focus and awareness to dig deep enough. Other than that the subconscious also plays a large role in our perception of dreams. It’s definitely a good idea to write down your dreams, because you might learn something useful about yourself.
The Conscious Mind
The conscious mind is a lot more simple in nature than the subconscious. It only exists in the here and now and is rational in nature. That means that the conscious mind is not emotional by definition and it is the only part of our mind that has the ability to make decisions. Some people think that the strength of our conscious mind is determined by willpower, but that is not the case. Every person has willpower and everyone has the ability to make decisions. There is only a problem when the automatic urges of the subconscious mind start to overrule the direction of the conscious mind.
To avoid this we need to establish a healthy relationship with the subconscious mind. What I mean with that is that simply suppressing our subconscious tendencies is not the key to self mastery, because it creates stress, unhappiness and only works temporary. What you resist persists and for that matter these tendencies will only grow in power, because the subconscious doesn’t want to be ignored. When we establish a good communication we can understand these tendencies and where they come from. Knowledge is power and from that point we can start to reprogram our beliefs by taking on a conscious attitude until it becomes a habit and part of our subconscious behaviour.
It makes me think of a scene in a series that I was watching in which there were some people going to a group therapy. When the group leader asked who had come to improve themselves to become better persons almost everybody raised their hands. And then he said something interesting, because that is the first mistake we make. In order to change and improve, we have to start by accepting ourselves as we are and to realize we’re perfect already. Self-hatred is what stands in the way of change and so it’s never a matter of willpower whether you’re going to be able to follow up on your decisions, but rather of reprogramming starting with self-love.
The Superconscious Mind (High Self)
This part of the mind is harder to define than the others. The Huna word for superconscious is aumakua which means something like ‘guide’. The superconscious is not a seperate entity, but more like our most inner being; the essence of who we are as individuals. When we give direction to our lives with the conscious mind it’s the superconscious that will invoke us with inspiration and a sense of purpose. Our feelings of intuition for example are coming from the superconscious mind.
When we learn to connect with this part of ourselves we can ask for advice or guidance. This may sound strange, because it sounds as if I’m referring to an entity outside of ourselves. I think the best way to explain it would be to say that the superconscious mind transcends the domain of the subconscious and conscious part of the mind. It is the part of us that’s bigger than this life alone and for that reason it gets complicated when people don’t believe that they don’t exist beyond their current state of consciousness. However, it doesn’t change the aspects of guidance, inspiration and intuition.
The Kahuna’s also believe that the superconscious minds or High Selves are all in contact with each other and can form a collective mind. This idea is not new in Western psychology, because Jung actually came up with a theory that involved ancestral memory. The reason for that was that during his research he found that people (who had nothing to do with each other) often dreamt in the same symbolism. This created the idea of archetypes, which is like a universal code through which we perceive reality and communicate.
The Aka Body
The aka body or astral body is at the foundation of our physical manifestation. Scientists have been able to take pictures of the astral body by using specific lenses. I went to a seminar one time where a scientist showed pictures he had made of half torn leaves which clearly showed a bright spectral body on the places where the leaf was torn apart. He did the same experiment with people who had lost their limbs and quite remarkably they were actually able to feel their missing bodyparts during a trance-like state.
One way to explain the aka body is to compare it to a computer. The circuit boards, fuses and transistors create a structure through which the machine can operate, but the actual data is stored in electromagnatic fields. In that sense you could say that our aka body is an electromagnetic field that surrounds and penetrates our physical bodies.
Mana (Life Energy)
Yet more terminology that may raise eyebrows, yet also this has been a matter of extensive research throughout Western modern times. There are many words for this energy such as prana, chi and ki, but also Freud who called it libido. The reason why I’m mentioning this is because it’s one of the keys to self-mastery. The amount of life energy that we generate determines everything inside and outside of ourselves; how we feel, whether we’re healthy, how easily we can accomplish our goals, our levels of confidence and also how attractive we are to the opposite sex.
Another interesting point is that complexes often cause a block in the flow of energy. Wilhelm Reich, a former student of Freud, conducted research on neurotic persons and discovered that certain muscle groups were chronically tensed. Using techniques to relax these muscles the patients experienced a release of energy followed by a flow that they felt throughout their entire body. Similar to electrical current, this was their experience of mana or life energy. So in order to be happy and healthy we need to make sure that our energy can freely move through our body by getting rid of complexes.
Increasing mana is one of the most important things we can do to change the quality of our lives. The more energy we have the more we can achieve and the happier and healthier we feel. Generating energy can be done in various ways whether it is through healthy food, deep breathing, proper sleep or mental attitude. Of course you’ll want to have a combination of all of those factors to get maximum results. There’s nothing as attractive as life itself, so even if you don’t believe in all of this there’s plenty of reason for you womanizers out there to increase your energy.
Then again to prove my point you can go and check the web for guys like Anthony Robbins and other motivational speakers and you’ll see that every single one of them will give you advice that comes down to one thing: Increase your energy to improve your life. In the end you don’t need to believe in metaphysics and mysticism to be able to apply ancient old techniques and get results.
There are different ways to address issues within the subconscious, increase energy or establish a connection with the superconscious mind. One of the things I found interesting is that when we meditate and use our imagination to picture a forest for example, that it is our subconscious mind that will automatically fill in pretty much every detail of our imagination. We can consciously choose what we want to picture, but the picture itself is one big projection of our subconscious mind.
This is very helpful and interesting, because it means that we can gain a better understanding of our own mind by using the power of imagination to turn complexes into vivid images. At this point the complexes become much more tangible and we can use the conscious mind to fix it in whatever way we feel like. To make this more clear, one of the exercises that I learned from the book was to imagine my own garden and just walk around to observe what my subconscious mind had created. This makes introspection a lot easier and at the same time you have the opportunity to find the root of problems (literally!).
Also meditating and imagining radiating light can be a very powerful way to increase energy. Specific colours immediately have an effect on our state of mind as well. Deep breathing is a great tool to calm the mind down and increase energy. These are just examples, but honestly the sky is the limit. What’s nice about the pragmatic approach is that you can do whatever works for you. We have strong intuitive powers and often we have a very clear idea of what is good for us and what not.
From everything I’ve written down it’s barely the tip of the iceberg and if this catches your interest then I’d definitely recommend this book. It’s one of those books that you read more than once and I wouldn’t advice to read more than a chapter a day, because the information is simple yet deep and needs some time to settle down in the mind. Other than that there are of course many ways that lead to Rome and this one is not better nor worse than any other. At the end of the day we all want the same things and how we go on about that is an individual choice.
Most important is that we do make that choice and follow up on our decisions. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but rather through constant effort by taking small steps at a time consistently. What definitely intrigues me is that such an ancient and isolated civilization had such profound knowledge regarding our existence and even better that slowly these ideas are starting to get more support by modern scientists.
Recently I went on a short holiday through a part of Eastern Europe. At the time of this writing I’m actually sitting inside a bar in Prague. This trip was a result of pure spontaneity, and so far the experience has been amazing, even though I’ve only been on the road for about a week.
It all started when I wanted to visit a friend of mine in Slovenia. Since my girlfriend’s brother came to visit me in Amsterdam I figured I could go back with him to Zagreb and get off around Ljubljana. Because of some miscommunication I couldn’t see her, so I decided to go on a little adventure instead. I had never traveled all by myself so I was very excited about this new experience, and I have to say that already so far it’s been one of the best things I’ve done in my life.
I started in Zagreb and hitched my way to Budapest; quite a pearl of a city. There’s a young and vibrant energy which makes for an awesome atmosphere, and the architecture and layout of the city is just beautiful. As soon as you enter the city you feel it, and that’s the feeling I love; feeling right at home. Everything is quite cheap and all the places and sights in the city center are a walking distance away. The people at the youth hostels are very helpful and friendly, and in no time I had myself a bed for the night.
It didn’t take long for me to make my first new friends; Ike from the USA and Noah from the UK. Over the course of several days we spent quite some time together and it was very nice to be in their company while enjoying a beer and visiting some clubs. I found it interesting how easy it was to meet people, because normally when you travel with friends or family your attention is focused more inward than outward. However, when traveling alone you become one with the environment around you and just start attracting what is there.
It might be interesting to read my other article about the laws of attraction before you read on, because that is actually the general idea of what I’ve been doing during my trip so far; you manifest yourself as you want to be and the rest happens automatically as long as you keep an open mind and stay sharp to engage in opportunities to meet new people. Often you find yourself drawn to these people somehow, and when you start a conversation you soon find out that you actually have a lot in common. This intuitive knowing is very interesting once you become more sensitive to this phenomenon.
At the same time I’ve been reading my new latest purchase, called ‘Mastering your hidden self‘ By Serge Kahili King. It’s a very interesting book that explains a thousands year old philosophy and practice from Hawaii which is about making a more intimate connection with the different aspects of the mind, namely the conscious, subconscious, and superconscious mind. But that’s a subject of its own on which I will elaborate soon enough in an upcoming article.
The reason I mention it is because I’m starting to establish a deeper connection with these parts of myself which makes the trip all the more interesting. I’ve met so many wonderful people who are all vibrating on my level that it can’t be a coincidence anymore. Nowadays I can sense by a single look in the eyes if there’s chemistry or not. You only need to notice them and then take action to get involved.
Especially in Bratislava I had an amazing experience with such a person, a girl named Viola. I saw her sitting in a park which happened to be on my path and immediately felt an urge to go and talk to her. Before I knew it hours had passed and we were drinking beers while talking about all kinds of different subjects, from music and relationships to spirituality and philosophy. I felt so enchanted in the moment that when I came to the hostel later that night after we had parted ways I still felt like I was in some kind of dream.
The above experience was definitely the most intense one, but I’ve met many people in Budapest, Bratislava, and Prague that I had a special bond with. I’m sure that if I had not traveled by myself it wouldn’t have happened in this kind of fashion, and therefore I believe that traveling by yourself can be a very eye-opening experience. At least it has been for me, and I’m really happy that I finally did it. The trip is not yet over, because tomorrow I’ll be hitching to Krakow where I’ll be staying for a few days before I return home.
I’ve only been away for a week but it feels like a month; it’s just that many impressions. When you are by yourself you get a very clear idea of what you attract and therefore also who you are. This whole adventure definitely has been like a confirmation to me that I’m on the right path, and everywhere I went people were smiling and happy. Sometimes I feel like some kind of Buddha who is roaming the world like a pilgrim for the meaning of his own life, and sharing his wisdom with others in the process.
Of course there’s also a lot of beautiful women involved that I’ve been going out with to spice it up, and the result is an amazing life experience. The best is when you surprise yourself in a positive way. Like in this one instance that I saw a girl crying in Budapest and decided to talk to her just to make her feel better. I wasn’t looking for anything but to share compassion, and when I left a few minutes later to continue on my way her tears were gone, and therefore my mission was a success. It’s these small things that really give life meaning and purpose.
Traveling by yourself is a healing and purifying experience, and the relationships you build of among the strongest and most genuine ones you’ll have in your life. You meet interesting people everywhere that you share something with, and you expand your world greatly. If you are the kind of person who’s ready for this kind of adventure, then don’t hestitate to go out there! It will inspire you greatly, and you’ll come back home as a different person, having taken yet another step towards the realization of your true self.
I would say this is the opposite but also equivalent of meditation, because you basically do the same thing, just that you turn all your attention outside instead of inside. Either way you completely get absorbed in the moment, and when you are in that flow then everything that happens is good and will lead to more goodness. In that state you can’t really do anything wrong, and I guess one of the keys of living a rich, happy, and fulfilling life is to stay in touch with yourself to cultivate this feeling of cosmic flow within yourself.
So go out there and make it happen! If you want to learn more about the cities I visited I suggest you check wikipedia. My message is that you can feel at home anywhere when you feel right in place of who you are. And a very good way to learn this is by traveling by yourself; be who you want to be and share it with the world.
I believe that everyone has the ability to help oneself. Often we make the mistake of looking for help outside, while deep down inside we know exactly what to do. The most important is that one can self-reflect and be honest about how things are.
Lately I’ve been working on an article about Michael Jackson, of which I might publish an summary on this site since the article is written in dutch. One of my sources of information has been my friend Tom who knows a lot about the king of pop and has been a fan since childhood. We conducted an interview some time ago using a pen that records audio as you’re making notes (google ‘livescribe smartpen’), and as I was listening to the recordings I was observing myself which was really quite interesting.
I noticed that I was communicating too much through my intellect and less through my heart. When I started to implement my own advice the results were amazing. You change something and the whole experience becomes different. It makes you think about video and audio therapy in which you record the subject and let him or her watch it at a later time as a means to self-reflection. The idea to do this to myself has been in my mind for a while, but by accident I actually did it as I was listening to the interview, just intending to gather information for the article.
Of course this kind of therapy is not suited for everyone; it just depends on the person and what he or she is looking for. Some people just need a good listener who will ask the right questions while refraining from judging, so they don’t feel personally attacked. Once you touch the ego it’s not unlikely that people shut down and go into defensive mode. It’s just insecurity, and for these kind of people it works best to carefully lead them to the point that they’ll start admitting this to themselves. Question with compassion, but keep it direct and to the point.
Others need exactly the opposite; they need a person who’s gonna tell them exactly how things are and break their fairy tales, excuses, and self-limiting beliefs down brick by brick until there’s nothing left but pure acceptance of the self. It takes a lot of strength, but this kind of destruction can lead to amazing transformations. After all, you can’t grow new crops on rotten soil no matter of what quality the seeds are. It requires a lot of energy from both sides, but the investment may be well worth it. In the end, it’s quite a commitment and therefore most people won’t bother with it. If you do cross paths with someone like that then you’d better be grateful for you have found a true friend, but never take it for granted.
When you need help it often gets handed to you almost instantly, you just need to learn how to recognize it. I find it interesting that people will often communicate the same message to you, just in different formats. Some explain themselves in a way that’s easy for you to understand, but I myself am convinced that you can learn something from every single person you meet. Who you are and what you’re doing has a direct effect on your environment, and what you get back from this environment can be considered as your feedback, whether it’s implicit or explicit. Everything happens for a reason, and it can all be found inside, because the world acts like a mirror to you.
To become aware of the world is to become aware of yourself, and also the other way around. Depending on your situation you may prefer one approach over the other, but eventually they’re all equal in quality. When I do my sales I obersve the response I get from the world. When I take a break to meditate I observe myself. Different methods complement each other; everybody needs some self-reflection, get asked some good questions, and get a bit of ass-kicking once a while.
The love you give is the love you receive. One day you find yourself in a certain position, and some other day the tables are turned. Now you’ve lived through the whole experience. Just never ever get stuck in the same position; you know what to do to get to the next level. God will never hand you a challenge that you cannot beat.