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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Showing You What You Can Become


Years ago, in the late 70’s, I chanced across Wayne Dyer’s book Your Erroneous Zones. (I was living in Spain and had to read it in Spanish Tus Zonas Erroneas back then, and I've also read it in German Der Wunde Punkt). I was in my twenties, and when I read the last chapter of that book, a chapter that shows a person free of erroneous zones, i.e., a person who is in such a good place inside of him or herself, that he has taken total responsibility for his own well-being, makes conscious choices, and is very aware of him or herself, I asked myself how it could be possible to get to that place. I yearned to get there. And I took the description Dyer offered of such a person as a model to follow. And because I had a model to follow, I was able to grow into that direction. (And of course it wasn’t just having the model, it was also determining to actually do something about it, so self-initiative and some kind of discipline also form part of it).

Abraham Maslow, and his hierarchy of needs gives another model to follow (which Dyer in fact based much of his early thought on). The self-actualizing individual at the top of Maslow's pyramid, is an individual who indeed gives us something to think about … how many of us are in fact there, or even moving towards that? And if not, why not? Frequenly, in particular because of the way our school system works, many of us are not in that place simply because we don't know it exists...

There was another book in my life that was conducive to showing me what I could become, and I didn't chance across this one until I saw it in a bookstore in Geneva in May of 1989, now in my thirties. I had done what I'd like to call much of the psychological work, perhaps less of the spiritual work, until I saw what could be in Gary Zukav's second book The Seat of the Soul. Again, it gave me an excellent road map. This one gave directions towards similar goals as the Dyer book mentioned above, but it focused on the spiritual aspect of moving towards the inner freedom and well-being refered to earlier; it focused much more clearly on the growth of the soul, as opposed to merely the growth of the psyche.

So what this is really about is the fact that growth can sometimes be infinitely accelerated if we see what is possible; if we see what we can become.

But this goes way beyond the little boy who wishes to emulate his policeman or fireman father, or the little girl who wants to be a doctor or lawyer like her mother. This is about what is possible from the point of view of inner freedom, of becoming totally responsible for the self, of taking responsibility for one’s own happiness, of learning how to make conscious choices, and of becoming aware of the self.

So when you meet someone who lives in an inner place that you find wonderful (even though it may seem light years from where you find yourself), or when you read about someone who does so, or when you read about an ideal you can aspire to, and you see that this is showing you what you could become, then use it as a map. Because you can also go there.

P.S. and in case you are curious, since then - since the experiences recounted above - there has been much fine-tuning in my life, much re-visiting of areas and issues that needed greater work, as I know there will continue to be until the day I pass, and much of the fine-tuning came about through other books, and also through human beings I've been fortunate enough to meet or observe or study, but the essential bits were put in place through those two early books by Dyer and Zukav.

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