Recently I read a couple of things
which normally I might not have read. One was the Celestine
Prophesy and the other was the Seth material,
obtained by channelling by the Jane Roberts. The strange thing is that I found both very
interesting. I agreed with almost everything in the Seth material, even though I am
somewhat sceptical about channelling.
The rather nice thing about the Celestine Prophesy is that it breaks up certain
requirements into 10 manageable chunks. The problem with having lot's of things is that it
is hard to hold them in mind - it can be done, of course, but the idea of following
procedures with 100 or more steps can be somewhat daunting.
The first 'prophesy' deals with synchronicity.
It says, as I understand it, that we need to be aware of coincidences and explore them so
that we can get the message they have for us. This, of course, relates to life being a
learning experience. Lessons come our way and we have the option of learning from them.
Whenever something out of the ordinary occurs, we should explore the positive intention
behind it, even if it is something which we might at first think is quite bad. We can
benefit if we search for the lesson it contains for us.
I have to change tack here and
mention Alfred Korzybski, the author of Science and Sanity. He uses the concept
non-allness. Briefly, as humans we have certain limitations - we cannot see ultra violet
light, for example - so we never perceive a thing as it 'really' is. We cannot perceive
everything about an object or a person. Even if we forget human limitations, we do not
take in all that we might. If we are asked to notice something new about something - even
if it something we are very familiar with - we can do so. We can always notice something
that we were not consciously aware of previously. We can notice a little point here, or
something we had forgotten. The principle of non-allness teaches us to ask, what else is
there? What am I missing. Korzybski teaches us to do this first, whenever we encounter
something that does not conform with our beliefs or expectations.
If someone says something we do not agree with, such as:
'I saw a flying saucer in your garden yesterday.'
We are inclined to say something like:
'I don't believe in flying saucers. I don't think you did see one.'
Yet we are in error when we do this because we do not know everything (non-allness
principle), and we do not fully know what the person is saying. Korzybski would counsel us
to say something like, 'What do you mean, exactly?' or 'Tell me about it.'
Do you miss
learning opportunities through premature arguing?
Whatever words we might use, the
point is we need to clarify and understand until we jump to a conclusion (which we might
eventually do anyway!) We do not know fully what that person means by the words he is
using. Of course, a more likely example is someone saying, 'The Republicans would do a
much better job of running the country,' and we respond by saying, 'You must be joking. I
think the Democrats are excellent!' Once again we have missed the opportunity to learn
from the other person, and we have missed the chance to increase our awareness and develop
ourselves. At a very basic level we have missed the opportunity of listening to arguments
that our opponents might throw at us in the future, and the opportunity to study them
fully and learn to rebut them. (This is only an example, I am not political!)
We do not perceive everything and we do not perceive all we might. We usually fail to
notice things that are not important, or do not seem to concern us, which really means
that our existing thoughts and beliefs exclude these things. When we have a problem, it is
usually these apparently unimportant and irrelevant things that we missed at the time
which rear up later and provide a challenge for us.
respond to your dreams!
The first insight also tells us how
we should respond to dreams. It says we should extract the theme or plot of the dream and
apply it to our lives and see what lessons this teaches us. De Bono suggested a similar
technique in problem solving. He suggested we open the dictionary at random and pick, say,
the tenth word. We note this word, or one nearby if the word is 'and' or 'of', etc, and
apply it to our problem. For example, I used the word 'skid' to apply to the problem 'city
air pollution.' I thought skid has the idea of moving without power. I imagined cars going
into the city on a train. This didn't seem very practical, so I thought of cars having an
electric motor as well as the usual petrol one. (This is a condensation of the thinking
involved, which led me to an idea I hadn't thought of.)
In the same way, we try to use the dream to find out what message it has for now. For
example, if we dream about being in the ancient Roman army, we might ask:
Is there some past matter that might be related to my present life?
Should I be more disciplined? Organised?
What meaning does dressing differently have for me in my present life?
Am I in some way not following my real intentions, but following 'orders', routine,
By relating the two different things, we can look at our present from a different
viewpoint. The stranger the dream, the more likely the theme is to bring us to notice new
things about our lives and ask new questions about our present situation.
By being especially open to experiences which seem out of the ordinary, we can look at
things differently and have the opportunity to learn something we might otherwise have
been unaware of. The key idea is to look for the positive meaning, and use it to increase