Monthly Web Columns

LIFE 101


By Coach Cary Bayer

“Break on through to the other side.  Break on through to the other side.”
                                             —The Doors, “Break on Through”

            Fifty years ago this year, a Los Angeles rock band put out an album called “The Doors.”  They took their name from a book by the great British novelist Aldous Huxley, who wrote breathlessly about his psychedelic experiences glimpsing the “other side,” through mescaline. The book was called The Doors of Perception.  (Huxley would also write about the “other side,” or Enlightenment, in The Perennial Philosophy, a must-read for anyone interested in higher consciousness gained in more traditional and less chemical means.)   Huxley’s drug book, in turn, was influenced by a splendid quote by William Blake, the British Romantic poet/painter, who wrote,
            “If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.”—“The Marriage of Heaven & Hell”

            The visionary’s quote continues:

         “For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.”

            Psychologists estimate that most human beings utilize only a small portion of their potential—perhaps five to 10 percent are the general estimates.   Living from such a tiny piece of who we are binds us in so that a person winds up seeing through “narrow chinks of his cavern.”
         Interestingly, three of the Doors---John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, and Robby Krieger—all learned Transcendental Meditation directly from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in part, to experience the infinite that Huxley their spiritual “father” and Blake, their poetic “grandfather,” wrote about. 
            Elsewhere, their grandfather said that, “Energy is eternal delight.”  Anyone who has swum in the timeless waters of Eternity in the non-changing Transcendent beyond the changing mind has tasted that delight and that great energy from the unlimited energy source.  Blake was intimately familiar with Eternity—not in some endless horizontal sense of time without end, but in a vertical sense of being beyond time in the present moment, the power of Now, as Eckhart Tolle wrote about, or the Eternal Now.  In his “Auguries of Innocence,” Blake wrote:
         “To see a World in a Grain of Sand
         And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
         Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
         And Eternity in an hour.“

         This kind of timeless perception permeates psychedelic exaltations in Huxley’s The Doors of Perception and the tastes of cosmic life achieved through Yoga, meditation, and prayer in his Perennial Philosophy.
            Blake often lived outside of time.  In his poem, “Eternity,” he once again returned to the delights of life beyond the tick tock of the clock, as the last two lines indicate.  The first two speak of the need for the non-attachment that’s widely understood by seers in the Eastern tradition, but less so in the West.
         “He who binds to himself a joy
         Does the winged life destroy; 
         But he who kisses the joy as it flies
         Lives in eternity's sun rise.”

            Living inside of time creates limitations, Blake realized.   Living outside of it creates the freedom of Eternity and the dawning of wisdom.
             “The hours of folly are measur’d by the clock, but of wisdom: no clock can measure.”
            —“Proverbs of Hell” from “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”

         Maharishi, the Doors’ meditation teacher, wrote, “Time is a concept to measure eternity.”  Blake recognized what the yogis of India understood; namely that Life is as if illusory when we fail to live it from our source, thinking of ourselves as only this limited ego. 
         “Do what you will this Life’s a fiction
         And is made up of Contradiction.”—“The Everlasting Gospel”

      In India, the sages call such a limited view of Reality Maya, which translates from the Sanskrit as “that which is not.” Seeing through the eye, as Blake put it, rather than with it, springs from a consciousness that’s settled in Eternity.  As he wrote in “Auguries of Innocence:”
            “We are led to Believe a Lie 
            When we see not Thro the Eye” 

            Creativity springs, Maharishi taught, from the pure field of Creative Intelligence at the transcendental level of your mind.  This unbounded space feeds your mind with inspiration, and delights in its expressions.  As Blake wrote in his “Proverbs of Hell:” “Eternity is in love with the productions of time.”  The true artist, according to this visionary British poet and painter, soaks his consciousness in the infinite waters of Heaven that flow within.  As he wrote in “Annotations to Sir Joshua Reynolds’s Discourses:”
         “The man who never in his mind and thoughts travel'd to heaven is no artist.”

         Another way of saying it is that the truest art springs from our contact with the transcendental field of the Creator; in other words, it’s Universality-sourced. Otherwise, it’s ego-driven, and individuality-sourced. Such deep connections to the power of Now and the heaven of this very moment banish doubts about one’s true nature and the Reality that surrounds us.  Blake shows how ridiculous doubt itself is.  Again from his “Auguries of Innocence.”
“If the sun and moon should doubt,
They’d immediately go out.”

      His heightened perceptions enabled him to see that “Exuberance is beauty.”  In point of fact, the reverse is true, as well, as anyone who has seen how divinely beautiful life can be knows at his core.  Life ceases to be dual when one has penetrated to the essence of Beauty itself.  As Blake wrote in “Jerusalem:” “I am in you and you in me, mutual in divine love.”   He seemed to have drunk from the chalice of the Creator Himself, writing in “Auguries of Innocence:”
            …When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light 
            God Appears & God is Light.” 

                Blake seemed to have been intimately familiar with the light.  And Jim Morrison, his poetic grandson, certainly yearned for it; his most successful song, after all, was “Light my Fire.”  It’s traditionally interpreted to be an erotic request made of one’s mate; but knowing who the Doors named themselves after, it may very well have been a spiritual request made of one’s Creator.


Emotional and Spiritual Skills for Success-  #4 in the Love Yourself,
Lose the Weight series

by Patricia J. Crane, Ph.D.

Have you ever used your weight as an excuse not to participate more fully in life, not to have a relationship, to avoid sex in the relationship you’re in, not to look for a new job? Are you willing to let go of your excuses? They are just a way of not loving yourself.

Mirror work- talking to yourself while looking in the mirror – is a powerful technique for learning to love yourself as you are making changes in any area. Look into your eyes and say to yourself, “I’m done with excuses. My weight is not the issue. I am willing to participate in life regardless of my weight.” Notice how you feel. Then tell yourself “I love and accept you just the way you are. I support you in all your new habits. You have been doing the best you can. It’s OK. I support you in making positive changes.”
Then tell yourself anything else that is important for you to know/hear.  You are claiming the wonderful being that you are. If you feel a lot of emotion coming up as you do the mirror work, that’s OK!  

It’s important to become aware of emotional triggers for overeating or making choices you know aren’t healthy. Almost everyone uses food to deal with emotional issues at some time or other. It’s how often you do this that determines if it’s a problem.

Starting now, every time you eat (especially outside of meal times), ask yourself first, What am I feeling right now? Can I resolve this feeling without eating? Take some deep breaths and acknowledge that you want to eat, “Yes, I want to eat now, but I can wait out this impulse for 10 seconds. I am willing to feel my feelings and deal with them.”

Here is an exercise to help you develop more awareness around emotions and eating.

Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and relax your body. Keep doing some deep breaths until you feel relaxed. Now, as though you are an observer of your own life, go back over the last two weeks and notice your eating patterns: when you ate, what you ate, where you were, and who was with you. Don’t judge or criticize, simply notice. When you ate for emotional reasons, what was going on?.......

Now go back even farther in time, letting your mind go to the time you first began overeating…. How old were you? What was going on for you? What feelings were you suppressing?  Accept that this was your way of coping at that time. Feel compassion and love for yourself. Go to another situation where you overate….. What emotions were you feeling then? Find a few others………… Then imagine you are looking at yourself in the mirror. Tell yourself, “I understand more now. I truly do love and accept you just the way you are.”

Bring your awareness back to the present moment. Take some deep breaths and stretch. Open your eyes.

If you found a connection between feeling stressed and eating, here are some easy ways to deal with that. Stress increases your metabolism and so you feel fatigued. This can prompt you to want to eat something like a candy bar for fast energy. Ultimately, this leads to more fatigue because your blood sugar plunges after spiking. First, as much as possible plan your meals so you eat on a schedule. Eat low fat, high protein meals to keep your blood sugar balanced. Second, have some healthy snacks available, like protein bars or veggies and a low fat dip. In other words, prepare ahead of time. Third, practice deep breathing exercises to help you reduce stress.

Learning to handle your emotions effectively is truly an ongoing process. If you started eating emotionally and gaining weight as a child, then talking to your Inner Child can really be healing.

 If you gained a lot of weight after some traumatic event in your life, you may need professional help in dealing with it. Look for a therapist who offers a spiritual approach as part of their therapy. In the US, you can find them advertising in spiritual newsletters. Or ask some friends for a referral. Affirm that you are guided to any resource you need to create a healthy relationship with food. 

A spiritual course, A Course in Miracles, says, “Guilt holds the behavior.” So if you are feeling guilty (or ashamed or embarrassed or even angry at yourself) for gaining weight and not losing it, it’s time to let go of the guilt and any other emotions associated with your weight. True, easier said than done. Begin with “I am willing to let go of the emotions that have kept me stuck.”

For some people, prayer is a potent force for changing behavior. Asking Spirit, God, the angels, or ascended masters to assist you in your desire for changes takes the burden off you “doing it all yourself.”

Are you willing to forgive yourself? At the highest spiritual level, there is no need for forgiveness, but in our human selves it is another piece of the foundation for permanent change. And sometimes that change can occur very quickly when you stop feeling guilty, forgive yourself, and love yourself right where you are at the moment.  Be kind to yourself. You are worth loving!

--Patricia J. Crane, Ph.D. studied personally with Louise Hay and, with husband Rick Nichols, is authorized to lead Heal Your Life® training programs in Louise’s philosophy. She is also the author of Ordering from the Cosmic Kitchen: The Essential Guide to Powerful, Nourishing Affirmations. and