James C. Wilhelm, Contributor
Simple life forms first appeared on earth about three and a half billion years ago. These little entities, a form of bacteria known to biologists as prokaryotes, are still with us today. They are made of DNA, proteins and other identifiable structures. As with everything that exists, however, prokaryotes are essentially billions of bits of information.
They came into existence and have persisted for billions of years because they are able to exchange information with their environment. Their data exchange capacity limits them, however, to survival and multiplication, both of which they do very well. We can consider it a good thing that the prokaryote’s ability to survive is so powerful. Had this early form of life failed, our planet would likely look a lot different today and we may not be here to think about it.
Our earliest known direct ancestors, Homo habilis or Homo gautengensis, appeared more than two million years ago in what is now known as Tanzania. Similar to the prokaryotes, these primordial relatives possessed the necessary information in their DNA to keep them around long enough to move life to the next stage.
The species Homo transformed into Homo sapiens about 200,000 years ago. As Homo sapiens developed larger, more powerful brains they were called Homo sapiens sapiens and that is what we call ourselves today. Each of the species along the way has inherited the DNA code for survival. The downside of inheriting the survival code is the limit it places on life to maintain only the level of survival.
Relatively recently, humans developed the brain size and functional capacity to go beyond survival. This means that modern humans can transcend the fear-based survival paradigm and many have done so already. We see this in our scientific and artistic accomplishments, in our spiritual and religious awareness, and other cultural advancements that would not be possible if all of us were all the time engaged solely in the process of survival.
When we focus primarily on survival we are operating from lack and fear. Operating from and making decisions based on fear keeps us enslaved to ancient behavioral programs that drive us to avaricious and combative behaviors which are intrinsically self-destructive.
Thus, the biological and psychological tools that help ensure our continuation through time actually contribute to our individual and collective destruction.
We have been indoctrinated from before birth to believe what has always been believed and what has always been believed has not worked for us since we first starting believing it. While caught up in our fear-based survival strategies, humans have caused the needless pain, suffering, starvation, torture and death of hundreds of millions of other human beings just like ourselves.
In spite of profoundly convincing evidence that all of the solutions we have thrown at these problems have failed miserably, we continue employing these same solutions to this day while expecting different results. This is how Albert Einstein defined insanity.
In the face of all we have learned about our planet, our solar system, our universe and our physical bodies we have yet to learn that we cannot transform our way of life by way of the same old solutions. The cause of all this lies not in our laws, our economic situation or our politicians and the solution will not be found in new legislation or changes of leadership. All of these seemingly intractable issues share the same ultimate cause and this cause is not found in worldly circumstances but only within ourselves.
Yet all is not lost. We stand today on the threshold of unprecedented opportunity. All that is required of us to realize this opportunity is to wake up to its possibility.
We are eternal, transcendent beings trapped by our own limited, pre-conditioned thinking. We look at humanity’s history and think this is our future. We can allow our past to be our future or we can transcend fear and create new possibilities. With the power of our brilliant minds we have deciphered and changed much about the world, yet we have transformed very little about ourselves.
Transformation itself can be frightening because we think we must give something up of real value, or we may lose some vital part of ourselves or maybe even physically die. The caterpillar thought it was dying also until it emerged from its chrysalis as a beautiful butterfly with the power of flight.
Fear is like darkness: it has no reality of its own but is, rather, the absence of something that is real. Light is real; it is composed of photons, and in its presence there is no darkness. Love is real; it is who and what we are, and in the presence of love, there can be no fear.
All of us have within us both the darkness and the light. The darkness is ruled by fear and thus also rules by fear. Look around you – people are afraid. We fear economic collapse, terrorist bombers, crazed gunmen hiding in the shadows of night awaiting their moment to gun us down. We fear loss: of jobs, of freedom, of meaning, of love and of life itself.
The light within us knows fear is an illusion. We inherently and intuitively know that love and peace are more than possible, they are necessary and are within us right now waiting to be recognized and expressed. When we see the light within us we understand who we truly and originally are; we see the unity that binds us together as one, like the separate threads of a beautiful tapestry, each thread a necessary part of the whole.
Only mankind’s transcendence of fear and the survival mindset that fear engenders will ever make a difference for the starving people of the world, or for the planet’s deadliest, most persistent, diseases or the world’s environmental, political and financial issues. No elections, no changes of government, no new laws, no amount of well-meaning organizations filled will dedicated, committed people will ever result in the changes we agree we would like to see. Only the transformation of individual humans, the inner transformation of the people of the world, will ever make a difference.
There is a way for each of us to awaken to the transformation of lasting peace and love. I call this way Self-Understanding. It consists of five straightforward steps:
- Accept your life exactly as it is right now; appreciate all that you have in your life.
- Choose your preferred way of being, whatever it is. I choose abundant peace, wealth and health.
- Focus your thoughts on your choice.
- Surrender control of creating and delivering your choice to your higher power.
- Persevere by repeating the first four steps and you will realize abundant and lasting peace, or whatever you choose for yourself.
Touched by peace we will recognize that we all are one, making it obvious that what we do to ourselves we do to everyone. The paradigm of fear will be replaced by the light of love just like the darkness under the bed is replaced by light when the beam of the flashlight shines upon it.
About the Author
Jim Wilhelm is an international spiritual teacher, self-development mentor, author, lecturer, philosopher, Emmy award-winning television producer, and successful entrepreneur. He has shared his experiences of practical mysticism around the world for more than 40 years.
After many years of practice and research Jim discovered a practical aspect of mystical consciousness. When he applied this revelation to his life Jim realized that he could alter his experience of what we call physical reality.
Jim has translated his spiritual understanding into practical knowledge that you can apply in your life. He has recently published his second book: I Am God and So Are You – Discovering the Power of Your True Self. Knowing our true and original nature connects us with the inner peace and love that we all are. Our connection with this peace opens the door to the possibility of unlimited manifestation.
Jim works with individuals and organizations and facilitates workshops and seminars to help people discover the peace that lives within us all and to apply their innate power to manifest what they previously considered impossible.
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