If you abide in me,
and my words abide in you,
ask whatever you wish,
and it will be done for you.
-Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John
You may appreciate the power of positive thinking from such classics as Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. It may have served you in business, in attracting a mate or in losing weight. Positive Thinking was developed to counterbalance the mass of negative thinking that characterizes the world at large. Garbage in—Garbage out. Why leave your thoughts to chance?
Why not choose your thoughts?
If you look deeply even into Napoleon Hill’s philosophy, you will find that it is really all about developing the faith that can move mountains. You think positive through repetition in short affirmative phrases, most often spoken out loud. You attempt to visualize a desirable result and feel the emotional high from its fulfillment, far in advance of the reality.
When your life takes a spin, with death in the family, a sharp reversal in your career, bankruptcy or a life-threatening disease, you will find that positive thinking in and of itself is not sufficient. You need something deeper, much more powerful. How about opening up to God, Himself, to our very Source?
When you have direct access to the Presence of the Divine, you can confront any situation and utterly transform it.
When Positive Thinking Is Not Enough
If you have ever told yourself, “I am a millionaire.” and then expected the money to magically appear, much as in The Secret, you were most likely in for a rude disappointment. Rarely does money come so fast, so easily.
With a little reflection, you realize that you are deliberately conditioning your mind to habitually think positive. While it is wonderful to think big, to imagine great achievements, your shadow self can quickly suck the very life out of you. In addition, the world tends not to favor Pollyanna’s, or extremely optimistic people.
You ultimately have to work on your identity. Tony Robbins introduced his concept of global change, a transformation of yourself on all levels. You think positive, because YOU ARE POSITIVE. To accomplish this, a small price is required. You must give up everything you have ever identified yourself.
To think or be POSITIVE – you need to tweak your identity. You must give up everything you have ever identified yourself.
From Consciousness to Community
When we look at the great spiritual traditions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, even enlightened humanism, you find that they were established by an enlightened person of the ancient world. In Buddhism, it was Siddhartha, in Christianity, it was Jesus of Nazareth and in Islam, Muhammad.
Each of these visionaries introduced a whole new consciousness, a divine consciousness. They transmitted that consciousness to others and formed communities, whether an ashram, a sangha, a synagogue, a congregation or the ummah of Islam. These communities preserved the original inspiration and proceeded to promulgate that consciousness throughout the world.
What is most revealing is Christ’s assurance that “where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” No church buildings, no clergy, no printed Bibles. The first Christians met in synagogues, and then in homes, pooling all their property together in a primitive socialism. Remember, it takes only two people to form a community. The Master Mind, the Sacred Presence, forms a third person.
From Community to Communion
If you take any tradition, and read deeply into its sacred scripture, and you partner with adherents of the living faith, you will begin to commune with them, and with its Source. It is possible to spiritually access any of the founders, Krishna, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad, by simply invoking their name, by calling on them.
Let’s say you read the Gospel of John, meet with Christians who are truly living their faith (I think of the profound grace and compassion of Pope Francis) and consciously invoke the Presence of Christ, whether or not at mass, you will begin to be anointed with His Presence. All you need is an open heart, an open mind and open hands.
As you practice for days, weeks, months and years, you will find that you are subconsciously in continuous communion with divinity. In my case, I invoke the Presence of Christ as the Lord of Love, the direct incarnation of God. More and more, I begin to see Him in others, and His God, in others. I begin to accept His revelation that God is LOVE, absolute love.
From Communion to Union
Communion, like meditation, contemplation and centering prayer, can be wordless. You sense the Sacred Presence such that you begin to unite with It. You walk hand in hand with Christ (Krishna, Buddha, Socrates, Muhammad). You intuit God as your friend or lover.
Because you are so much aligned with our Creator (most likely through an Avatar, Bodhisattva or Messiah), you begin to realize your divine nature as a son or daughter of God. Therefore, you can bless people, and they will be blessed. You can send healing energy, and they will be restored. You can bring peace to people on the other side of the globe, and they will relax. You just say to God internally, bless so and so, heal so and so, reconcile so and so with so and so, and it all begins to happen.
You find that you begin to want to truly get in step with God, to please Him. You recognize your own divinity and you realize that all your power comes from Him. Most of all, you realize that GOD loves you totally, without reservation. Whatever you ask of God, becomes in increasingly in harmony with what God wants. You fall in love with God, and, conversely God falls in love with you.
From Union to Identity
As you move from union to identity, you see a shift from God as precious but separate towards God as your only true and ultimate Self. You think of who you called yourself as no more than a piece on the game board. In fact, you develop a sense of humor about your persona. That’s not really me at all!
As you move into identity, you discover what Kabir did when asked to preach to a crowd of people. “To whom shall I preach. I see God everywhere.” More than being a lover of God, you find that the Christ, the Avatar, the Bodhisattva has taken birth within you. When you look upon the face of the Messiah, you will find that He is more YOU than you. At the end, LOVE is already within you… it’s up to you if you choose to live it.
In identity, you can not only move mountains, you can change the world, even transform the Universe. You begin to realize that the galaxies spin within your Absolute being.
You begin to see how it is all perfect, just the way it is, and you can have it any other way, as well.
Waking Up to a Miraculous Life
You have now gone far beyond positive thinking. You have gone from your head into your heart, and from your heart into pure being. You are waking up to divine love, which is the most powerful force in the entire Universe. That love is yours. You can access it at any moment.
Then you can decide whether you really want that million dollars, or if you would rather bless every sentient being, and like Siddhartha, see the highest possibility for him or her in this incarnation.
Why settle for positive thinking when you can access what originally inspired it? When you continually invoke divinity, when you commune with God, when you unite with God, you actually become God. Believe it or not, the Orthodox tradition has a word for it, divinization. Realize your birthright as a son or daughter of God, and then co-create a whole new world.