Ask the Author: Question & Response
You refer to assisting lost souls who don’t know that they are dead finding their way. Are there also lost souls here? How, then, if every moment is perfect and meant to be, can this be? I have been struggling for the past 8 months to find God. Some days, I feel hopeless. Is this meant to be or am I an aberration? How do I solve this? I always believed God would contact me on his own or it would happen when I died. I never realized you could have more while alive. With your book, however, I have achieved more peace than I ever believed possible and want to thank you for that. You are definitely followed a calling, dude! How can I follow mine?
– Sherry, Michigan, USA
The ego places parameters around concepts such as “lost souls.” These parameters are usually filled with negative connotations. Like a whirlpool, the ego tries to draw us into accepting these parameters as our own, and little by little, we accept and define ourselves through them. The ego feeds these ideas with negative connotations, hoping that we will be so weighed down by them that we will not have the strength to look beyond them, and thus have to eat from the ego’s plate.
But let’s go deeper. What does it mean to be lost? When you write that you feel lost, doesn’t that imply that you are on a journey? Does perceiving that you’re lost imply that, somewhere within, you know your final destination? Don’t most people on a journey, regardless of how long they may be lost, usually find their way? When you truly look deeper, doesn’t this increase your level of hope? As your level of hope rises, doesn’t this make you feel more optimistic, self-assured and confident? And when you think about it, isn’t everyone on this planet, in one way or another, on a journey? Being that you’re included when I say everyone, does this make you an “aberration?”
My friend, we are all on a journey. For many, it is the realization that we are not where we want to be that awakens us on our journey. Yet, it is not an external destination that we truly seek, but an internal place that we have never really left. It is a journey from forgetfulness to remembrance, from struggle and stress to release and freedom, from worry to trust, from the ego’s illusionary image to the beings we truly are.
I remember whitewater rafting down the Pacuare River, a Latin American river winding deep inside one of Costa Rica’s primordial rain forests. In between rapids, I jumped off and started floating down this river, which has coursed through this virgin tropical rain forest for millions of years. I was basically in Heaven, looking up at giant trees, listening to parrots and monkeys, and thanking God for being alive. Just after thanking God, I heard a couple on the raft arguing. The argument became more heated. Then after a minute, they started to give each other the silent treatment. You see, even when the perfection of the present moment physically manifested itself in such an obvious manner, those who were not focused on it, missed it. The perfection of the present moment is always available to us. Yet at the same time, we have free will. We have the right to experience the present moment as it truly is, or replace it with whatever illusion we choose to focus on.
In my mind, I forgave the couple for arguing, said a little prayer for them, and breathed out any negativity I carried because of my reaction to their action. I then returned my focus to the parrots, the monkeys and the heavenly feeling. Just a bit after that, I began to hear one of my friends and his girlfriend arguing. First, in my mind, I admit with a hint of frustration, I told myself, “I understand we are all passionate Latinos here, but come on!” I looked over to my friend and said, “Brother, look where you’re at, and look where your mind is at.” He got the point and became silent.
That rafting trip was physically the same for all of us, yet how we chose to participate and experience it was different because our thoughts and emotions were different. This does not exclude the fact that it was perfect for all of us. How many times in our lives have we been through trying times only to come out stronger and wiser because of them? And those times we once perceived ourselves as suffering through, become the same moments we are now thankful for. I got from the experience that I did not need to participate in the noise or distractions, and be taken away from the moment. My friend got that, regardless of the physical environment, where his mind goes so too does he. The other couple, I’m sure had to ask themselves if their conflicting ideas were truly worth missing out on this experience. In the end, we all got from the situation what we needed to experience, and for that reason, it was perfect.
You wrote: “I have been struggling for the past eight months to find God. Some days, I feel hopeless.” The first thing I would say about this is to stop supporting the ego’s idea that you are “struggling.” The ego uses words loaded with negative connotations to try to load us down and draw us into its way of thinking. Yet the good news is that the ego’s efforts are also its demise, for the ego can only control us for so long before we say, “Enough is enough.” Delve deeper, and ask yourself why you use the words you use. See past the ego’s negative and loaded definition of struggle, and take a look at its actual meaning. To struggle means: “to proceed with great effort,” and “an act of strongly motivated striving.” If you define struggle in this manner, wouldn’t your first reaction be one of pride in what you are doing? If you were to look at your child in the middle of a task, goal or journey, and you saw your child proceeding with great effort and acting with strongly motivated striving, wouldn’t you be proud of your child? As a parent, wouldn’t you take pleasure and delight at the effort he or she is putting forth? Can you not see that God feels the same way about you? Doesn’t the knowledge that God feels this way about you bring you a certain level of peace of mind, pride and joy?
Any time you feel yourself struggling, the feelings of hopelessness and loss come about because you have bought into the ego’s fairy tale. You have heard this fairy tale so many times that it has now become real within your mind. You now see the world, not how it truly is, but how you have been taught and trained to see it. This false “reality” has become a habit. You now act and react from habit. You replace the ever present moment with this false reality, and then wonder why you don’t understand what is really going on, or why you feel lost.
We react with judgment toward our brothers, sisters and the world not because it is a proper or natural response, but because we were taught to react in this manner. We’ve done it for so long that now we don’t even question our negative responses. Over and over, our negative and judgmental responses end up hurting us, yet we have been brainwashed to believe that this is the way the world is, and that we just have to deal with it. What I’m saying is that any time we react in a judgmental manner, which creates stress, hopelessness, pain and regret, then we are acting erroneously and against our true nature.
My dear friend, I invite you to try the following: Do the opposite of what has brought judgment, stress, hopelessness, pain and regret into your life.
Truly accept this invitation for one day and it will change you. Honestly and wholeheartedly accept this invitation for one week and it will change your life. It will change your life because you will experience that there really is a better way. No matter how the ego has trained you, you will realize that in the present moment, peace is always available. Regardless if, every now and then, you are convinced by the ego to follow its self-destructive path, you will now have experienced the Godself way. This way will remain in your heart, mind and soul – forever available to you. Now, in any situation, when you truly desire peace of mind and joy, you can simply choose to focus on the Godself way; and peace of mind and joy will be immediately available.
1. Morning Meditation / Guided Visualization:
When waking up in the morning, instead of getting up and hurrying to do whatever it is you usually do, find a comfortable chair and just breathe deeply.
Start with 10 minutes in the morning. For the first three or so minutes, just concentrate on your breath. Envision yourself breathing in God’s love; you can visualize this as white light or however it feels right for you. Let it flow throughout your body. When you breathe out, imagine breathing out any stress you feel, any aches and pain, and any unpleasant thoughts. For the next three minutes or so, pray from your heart. Have a conversation with God. Ask God to flow through you today. Ask God to help you see Him in everything and everyone. Invite God to remind you throughout the day that He is always with you. For the next minute or two, thank God for his presence, for listening, and for the love He shares with you. When you breathe in, feel His loving light thanking and blessing you. When you breathe out, radiate this light and thankfulness back to Him. Feel the gratitude flowing back and forth, in and out. For the last minute or so, just be quiet and listen. As any dear friend appreciates when you listen, so too does God.
2. On your way to work, instead of judging those who drive recklessly or cut you off, try to immediately forgive their actions. Forgive them for their errors and you will be set free from having those negative emotions flow through you. After you forgive them, pray for them. Pray for every driver you feel needs a prayer. Send them love and peace through your prayers, and you will feel these energies flowing through and filling you. Try to be the best possible example to other drivers on the road. Let them pass you. Wave them in front of you, if they ask. Wave and smile at a child in another car until the child waves and smiles back. Pray for the child’s health and well-being.
3. At work, instead of judging others for what you think they should or should not be doing, look for a way to have a friendly and supportive conversation. See (and journal about) how many people you can make smile, laugh, or in any way feel better about themselves. Compliment people whenever you can about how great they look. Ask them what they are doing to keep their weight in check. Ask them if they’ve been exercising. Ask coworkers about their children. Try to get to know someone a little better today.
4. During your lunch break, instead of sitting at your desk or in your car, go for a walk, sit outside, and really feel the sun and wind. Thank God for the sun and the wind. Instead of just passing by a tree, truly look at it, and appreciate it. Thank God for it. Thank the tree for its beauty and shade. Take a look at its leaves playing in the wind. Smile at their play. Touch the grass. Thank God for the grass. Take your shoes off and feel the grass tickling your feet. Thank the grass for its beauty. Don’t just think all these thoughts, but slow down and feel them. Feel all that you are expressing. Thank God for all that you are experiencing and sharing.
5. Back at work, instead of judging people for how they dress or look, stop and see their spirits first. When you see a male coworker, have your first thought be: “This is God’s son.” When you see a female coworker, remind yourself: “This is God’s daughter.” Do this each and every time. At first, it might be difficult, for the ego has trained us to look at people and immediately judge them. Do not participate in the ego’s insane game any longer. Every time I can remind myself, I say: “This is Christ in front of me.”
Catch yourself when you begin to judge someone, and remind yourself that God has placed this person in front of you. When I find myself starting to judge someone, I ask myself: “How would Jesus see this person?” Imagine how grateful you would be if your son or daughter came home to tell you how nice someone was to him or her that day. How grateful do you feel to people who treat your child with kindness and respect? Do you not think that God feels this same way when you treat His sons and daughters with kindness and respect?
6. When talking about others who are not in the room, instead of participating in the gossip and negative talk, say nice things about them. Even if you have to dig deeply, praise something about them. Be an example to your fellow travelers. Look into people’s eyes when you’re talking to them, and when they are talking to you. When you get a chance, look even deeper to see their souls, unite with the truth in them, and send them a silent blessing.
7. Back home, instead of turning the TV on, sit on a couch by yourself, and again consciously spend 10 minutes with God. Thank Him for all the miracles you experienced during your day, and feel Him thanking you for your treatment of His children. Tell God about a special moment you had. Share with Him what you learned, and what you learned to do differently. Thank God for His participation in bringing that event into your life. Read something inspiring, such as a self-help book or anything else that uplifts you. Every now and then, remember to think of God, deeply breathe in His love and deeply breathe out any stress or aches you might be feeling.
8. Instead of sitting in front of your home computer to surf the web, start a journal. Try to write at least a few paragraphs a day on how you were able to change the way you viewed reality. Write down how you blessed someone you once might have cursed. How you forgave someone you once might have judged. How you saw beauty in something or someone you had not noticed before. Write about how you made someone laugh or feel proud. Write about a moment when instead of worrying, you gave the moment over to God and trusted His plan. Write down what you hope to accomplish tomorrow.
9. Before going to bed, sit on a chair or couch and again meditate or pray for 10 minutes. Invite God to put people in front of you who need your assistance, possibly including people who need that new outlook you have about life. Invite God to help you forgive the people in your life who need forgiving. Invite God to enter your dreams, take care of you during the night, and re-energize your body and soul.
10. When you lie down, instead of worrying about tomorrow or other things, let that all go. Replace those hundreds of thoughts with a mantra, which you repeat over and over again, until you fall asleep. Sometimes I use the mantra “God is love.” Sometimes I use “Only love is real.” Breathe in “God is,” and breathe out “love.” Or breathe in “Only love,” and breathe out “is real.” Start by saying this mantra out loud, then slowly and naturally allow it to turn into a whisper, then only a thought in your mind. You will have other thoughts enter your mind during your mantra, but do not judge yourself for this. Simply come back to the mantra and continue until you fall asleep.
My friend, follow your calling. If God did not need you to be on Earth at this time, you would not be here. Let go. Stop supporting the ego’s beliefs and ideas of judgment, being lost, struggling and hopelessness. For within your heart and soul, you know that these beliefs are not part of your natural or true self, and they are not what you want to experience. Despair no more, for after eight months, you are not that far from birthing a new way of being. Bring forth the light that exists within you now, and let it expand into the world, touching everything and everyone you come across. Be thankful for your past experiences, for because of them, you will now be able to better understand, assist and guide many others who feel lost walking the ego’s path. Choose to be God’s lantern. Through your example, light the way and lead those many others who feel lost back home.
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