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The courage to create

In Insight and Experience by William WhitecloudLeave a Comment

There is a Force out there/in here that is doing everything in its power to support us all living the most joyous and abundant life. The only question is: Will we step into Presence to meet it? Because some people would rather be right than happy.

Creating, as William Whitecloud defines it, is the engagement of life, something that is only possible when you step outside the castle of what you think you know…

 

Never look a gift horse in the mouth.

My gift horse was a stallion called Rogan Josh. His name appeared in my mind like some migrating bird heralding its Spring return with an incessant chattering at the bedroom window. The words had never before crossed my mind – next thing they were an occupation force rattling around my head: Rogan Josh … Rogan Josh … Rogan Josh…

Where had I heard those words before? And why were they driving me crazy? Was it a state in India, up there near the Punjab? Were my neglected geography classes coming back to haunt me? “It’s a lamb curry”, my wife assured me. What significance could a lamb curry have? And why was it overriding every other thought in my head? For two months!

Until one day I walk into a crowded pub on York Street in Sydney to use the toilet. The television monitors catch my eye. Sexy girls in daring outfits, sporting outrageous millinery sculptures. Dashing men in morning suits with top hats. Splendidly coloured jockeys astride gleaming horses with rippling muscles and flaring nostrils. It’s Melbourne Cup Day, 1999. There’s a Bart Cummings horse running – Rogan Josh. But he’s only been with Bart for four months. The best he’s done up until now is come second in the Perth Cup.

Every cell and fibre of my being is telling me to go to the bank and draw out every cent in my account and put it on Rogan Josh. This horse is going to win the Melbourne Cup. Nothing in me doubts the fact. Sadly it is not doubt that prevents me making the bet. It is the fact that the money in my account is not mine alone. It belongs equally to my wife. And not only is it all the money we have in the world, it’s our monthly mortgage payment. There’s nothing I could win that would ever justify me gambling our house.

I didn’t make the bet. Rogan Josh came in first at ten to one. The winnings could have paid the mortgage for a year. Come to think of it, I found out later that when his name first began occurring to me, the odds on him winning were two hundred to one. I could have paid off the mortgage and bought an investment property.

I have no regrets, though. The lesson Rogan Josh taught me is worth far more than my mortgage. That incident was the final evidence I needed to convince me that there exists in the universe a sublime Force that is doing everything in its power to support me in living the most joyous and abundant life possible. There I was, desperately short of money, and the Force responded so generously: “My friend, here’s some information that can get you lots of what you need right now.” Only I was too ignorant to heed the voice. In my ignorance I cursed the seemingly irrational words, I tried to understand them away, when I could have welcomed them and allowed them to unfold their meaning to me.

I read somewhere, once upon a time, that white ants are a composite insect. In other words, the Queen, her soldiers and her workers are not individual little insects working together, but in fact the brains and womb, white blood cells, mouths and tissue builders of a single creature. The Queen knows everything that is going on in her colony, because whenever two ants meet, they chemically exchange the sum total of what they know, and this information makes its way down the many lines of ants back to the Queen. She, in turn, directs her workers and soldiers with a chemical instruction conveyed to the ants that rub up against her. Every ant is guided by the collective knowledge of the whole colony.

Human beings strike me as decidedly ignorant creatures, comparable to rogue white ants who ignore the wisdom of their Queen and go about their own selfish agendas based on their alienated experience. We have our Queen, known to us as Intuition. She is the part of us that soars above the puny limits of what we’ve seen and heard for ourselves, connecting with everything through all time and space, and beyond that even. She is a mighty sovereign. Yet we do not honour or obey her – most probably because we don’t know how.

In their book, Presence, organisational change experts Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers – who between them have played major roles in such key historical events as the re-unification of East and West Germany and the change over in South Africa from apartheid to democracy – instruct us that the first step in transformation of any kind is to recognize the limited paradigm that we are operating from. In other words, notice how what you know and believe has come to you by way of your own very limited experience and (to use the white ant analogy) the relatively tiny line of personal experiences that has been passed on to you, compared with the vast lines of knowledge and experience that have ever been and are yet to be that you are not accessing.

If we mean to be guided by a wisdom that knows infinitely more about the best way to our highest personal and collective good, then we must suspend our perception, regardless of how righteous we feel about it. That is when we drop in to Presence. That is when we go into the void where our self is lost and our Queen is found.

We are terribly afraid of Presence, of ‘the void’, of the Queen. In my experience, we are afraid for two reasons. The first problem we have with dropping our subjective world view is that we believe we will lose our orientation, that the void created by such a surrender will not be replaced by any kind of sane or viable understanding. The opposite is true, of course. The void is fecund with information our blinkered ego couldn’t hope to find in a century of Sundays. Which brings us to our second, and ultimately, our real problem with letting go of our subjective world view.

Where we do take the courageous step of lowering the self-defensive shield of our accumulated concepts and pet theories, we very typically don’t like what begins occurring to us. Not initially, anyway. If you’ve seen the movie What The Bleep Do We Know (and if you haven’t, run to your nearest video store and get it out), you will remember several scientists saying that our brain receives four billion bits of information every second and only processes two thousand. That’s because your rational mind wants everything to remain consistent with its own findings. Your ego is a preconceived construct of ‘how it is’. Every second of your life there are close to four billion bits of information standing by to annihilate your ego. The truth of the matter is that you get your sense of identity from ignoring the full spectrum of reality (the Queen) and concentrating on relative reality (the alienated ant’s perspective).

Honouring and obeying the Queen is scary – at first. After a lifetime of experience, and being reassured by the ants that you bump into in your location that your perception is ‘how it is’, it’s hard to begin taking on an awareness and direction that is being informed from beyond what you have seen and heard for yourself. Like Rogan Josh. It doesn’t make any sense. I’m not a betting man, and if I’d asked the experts (the ants that I bumped into that are betting men), they would have told me: “Rogan Josh doesn’t stand a chance. Where did you get that silly idea?”

The certainty that we like to operate from is like a very solid skyscraper: It has a foundation that is built on floor by floor. Our intuition, on the other hand, takes us out on a limb. There is no floor under our feet, not even a net somewhere down there. And that is something we just have to get used to. For anyone with a sincere desire to transcend the petty dimension of ego and engage life in a fully awakened state of being, there is nothing for it but to start listening to the Queen, and trusting that she is herself being informed by lines of communication stretching infinitely beyond anything we can empirically conceive of.

In my opinion there are three relationships we can have with Presence. The first relationship is to avoid going there at all, the second relationship is to go there but only witness, and the third relationship is to go there, witness, and then act on the purpose and direction that is imminent in Presence. I make no judgment on any of these relationships. I only say that, in my opinion, we are all part of the whole – individual cells of an organism called the human race. I believe our collective soul has a purpose for each of us that enriches the self and serves the whole at the same time.

There is a Force out there/in here that is doing everything in its power to support us all living the most joyous and abundant life. The only question is: Will we step into Presence to meet it? Because some people would rather be right than happy.

William Whitecloud is the author of Australia’s best selling metaphysical book The Magician’s Way and director of The Magician’s Way year-long change consultancy training.

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