One thing I want to do right now before we go any farther is to explain some information that many people can use. This will show how your thinking creates your consciousness and how to help control it. It provides evidence so that you can see how your life unfolds according to what you draw to it, as dictated by your consciousness and thoughts. By taking the responsibility for yourself and your thinking process, you can make your life more positive and uplifting, and reduce or negate the influence of any hurt or negative energies you encounter. This information can help you take control of your life and be more spiritual.
I've said earlier in this book that happiness can be, essentially, a state of mind, or a particular outlook on life. But often times we can observe how our mind is affected by what goes on around us, sometimes by things which do not matter that much. Nonetheless, we get sucked into thinking that it matters a lot. Thus, our thoughts and consciousness become absorbed in negativity, which can greatly affect our disposition, or the way we relate to people, and pave the way for a less than happy future. So what do we do about this?
In the course of our lives we may be bombarded with negative thoughts, energies or scenarios that may come not only from within us but also from outside ourselves or from others. All around us is a network of people, businesses, governments, publications, movies and music, all telling us what has been going on, or what they think is best for us, what we should buy and do, or what we should think about something. As soon as we tune into the radio, television, or open a magazine, it all jumps out at us. Our minds can be receptacles of these thoughts and desires, or even criticisms, which then become a part of our own consciousness if we are not careful. These thoughts are like electrical currents which, although unseen, can be felt and produce internal effects.
As we become objects of such energies, these thoughts and vibrations that we are exposed to can affect the quality of our lives, goals, and the way we think about ourselves. Therefore, to ensure our own success and happiness in life, we must learn how to protect ourselves from these outside influences of negative or materialistic thoughts or actions that may come from or are caused by others. To avoid being overly influenced by the media, we need to make sure we have the time to raise our own consciousness enough to discriminate between what is truly needed for our own happiness, and what is merely the affects of external persuasions that are being dumped on us by outside forces that simply want our money, our vote, or to convince us to act in a certain way, or even to be a silent peon that simply cooperates with the mass consciousness and is not noticed by anyone. It is not easy to avoid the system that continually indoctrinates people, even if on the subtle level, to act in certain ways or spend their money on particular items. Once you are locked into this network, which produces the materialistic mindset, it is most difficult to become self-sufficiently happy. The system makes you think that your happiness has to be according to the dictates and standards set by others, whether it is your teachers, parents, fellow employees, company supervisors, politicians, or what you see on television and in magazines. You will have to be able to rise above this influence to take a good look at who you are, otherwise life could carry you along without you ever knowing your true potential and spiritual possibilities. Don't be afraid to step outside the mainstream, even if you maintain a low profile in society. Some of the most powerful people on the planet, and the most happy, are those that the world never knows. Their spiritual discipline keeps them from being observed except by a very few.
On a personal level, the more prominent you become in society, the more people will focus their thoughts and energies on you. Some people may simply be envious of you. Or if you are something like a politician, people may blame you for their problems. However, everyday misunderstandings will always develop between people. So, to help protect ourselves from verbal or psychic attacks from others, practice raising the consciousness of those who try to attack you. First, remember there is no attack unless you accept it. See these attacks as calls for help, and review what you will do or say the next time in order to help your would-be attackers. This will protect you and help them as well.
Throughout the day, notice how every word you hear and every action you witness is either an expression of love or a cry for love. This love is the essence of happiness. And in all actions that people may perform, to find the means by which they can love and be loved is their primary purpose, whether they realize it or not. Besides food, shelter and clothing, it is the greatest need of all living beings. It is the essential nature of the soul, and the basis of everyone's outer actions and desires. So remember to respond to the calls for love with love. Practice being a loving presence for everyone, and observe any changes that occur in yourself and those around you.
Also, practice carrying your own atmosphere with you. In other words, keep that loving presence with you. For example, meditate on being in a sacred place and the feeling or consciousness you have while there. Now be absorbed in and project that atmosphere out around you wherever you are, and to others nearby. As such, you can be your own temple. In this way, when around people of negative energy, you can concentrate on sharing your own positive energy rather than absorbing theirs. In this way, you also create a protective barrier around yourself while maintaining a kind and friendly attitude. The primary objective in such a situation is to give them more of your energy, your understanding, and your essence rather than accepting theirs. You can even imagine light emanating from within you and encompassing them, clearing and cleansing all undesirable energy from the environment.
Practice being unaffected by the envy of others, whether it is directed at you or anyone else. You will gradually learn to be concerned about their welfare but undisturbed by their behavior. Bless those who wish you misfortune, or who are simply lost in their anger and bitterness toward the world in general. This blessing reduces their ability to harm you, because your positive energy counteracts their negative energy. Remember to apply the science of love in all circumstances. If, however, you react to their negative energy with your own negative thoughts, you simply increase the negativity and unbalanced disposition of your own consciousness, and in the surrounding atmosphere. This makes you even more vulnerable to increased receptivity of low energy thoughts and verbal or psychic attacks. It also increases your susceptibility to reversals in life and the manifestations of your own worries and fears. In other words, negative energy builds upon more negative energy, with which you thus surround yourself.
The highest protection we can provide for ourselves is a solid sense of love and compassion for ourselves and others. We need to think and act in dynamic and positive ways and hold a love for ourselves in order to feel a sense of completeness and happiness in who we are. Without enough love from within, you will lack the necessary armor to protect yourself from the relentless attacks of negative energy. Strong inner love will allow you to deflect such harmful energy, or to even transmute it so that it has no destructive effects. Therefore, always remember to put up a shield of love for your protection, keeping in mind that in order to love others, you need to love yourself first. The more you understand your true spiritual identity, and your connection with the Supreme, the easier it will be to love your Self.
This love is a way of balancing our consciousness and karma, the reactions of past actions. When our consciousness is out of balance, it means we must continue to learn how to get it equipoised again. Holding emotions like anger, envy, the urge to get back at someone, etc., all are signs of an unbalanced mind and consciousness. Justice and balance in one's karma is the equalization of all energies, including our thoughts, words, and deeds. All of these together create impressions in the mind which then helps form our consciousness and produce our emotional predispositions, character traits, memories, and even unexplainable fears. Any imbalances in our consciousness, along with our karma, create many instances and lessons that we are forced to endure in order for us to gain the necessary insights to once again stabilize our consciousness. So what lies ahead for us, and especially what we think of at the time of death, is determined by such factors as our attractions, repulsions, how we behave in this life, and how we handle the way others treat us. This also may be influenced by our previous karma, or how we have handled previous tests and situations in the past. This all effects our state of consciousness at the time of death, which guides our soul in a particular direction into the next life.
To help control this aggregate impression in the mind in order to balance our consciousness for inner peace, we need to bring in higher and positive thoughts. This is called controlling the lower self by the higher Self. We can purposely change our thinking from negative to positive. For example, instead of thinking about how someone did something mean or hateful, we can conclude such thinking and begin focusing on the good things in our lives and be more loving.
The reason why this is important is that thoughts are things, energies that can vibrate on different levels, both high or low. It is a person's free will that determines how such energy will be used and at what vibratory level it will operate. The intent of one's thought is what determines this vibratory level, and the ultimate outcome of one's actions, which then helps create our future. If our, or anyone's, thoughts are based on goodwill or loving intentions, those thoughts carry a high vibration. If such thoughts have a low or selfish intent, they will carry and spread that low energy. Keeping our intentions in a spiritual direction will always help maintain a high vibratory level of our consciousness, and help protect us from those who have an ulterior motive, even if it is the vibration of the images and words that come over the radio, television, magazines, newspapers, etc.
For example, if we worry about something all the time, it is a way of focusing on a particular thing or idea that will manifest in that way. Thus, worry is a prayer for something one does not want. To avoid undesirable outcomes, we must learn to control our thoughts, especially when we are under emotional stress. Stress and emotion are forms of thought energy which fuel the creation of the image being held in our minds. Instead of worrying, we can replace such negative energy and thought-forms with a visual image of the desired outcome. In this way, we can help that positive image manifest rather than the unwanted one by feeding emotional energy into the thought form you fear. As we get into the habit of energizing only the positive, our thoughts, words and deeds will automatically reflect the higher state of mind. They will, in effect, stop creating new negative karma because they will no longer generate energy that has to be rebalanced, and their positive energy will begin paying off some of the debits in our past bad karma, which itself can manifest as unbalanced or negative thoughts.
Even if you cannot control your thinking, as when you might be in emotional duress, then begin acting in positive ways, such as focusing on the care and concern for others who may be in a more problematic situation than yourself. Or even begin praying for the benefit of those less fortunate. Your thoughts and consciousness will immediately begin to change into that which is positive and uplifting.
The decision to think and function in a positive mode is the first step in transmuting energy to a higher level, which means raising its vibratory rate. Energy transmuted in this way attracts even more positive energy, producing a snowball effect which assists in furthering the creation of a new, happier and more desirable future. Controlling your thought energies in this way can make a difference between success and failure, not only with yourself, but those with whom you associate or work. If you want to help yourself as well as your work partners, or even your enemies, you must practice this form of controlling your thoughts. Otherwise, if you are continually being negative or harboring low levels of thinking, it may be better for those around you to work separately if they wish to be successful, or at least happy. The reason is that you are not contributing to their success or desired future, and neither to your own. This is why transmuting your thoughts to higher and more positive levels of consciousness can determine the difference between success or failure, not only in business, but also in health, happiness, peace of mind, and in reaching your dreams.
One of the ways negative energy can harm you is when you harbor it for long periods of time and it accumulates and becomes lodged in your body. These energies are dense and vibrate at a level too low for the body to process and release. As a result, they become blocked and crystallized, manifesting at best as diminished stamina, loss of energy, or decreased mobility. Thus, stagnant, unreleased negative energy can eventually have a harmful effect and produce dis-ease. However, such energies can be released from the body and our consciousness through methods such as forgiveness, prayer, meditation, or through conscious transmutation, as described above.
Modern medicine is slowly accepting the reality of "mind over matter," recognizing the power of the mind to influence the functioning of the human body. Therefore, it is in everybody's best interest to learn to release low energy by first moving it out of the physical body, then the conscious and subconscious mind, and the etheric body and aura. People can accomplish this by a conscious release of old grudges and resentments, or by deliberately shattering it into smaller bits and pieces in order to make the release more effortless.
In addition, strive to "love your enemies," as Jesus admonishes. Pray for them because such prayers decrease their power to hurt you, and the high energy released in the process will be returned to you in kind. Remember, everyone acts, positively or negatively, to express love or call for love.
Monitor your thoughts carefully. As you think of someone lovingly, angrily or lustfully, note how that person becomes unconsciously affected by your thoughts. Remember, thoughts are things. They are composed of the same electrical, spirit-based energy that pervades the rest of the universe. Thoughts have substance and power, and the more emotional energy people give them, the faster they will become a reality. The spoken word has the same force and creative energy. Therefore, those who learn to control their thoughts and words will control their future. Since humans are constantly creating, the only issue is whether they are being conscious creators or unconscious ones.
Think of plans that can assist the whole of humanity. Raise your level of consciousness. To understand that you are a co-creator is to be in harmony with the universe, acting as a servant of and co-worker with the Divine. If you fail to appreciate this reality, you can become destructive and are responsible for causing even more chaos in society or disharmony in your life. You can easily look around and recognize many others who have this same problem and create the described effects. So don't be one of them. The choice is yours, and so are the consequences. You manifest what you hold in your consciousness.
Remember, thought is energy that can create your future. Begin thinking of how bright your future will be and begin creating the bright future for yourself that you have a right to. Then just do it!! Stick to your plan to make it a reality, and don't give up. Don't doubt yourself, and don't become confused. Always go forward toward your goal. And only work with and depend on those who will help you reach your goals. You will succeed!!!
Published with the kind permission of Stephen Knapp
Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana) is the President and Treasurer of the Vedic Friends Association (www.vedicfriends.org). He has been researching Vedic spirituality and comparative religious study for over 30 years in a variety of settings. He has directly engaged in those spiritual disciplines that have been recommended for hundreds of years. He continued his study of Vedic knowledge and practice under the guidance of a spiritual master to get the insights and realizations that are normally absent from the ordinary academic atmosphere. Through this process he has been initiated into the genuine and authorized spiritual line of the Brahma-Madhava-Gaudiya sampradaya, or disciplic succession, under the sanction of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. He has also extensively travelled throughout India to most of the major holy sights and more, and is known for his slide shows on his travels to the holy places and spiritual festivals of India (even nicknamed "the slide show acharya"), and for his lectures on the Vedic and Indian philosophy. He has written several books on the science and spiritual practice of Vedic culture and Eastern philosophy.
Visit his website, at: http://www.stephen-knapp.com.
You can email him at: Srinandan@aol.com.
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