At the Crossroads of Beliefs
With a sigh and a shrug of her shoulders, she gazed down at her hands, her right index finger tracing circles on one of her jeans-clad thighs. Slouched in the overstuffed chair opposite my own, she suddenly jerked her head up and said. “But I’ve tried everything, and I still can’t find the perfect man for me…he just doesn’t exist!” As she looked right at me, her eyes, imploring me for help, were filled with fear, sadness, anger, despair, and hope.
What I was seeing and hearing in front of me was not unusual in my hypnotherapy practice. Heather* was typical of most individuals who came to me, desperate to understand how they could create change in their lives. Certainly, I, myself, was not immune to the same quandary, but I had learned some truths about working through obstacles in order to move ahead.
In the last few years, many people, by watching The Secret and/or by reading books on manifestation and the Law of Attraction and/or by listening to speakers on the topic, have discovered keys to bring about some desired change. Most writers agree that one key is setting an intention about what you seek; another key is “revving-up” the intention with emotion; and the final key is actually accepting what you asked for. A process that is simple…until it is not. Throughout the manifestation process, trouble arises when the beliefs that are often hidden beneath our desires/intentions intersect at a crossroads and create cross purposes, a subject not often discussed in depth. Before I can explain these conflicts of beliefs, I must first clarify what a belief is and is not.
The Nature of Beliefs
So, what are beliefs? They are interpretations, translations, and assessments of Reality, but are not Reality Itself. Because of the nature of our usual perceptual ability, which comprises the five senses, no perception/perspective/interpretation/translation/ assessment, even if it is positive and furthers our agenda, can capture the whole of Reality, which is infinitely multifaceted, frustrating any attempts to encompass it. Thus any belief is only one angle by which to perceive Reality. While that angle or vantage point is valid as far as it goes—that is, it does indeed capture some aspect of Reality—nevertheless, it inevitably distorts what it captures since what it records is only part of a whole it cannot ascertain.
Think here about the conundrum of several blind men who meet an elephant for the first time: one, touching the elephant’s trunk, declares it to be snake-like. Another, touching its huge ear, argues that the creature is shaped like an enormous wing. Still another, touching one of its massive legs, insists that his compatriots are fools in not perceiving that the animal has an affinity with trees. Each man’s physical blindness is, however, less important than its psychological counterpart; for each is blind to the fact that his version of the reality, while seemingly valid in its limited scope, does not encompass the whole. As a result, each man inadvertently creates a misrepresentation of both the part and the whole, believing the part to be the whole; and each, if he believes the stakes are high enough, might actually fight to the death to defend his perception, believing it is the Truth, rather than only an imprecise and limited aspect of It.
Like the blind men, many of us do not actually see most of our beliefs or acknowledge them as such. Think about when you could not find your car keys, only to notice, finally, that they were in one of your hands under the package you were also holding. Or remember the last time you were looking all over your desk for a particular envelope that you ultimately found right in front of you. Or what about your glasses that, strangely enough, were on top of your head the entire time you were frantically searching for them. Why couldn’t you notice these items? The answer is that your limiting beliefs about where they could be literally blinded you to the “obvious” whereabouts of these artifacts. For instance, you might have believed that you left your keys somewhere in one of the places you looked for them—in no way could you believe you were holding them in virtually plain sight. As for the envelope, well, you believed, knew without a doubt, that the envelope was the brown, 9” X 11” type. As you scanned your workplace with this belief, this template of perception, the white, business-size envelope right in front of you did not fit this template and so was literally not seen. And those glasses—well, you never, ever place them on the top of your head; and thus that location isn’t part of the search, even though part of your scalp is actually feeling the pressure from the clinging temples. Such beliefs actually keep us from seeing all that is before us, including the very existence of the beliefs as such. In the examples above, it never occurs to you that you are searching for things through a limiting belief, one that filters out what does not fit its parameters. You simply know that you are open to everything around you—to think otherwise is just plain crazy….uh huh!
Moreover, we very often do not recognize any one belief as an interpretation of reality because each one is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because the belief allows us to perceive only that which it focuses on, what it focuses on validates the belief as the Truth, rather than just a perspective on the Truth. You see what you believe, and then believe what you see. With its subjective, inadequate spotlight, the belief does not illuminate any data that would disconfirm its validity as the Truth. So the young lady in my office complaining about not finding “the perfect man” is actually telling her truth; for her limiting beliefs—about what such a man would be like or how able she is to attract him—never allow her to see him, even if he were to sit beside her on a park bench. Her reality comprises only that which her limiting beliefs allow her to perceive. Like one of the blind men adamant about his conception of the elephant, she is, in effect, trapped in that portion of Reality framed by her beliefs. And thus her beliefs are so constantly reinforced/validated that she would be thoroughly shocked to discover that Reality is quite different from what she thought It was.
Ontological Shock and Disconfirmed Beliefs
In fact, the shock might be so great that she refuses, momentarily or permanently, to accept the disconfirmation. In such a case, to accept that Reality is so substantially dissimilar from what she has held as the Truth would necessitate a complete reconfiguration, a change of identity, of both self and the world. Other people, when faced with an even greater disconfirmation, might fear losing their sanity if what they deem sane is identified by an authoritative other as a limiting belief. In Passport to the Cosmos, one of two books he wrote on alien encounters and abductions, John E. Mack, M.D, the late Harvard psychiatrist, uses the term “ontological shock” to describe the experience that many abductees go through at the moment when they can no longer deny that what they have undergone is in some way real” (p. 52). He goes on to note that “A worldview….is a source of security and a compass to guide us. For an individual it holds the psyche together. To destroy someone’s worldview is virtually to destroy that person….People who present ideas that seriously challenge a worldview are punished—by death for heresy in the past and now by ridicule, debunking, and efforts to destroy their reputation” (p. 34).
While most of us do not have to face this particular encounter with a much more complex reality, nevertheless, such psyche-altering situations happen quite frequently to us in a vast array of physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually traumatic situations. Even the normal transitions between life stages, such as adolescence, mid-life, and old age, can trigger huge shocks that may or may not result in positive transformations. The ontological shock is such because the worldview, often called a paradigm, is not just one belief, but rather a series of layered/interlocking beliefs that govern most of what we experience. Thus, these intertwined beliefs are mutually reinforcing and create a seemingly impenetrable thicket or matrix, which is fiercely defended. No wonder some of my hypnotherapy clients react with a degree of hostility to my efforts to show them that their limiting beliefs about identity and Reality frustrate their getting what they say they want.
Such was the case with Heather, who had cast herself as the all-suffering victim of some outside force that refused to bring her what she consciously, seriously thought was her greatest desire. Even after I actively, empathically listened to her account of innumerable strategies she had employed to seek out her beloved, she reacted with narrowed eyes, slightly clenched fists and even an air of condescension to my wondering if she was missing something in her analysis. For hadn’t she just provided me with unassailable proof that what she said she wanted was actually what she wanted?
The Multi-Dimensional Self: “Parts-of-Me” vs. “I”
What I had next to do was to explain, gently, the notion of the multi-dimensional self, the idea that the self is not unitary, but rather a gathering of many aspects that sometimes function in unison and sometimes not. Using common examples—from her trying to decide what type of ice cream she wants today to choosing what educational institution she wants to attend—I demonstrated to Heather how all of us constantly make choices between one wish, inclination, or desire and at least one other. The fact that we have to choose so often between two or more directions strongly suggests that there are competing yearnings and therefore competing parts of the psyche, each of which has its own structure of beliefs. Unfortunately, when Heather (or anyone else) tends to speak with “I” as the subject of her sentences, she fosters the illusion that she is univocal and that, therefore, there could be no inner conflict. When I asked her to speak instead with “part-of-me” as the subject, she at first resisted and then complied, sensing that that construction was more accurate. She reluctantly came to understand that there might be other inner perspectives not totally in alignment with that part she labeled “I.”
To illustrate more concretely what I was suggesting to her, I told her the story of a young man who came to me many years ago when I was a traditional therapist. A vibrant, good-looking man of 32, Jerry* had been divorced about a year and a half before he came to see me. He was managing fairly well as a single father of two boys, 8 and 10, though sometimes felt overwhelmed. What Jerry was not managing well was his love life. Feeling ready to begin dating again, he described himself as “quite horny,” but could not find anyone with whom to begin a relationship. Just after his divorce was final, in order to help himself get grounded and focused, Jerry committed to a church which he really enjoyed, except for one thing: there was a prohibition on pre-marital sex. A conundrum of the highest order, to say the least!
As I listened, I wondered what this conflict of yearnings and the beliefs that sustained them would bring to him. A week later Jerry announced that he had met an incredibly beautiful woman—a picture he showed me of her underlined that fact—who was very sexy and wanting to make love to him. He might have succumbed to her charms, except for one problem; she belonged to the same church that frowned on premarital dalliances! After a while, the sexual/spiritual tension was too great, and they split up. A couple of weeks later Jerry proclaimed that he had met another woman, who was nearly as attractive as the first woman, who was ready to have sex, and who did not belong to that church. Once again he might have chosen sex over his religious affiliation, but—you guessed it!—another problem arose when she disclosed to him that she was a single mother of three boys. The thought of managing five boys was more than overwhelming, and Jerry said goodbye to her also.
Had all of these occurrences not been so painful to Jerry, I would have shared my amusement with him. What happened to him was a perfect illustration of the Law of Attraction: you get what you focus on. Since he focused on both celibacy and sexual attraction, he received in his experience with each woman a combination of both desires/beliefs.
This un-integrated, unresolved combination of conflicting wishes/beliefs caused Jerry much anguish; he felt victimized, extremely frustrated and overrun by something he could not understand. But, with some gentle prompting from me, he soon began to discern his competing needs and beliefs; still, we both sensed something else lying beneath this conflict of desires. As we turned our focus to how he felt about his divorce, it was not long before Jerry realized that he had felt so blown away by his wife’s betrayal in having an affair for several years that he made a half-conscious decision not to get close to another woman again, fearing a repetition of the infidelity. Hence the conflict between sex and celibacy served Jerry’s underlying belief that he should not get deeply involved with a woman again. When we explored further his near-phobia of intimacy, we found still more global, limiting and obstructing beliefs, such as the “fact” that all women (including his mother) betray men, the “fact” that all women (like his other girlfriends) use sex for control, and the “fact” that all men (including his father and uncle) eventually fall victim to women’s machinations. Though I do not recall if we checked for the influence of beliefs he may have imported from one or more past lives, they would certainly be another source of relevant, limiting beliefs, such as the idea that the world is not a safe place.
Despite his initial bewilderment, once he became more open, Jerry saw that it was relatively easy to find those conflicting beliefs that prevented him from getting what he consciously said he wanted. As Jane Roberts’ Seth repeatedly says in his dictated books, for the most part, these beliefs are not deeply hidden in the subconscious, but are instead mostly conscious and relatively easy to access if we learn to step back, change focus and have the courage to ask what inner perspective may be getting in the way of our getting what we say we want. However, such access will not seem easy if we refuse to believe that opposing beliefs exist—how can they exist if we believe the self is univocal? Operating from the belief that the self has one voice, Jerry, at the outset, did not even look for a competing belief/self.
Nor are we likely to see these beliefs if they are self-reinforcing (as explained above) or if we see through them as though they were glasses. Those of us who wear glasses often forget we have them on, even if they are tinted sunglasses! All glasses distort the world we see, either to allow us to perceive something we would not otherwise see as with prescription lenses; or to appear “cool” or to hide; or to protect our eyes from sunlight; or to give a “color,” tone, mood to what we observe. In each case, the distortion serves a purpose just as all beliefs serve purposes that seem positive until they are not. Even when the distortions that are beliefs serve a useful purpose, problems inevitably arise when we forget we are deliberately distorting reality or seeing only one aspect of it. What we need is the reminder that the right side mirror on most vehicles provides. Inscribed on the mirror itself is the caution: “Objects are closer than they appear.” In order to provide the driver with a greater field of vision, the mirror is shaped to show objects farther away than they are; but, to prevent an accident, the mirror reminds us that the useful distortion is still a distortion.
So, in summary, we often do not notice those beliefs that obstruct our getting what we say we want because: 1) We say that what we perceive is reality and not just a perspective on reality; 2) We see only what the belief allows us to see, and thus it is self-reinforcing and blinds us to disconfirming data; 3) Beliefs interlock with one another and become woven into our identity, which we do not want to change; 4) Many of us tend to think of the self as one-dimensional, instead of multi-faceted and thus use “I” when “part of me” is often a more accurate subject of many sentences we say about ourselves; 5) Many of us are sure that, if there are, indeed, competing beliefs, they are beyond reach in the deep subconscious; 6) Even when we are aware that beliefs may distort Reality, we usually eventually forget that fact.
We Create Our Own Reality (Even Our Not Getting What We Say We Want)
The biggest obstacle to getting what we say we want is, however, not knowing or not being willing to know (and function from) the fact that we create our own reality. Seth has said that this fact is one of three statements he has made that is not in any way distorted by Jane Roberts’ channeling, and is, therefore, not really a belief, but rather a true reflection of All That Is. Seth calls it a “primary” or “basic” reality, one operative in every system of reality/consciousness. Whether we open to this fact consciously or not, we still create every bit of what we experience, even our not getting what we say we want. At every moment, we walk into the materialization of our thoughts, beliefs and emotions, whether they are in alignment with each other or not, and explore them, consciously or not, from the inside. Becoming fully aware of this truth enables us to be totally conscious creators of our worlds. To accept the fact that we create our own reality with no exceptions is deeply empowering; it allows us immediately to understand that, notwithstanding what we consciously intend, what comes to us is always, at the very least, the co-creation of all of our inner selves that are in or not in alignment with each other.
Yet, even those individuals open to the fact of self-creation often hedge here or there, thinking and acting as if some areas of our experience are not designed and generated by us. To hedge like this is to disempower ourselves in many ways, including limiting our ability to see all the other obstacles listed above that get in the way of what we say we want. Sometimes we show our hedging in the way we discuss how our intentions operate. For instance, a short while ago, a beloved soul companion said something to me that I have heard often from others: “What if what we put out there is not what is supposed to happen? Then what happens?” Implied in this sentence construction, whether the speaker intended it or not, is the notion that there is something like God or the Soul, that ultimately “calls the shots.” In one of Jane Roberts’ ESP classes in the ‘70s, Seth said:
You form the reality that you know, not esoterically, not symbolically, and not philosophically. Some great over soul doesn’t form it for you- you cannot put the burden there, either. You have in the past, collectively and individually, blamed a god or a fate for the nature of your personal realities – those aspects, indeed that you did not like.
The personality is given the greatest gift of all; you get exactly what you want to get. You create from nothing the experience that is your own. If you do not like your experience, then look within yourself and change it. But realize also that you are responsible for your joys and triumphs, and that the energy to create any of these realities comes from the inner self. What you do with it is up to the individual personality.
In saying that the inner self (i.e., the Soul, the Divine aspect of each of us) provides the personality with a flow of energy for creation, Seth is declaring that that flow may have a general direction, but it is ultimately directed by the personality (with its many parts/egos), who may even direct the flow against the flow. Thus the Divine or Soul aspect does not hold the trump card. And that is so because the personality has free will! If we did not have free will, our personality self(ves) would be robotic and learn absolutely nothing to develop the Soul and contribute to the Divine. The Divine aspect of who we are needs our personality self(ves) to be free-will explorers at the edge of what is known by the Soul; thus, even “detours” from the main line of development facilitated by the Soul aspect can provide knowledge, including, at the very least, information about why that route is not entirely useful to pursue.
In a rough analogy, the Soul is like the voice in my GPS that offers me the most expeditious route to my destination, given the time of day, one-way streets, the traffic situation and other parameters at that particular moment. (Some GPS systems, like the one on the Apple iPhone present “equifinality,” giving three possible routes, each with the same outcome, but with a different experience, e.g., most scenic route, one that is quickest, or one that bypasses something.) As the driver, no matter my reason (including just being “defiant” as I sometimes am!), I have the freedom to ignore the GPS voice, which, however, will continue to offer me new opportunities to reach my goal in the quickest, least problematic way. Again, any so-called detour will always provide some new experience even if it might be relatively more onerous and takes longer to achieve the goal. The Soul acts in just this way vis-à-vis the personality, though it does not give up after a while, as does the GPS voice!
Knowing What We Want: The First Step to Getting What We Want
Given the information about the nature of beliefs, the multi-dimensional self, and the fact that we create our own reality, how do we intentionally bring to us what we want? The first step, as I noted early in this post, is to set the intention; but to do that, we have to know clearly, unequivocally, what we want. And such knowing is not as easy as some people might think. For, as I have shown with the case of Jerry, when we are searching for what we want, often several parts of us vie for dominance in choosing what is desired. In fact, if we are not getting what we think we want, there is no doubt that an inner interplay of conflicting, obstructing forces is operating.
There are several hypnotic processes that can facilitate awareness and resolution of this kind of conflict. One is past-life regression during which the individual’s subconscious is asked to take the person’s awareness back to a time when some vow or decision (even about the degree of ones worthiness or about whether ones actions in a prior life can be forgiven) was made that now, in the present incarnation, if the vow is accepted by the current personality, inhibits action/intention in a certain conscious direction. For instance, an individual who believes he wants to set up a practice as a psychic recalls a vow never to do so, a determination made at the end of a lifetime in which he misused his psychic gifts or was murdered for speaking of esoteric truths. Or a woman who desires a career as a gymnast recalls a past life in which, as a child swinging joyously on tree limbs, she slips and falls, breaking many bones in her body. In each case, to bring that part of the individual that is still fearful or doubtful into alignment with the aspiring part requires a new perspective, e.g., the individual may simply acknowledge that circumstances in the present life are far more advantageous and thus limiting vows are no longer needed; or may alter the outcome of the past life to a much more positive, less inhibiting ending; or may change the fearful part’s role from anticipating terror to prescribing caution.
A related process is to go back to the Interlife when plans were being made by the personality with or without other personalities for the upcoming life. At least two primary modalities are possible here: the first is Michael Newton’s Life Between Lives Hypnotherapy, a thorough, but very long process that allows the individual in trance to examine not only the pre-conception contract, but also many other aspects of the Interlife. A much briefer, though still effective process developed by David Quigley, the creator of Alchemical Hypnotherapy, leads the individual in trance directly to the contract he or she made with another individual or with God/Higher Self, a contract that has proved exceedingly burdensome and inhibiting of progress toward what the individual now wants. When the contract is with another individual or small group, the person seeking a change in the contract needs to “clean up” what caused the contract to be made in the first place; he or she then does a replay of the contracting experience more in keeping with what the person presently wants. The person, in trance, then communicates the new contract to the other individual who may or may not accept it; if the new contract is not accepted, the person who desires change will either renegotiate or completely end the contract. If the contract is made with God or the Higher Self, the petitioner, in trance, engages that Entity in a dialogue, hoping to end or at least mitigate the terms of the contract, especially if most of the lessons have been learned or if the purpose of the contract can be served in less painful and inhibiting ways.
Another hypnotic process to facilitate clear intention is what NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) practitioners do every time they assist an individual to sumount blocks to achievement: they ask the subconscious if every part of it agrees to the change. This is called “checking ecology” (the degree of integration of parts in the psychic environment) in such NLP modalities as 6-Step Reframe. A part that disagrees is summoned to image itself in the individual’s inner world in a symbolic way that reflects what/who it is. The part is then asked what its positive intention is in frustrating the forward movement of the individual. Always framing the intention as positive allows the part to feel heard and respected. The individual is then asked to summon his or her creative part to help the inhibiting part to accomplish its intention for the psyche without the present negative side effects. If the inhibiting part accepts the new way of accomplishing its goal, the individual then once again checks the ecology of his inner world of parts until there are no objections.
Negotiating with inner parts/subpersonalities to achieve an agreed-upon intention is the overall object of various other parts therapies, such as Assagioli’s Psychosynthesis, Gestalt therapy, Hal Stone & Sidra Winkelman’s Voice Dialogue, and David Quigley’s Conference Room. Each of these therapies emphasizes some inner dynamics over others, e.g., Gestalt’s focus on Top Dog/Under Dog, Voice Dialogue’s concentration on the Inner Critic, and Quigley’s spotlight on the Inner Child. But all of these modalities agree that the psyche is multi-dimensional and thus all aspects/parts/subpersonalities must be in alignment for the person to consciously set an unequivocal intention for what he or she truly wants. (Byron Katie’s modality, called “The Work,” while not a form of parts therapy, is also useful in questioning the validity of limiting beliefs, in effect deconstructing them so that room is left for other, more expansive beliefs to emerge.)
Emotionalizing What We Want: The Second Step to Getting What We Want
Once all the parts agree with each other as to what the intended outcome is to be, that intention requires some “juice,” which is accomplished by adding emotion to the mix. No matter how clear the intention, without our emotionalizing it, the intention loses its power to materialize. While some individuals might think such a prerequisite is onerous, they might pause a moment to reflect on what would happen if this requirement were not operating: in that case, every thought and whim, with or without emotion, would be immediately materialized, creating infinite chaos.
As Seth has said many times in his books, every thought, no matter how small or insignificant, has an electromagnetic reality. Thoughts, then, are “things” of greater or lesser substantiality or energy. If every thought were amped up and materialized to the same degree, it would be impossible to have any meaningful experience on the Earth plane because of lack of discrimination, prioritization, and overall organization. When we are outside of this plane, our creations are instantaneous, but not substantial in the way manifestations show up on this plane; in the Other World, then, we are better equipped to deal with such creations. However, we cannot learn in the Other World what we can learn here, where creation is slowed down so we can become much more aware of and responsible for what we bring into being. Here we have time to think twice or thrice about our choices; fortunately, for most of us, wanting to “kill” someone who has hurt you does not immediately translate into action as you cool down and understand your emotions. In a less dramatic scenario, for instance, my client, Heather, has time to thwart her growing desire to “swear off” men before she becomes an emotional hermit.
However, if Heather keeps repeating to herself that she wants to “swear off” men, then what amounts to a hypnotic auto-suggestion becomes more potent, more emotionalized through that repetition. Repetition is a key way to emotionalize and energize, for it produces a trance, a framework of beliefs, that is self-reinforcing because of the aforementioned nature of beliefs to blind one to disconfirming data. In Heather’s case, her emotionalizing and energizing her limiting beliefs is mostly unconscious and productive of misery. Yet, if she was aware of emotionalizing and energizing a more expansive belief about her possibilities with men, she would more likely get what she says she wants. Moreover, if her emotionalizing is accompanied by her concretely imagining with all of her senses what she wants (what Neuro-Linguistic Programming calls “future pacing”) she will truly experience herself as a conscious co-creator with All That Is.
Still, if we have to add emotion and energy to our intention, that effort implies that we did not do as good a job as we could have in seeking the input of all of our parts about our intended outcome. If all of the parts had agreed, the emotionalizing and energizing of the intention would have been automatic because at least one or more of the parts would amp up intentions. In doing “parts work,” we often overlook one or more parts who may be afraid to exercise their powers (for fear of some retribution), or may be hiding to gain and exercise power behind the scenes, or are being repressed by other parts who speak louder and more insistently.
To rectify this situation, we must go back to any of the modalities outlined above, e.g., past-life regression, contract work with others or with God/Higher Self, Gestalt therapy, Voice Dialogue, NLP ecology work, Psychosynthesis, or the Conference Room. In parts therapies, we must ask directly, “Is there anyone here who objects to giving energy to this intention?” As when we are asking about the intention itself, parts may reveal themselves and “speak” through body sensations (e.g., itches, sharp or dull pain, stomach rumblings, sudden desire to sneeze or cough, curious smell) or through images that suddenly surface in the mind’s eye. We then dialogue with the part, which may respond with further images, body sensations, inner voices or automatic writing. Once again, some negotiating needs to take place with the help of other parts to bring the dissenting part on board. Occasionally, in doing such dialoguing, a spontaneous regression to a past life or the past in this life (or even to the future or the Interlife) may occur as a response demonstrating the part’s objection. One can also ask the part directly when it was “born,” when it came into being a dissenter. For instance, in the case of Jerry, the part that objects to intimacy with a woman may have been born in this life, when he saw the effects on his father of his mother’s infidelity. Or that part may have been born in response to a past life in which his female past-life persona was the “other woman” in a marriage.
Receiving What We Want: The Third and Final Step to Getting What We Want
So let’s say that your intention is clear and energized, and you focus on it repeatedly. That should do it, right? Uh, no, those conditions are not enough for complete manifestation of your desire. You need to be open fully to receive what you asked for. Many of us are not. The adage, “Be careful what you ask for—you may get it!” is operative here. Whenever I discuss this part of the manifestation process with clients, I often get looks of utter shock, of profound disbelief that I could say something so…stupid! “Why wouldn’t I want it?” says the typical doubter with annoyed condescension. When I broached this perspective with Heather, her narrowed eyes and tight lips told me she was containing her anger, concluding that I am downright crazy.
But I am not (at least not in that way!). Yet, I can understand how Heather could wonder about my mental stability, given how much time, effort, and tears she expended to create what she says she wants. When she came down from her haughty perch, however, I reminded her of the phenomenon of ontological shock, which I first discussed relative to ones finding out that the universe is far more complex than one had thought. Now, in this final phase of the manifestation process, ontological shock may emerge once again when some part of the individual realizes that a great deal may have to change in his or her environment and in himself or herself–even his/her identity!–if the manifestation is truly embraced. For instance, Heather would have to see herself as an empowered woman instead of as a victim, as someone honestly open to intimacy instead of someone pursuing what she is also secretly afraid of because it is so foreign. We tend to stay with our old, even painful limiting beliefs because they are frequently more “comfortable” than the more expansive ones that nevertheless often seem very strange, if not downright alien to our usual way of showing up in the world. Remember what Hamlet said, “Our present fears are less than horrible imaginings.” Or recall the saying, “The Devil I know is better than the Devil I don’t know!”
Unfortunately, many individuals like Heather will not believe my warning until they have a real chance of getting what they want. Then, suddenly, they don’t have the time to receive something new because of an impending physical relocation for a job, a sudden illness, or, as in Heather’s situation, the reemergence of an old, but toxic lover. What has really happened is that still another part of the psyche has been ignored, not adequately seen or consulted, or downright repressed. What needs to be heard is that part’s beliefs about the internal and external changes likely to occur if the individual gets what she/he says she wants.
Once again, to make contact with the part that holds off acceptance requires doing some of the same parts work I outlined for the other two steps of the manifestation protocol, and/or doing contract renegotiation, and/or investigating past-life (and future-life) situations. In doing past-life regression, for instance, Heather may discover that she is hesitant in this life to embrace full intimacy because, in a past-life, her soul-mate may have died soon after she married him, or because she may have experienced a conflict between marrying someone and an opportunity to travel the world experiencing multiple, very different relationships that made her feel immensely and exotically desired. Whatever part is objecting to embracing what the person wants and receives must be respected and dialogued with if there is to be total alignment of all the aspects of the individual.
Only then is the manifestation process complete. Only then at the crossroads of beliefs is the traffic managed properly and thus allowed to flow without obstruction.
*Names are changed to protect privacy.