My Story and Manifesto

The World Must Makes Sense!

beliefsRegardless of where we live on this earth, we are born into some society or culture and, through family and the institutions of authority of that society, we are told by those who are already here how this world works and how we should behave in it. I refer to these variously as “Stories of Life”, or “The Story of Life”, or “The Story”, “Story”, etc.. It is from these various sources that we derive our individual and mass beliefs. But each of those institutions – religion, science, academia, government, medicine, media, etc. – has a different set of beliefs, laws, or tenets that represents its particular Story of Life. While they all have similarities and congruencies, they all have differences, too, some slight and some not so slight. And each person arrives in adulthood with a personal set of beliefs that is an amalgamation of the beliefs offered by the various groups of human beings she or he has been closest to while moving through the developmental stages of life. Obviously, these cultural, political and religious influences are very specific to the geographic locations we live upon during our developmental years.

A belief begins within us as a thought that we entertain or consider. The more we think that thought and agree with it, the more firmly it becomes ingrained within us. A belief is, then, a thought that we keep thinking and agreeing with until it becomes part of our personal definition of reality. And we move through life behaving in accordance with this set of beliefs that is our individual understanding of reality, i.e., of the way the world works. Our particular set of beliefs is our personal Story. And the decisions we make, the path we choose in life, the way we treat ourselves and others, are molded or guided by this personal conception of reality. All of our behaviors are guided by what we believe about life, about people, and especially about ourselves. Stated more succinctly, nothing has more impact upon who we are and how our lives turn out than our beliefs, not even genetics.

Given this, it would make sense for us to be very familiar with our beliefs and to make sure that we actually do believe them. However, very few of us have done this. Arriving in adulthood with the set of beliefs we’ve been conditioned by family and society to hold, relatively few of us then exercise our ability to think for ourselves and critically examine the beliefs that have been placed within us by those familial and societal influences. We operate on autopilot, without any real awareness of being driven by many thoughts and ideas that, if we were to honestly examine them, we would discover that we don’t actually agree with them. In this way we are, in effect, sleep-walking through life, not fully conscious of what we’re thinking and doing. And unless something occurs in life to deeply shake and wake us from our semi-conscious state into a more fully self-aware one, we move through life being driven by thoughts and feelings within us that we aren’t fully in touch with, and in many cases don’t even know are driving us. This is then faithfully reflected by the events in our lives and the decisions we make that we equally don’t comprehend. And we find ourselves repeatedly reaching painful points in life where we ask ourselves, “Why did I do (or say) that?”

What we don’t understand, because we aren’t educated about it, is that in the earliest years of life human beings biologically are extremely programmable. The things we are repeatedly told during our earliest years of life – about who we are, the conditions of life and the rules to live by – are firmly imprinted into our subconscious minds as beliefs. The result of this is that, by the time we reach adulthood, there are subconscious belief programs that run below our ego-level awareness which were installed within us before we had the capacity to examine them in any conscious way. And until the day we do decide to examine them and perhaps change them, these programmed beliefs remain within us and we structure our lives according their blueprints.

Again, this conditioning occurs through the influence of those closest to us as we progress through the stages of life; first via family, then religion, education, media, etc., etc.. As we grow through those successive life stages we are, in a wide variety of ways, influenced to adopt the beliefs of others. But because this conditioning occurs so extremely incrementally and happens when we are so young, most of us have no real awareness that we’ve been programmed in this way. Even though we consider ourselves to be autonomous, free-thinking and free-choosing adults, we are using a set of beliefs to guide us in life which we haven’t deliberately chosen for ourselves in any conscious way. In short, the vast majority of us are creating and moving through our lives according to a societally Programmed Story rather than one we have decided upon for ourselves.

The Programmed Story within each of us remains unchanged until and unless we intentionally decide to examine the details of it, i.e., the individual beliefs that together comprise our personal Story of Life. Most of us actually do deliberately examine and decide upon some of our beliefs about life and what is true and possible. However, for most of us this amounts to but a small subset of our Programmed Story, leaving the rest of it to continuously run in our subconscious minds, patterning our lives.

If you are now thinking something like, “That’s not me. I’ve thought about things a lot, too, and I am well acquainted with my beliefs”, let me point out that this is a very common way of closing oneself off to allowing even simple consideration of new ideas. I kindly ask you to suspend that impulse to dismiss what I am saying here. If you read on, you will see that I was like that, myself – in spades! And it was only due to dire circumstances that I finally relented and allowed myself to let in new ways of thinking and to try new approaches to life. Many of the beliefs we hold that have the most impact upon the character and quality of our lives are precisely those that we aren’t consciously aware of, and it takes some effort to pull them out of our subconscious so that we can examine them.

A good way to become more consciously aware of your own personal Story is to train yourself to notice whenever you do or say something that you later regret, or are perplexed by. You first have to catch yourself in the behavior, and then check in with yourself as to what thoughts were behind it. You have to sleuth them out by having a self-dialogue in which you become your own counselor by asking yourself why you said or did that thing. If you do this seriously you will often be surprised at the answers that come out of you. Once you give voice to the parts of you that are holding those hidden thoughts, you will likely discover unresolved issues within yourself that haven’t been fully recognized or dealt with. Then you have the chance to resolve them so that they no longer drive your behaviors. It’s a process, but one that can be very surprising and rewarding.

The way our society is structured, we’re not taught that it’s important to deeply consider for ourselves what we believe about, or desire out of, life. Nor are we allowed time to truly contemplate these things before we are required to launch ourselves out into the world. As soon as we begin to have the mental capacity to think conceptually at six years of age, we are placed within a formal education system and sequentially moved without pause from one level to another. And then we move out of our family home and into a job so that we can support ourselves. There aren’t any breaks between the phases of this progression during which we might assimilate and process what we’ve learned.

Of course, the natural conflicts between parents and their young adult offspring, and the burgeoning desire for autonomy within the young adult, are factors here, too. But our culture and the structure of our society both exacerbate those factors and the effect they have upon our youth of moving them into life before they really know what they want out of it. I’m well aware that many of us don’t know what we truly want no matter how much we think about it. But I believe there is a good chance that this is actually an effect of the way things are currently done. We largely do not raise our children with a strong sense of self-worth and confidence. This, together with our belief that as soon as we reach adulthood we must become independent and self-supportive, far too often pushes our young people out on their own very unprepared for the life that is coming at them, especially on a psychological basis.

In a sense, it’s as though the moment we’re born we’re placed on something similar to those airport people-movers, like an inner conveyor belt that moves us inexorably through the stages of our lives. It intersects other people-movers as we reach decision points in life, but we can never stop moving or choosing some path. And we can’t go backwards. Life takes us along its course as time goes by, and we must unavoidably make choices, at intersections with events and people, that end up affecting our lives in significant and long-lasting ways. Often those decisions have to be made before we feel ready to make them, because the people-movers of life can’t be stopped to let us sort it all out.

So we end up making life-altering decisions according to our personal version of the societally programmed Story we’ve been programmed with, navigating the best we can some general path that is recommended to us. We go to college and get an education, get a job and start earning money, find a spouse, get married, have kids; or we get the education and job and start earning money, but remain single and have experiences on our own; or we choose any of a million other combinations of life choices. Many of us beget children before we are even out of school or able to provide for them. Whatever path we begin upon, it’s often the case that before we can get ourselves oriented we’re already in some flow of life – we are in it! And we never actually had time to deliberately sort through it all to figure out what we really believe about things, and what we would truly want!

For so many of us, before we even realize it we’ve become too busy just trying to get by to fully contemplate those things. We’re being pulled along in life without ever making any conscious decision about what we believe about this world and what we want our place in it to be. And our belief system is comprised only of the things we’ve been conditioned to accept, as opposed to concepts we have adopted after thoughtful consideration. Between going to our jobs and doing the other things required by our lives, so many of us just idle through life with respect to what we truly believe about life and ourselves. We consider what we believe about an important issue only every now and then; here and there adding, modifying or removing one aspect of our loosely-assembled belief system as we read something or have an experience or conversation that brings a new realization. We rarely pay attention to our own thoughts about things as we go through daily life, nor are we aware of the effects they have on us, especially our thoughts about ourselves. The reality is that many, if not most, of us move well into the living of life largely without having invested any deliberate thought or decision toward the very things that drive our behaviors and attitudes, and that form the basis of how we construct our lives.

The result is that, after a decade or two of adulthood, many of us come to realize that we’ve been floundering, if not really struggling, through life. We aren’t having a good go at it, because things aren’t turning out so well. We’re struggling in our relationships. We’re fighting to keep our heads above water financially. We’re struggling to find our place in the world; a place to belong, where we can be who we are, doing something we really love. We simply end up struggling, on nearly all levels.

And for most of us it’s because we don’t have a solid belief system that actually reflects who we are and what we honestly feel is true and possible for ourselves. What this amounts to is that we don’t know who we are. And when this is the case, we don’t have a clear idea of what we want, where we are going, or how to get there. We have set out – or have been moved out, because we are on that people-mover that never stops! – on the journey of life without having decided where we truly want to go. And we all know that it’s difficult to arrive at a destination when you don’t know where it is. Granted, there are always some who do happen to arrive at a place that feels exactly right, but most of us aren’t so lucky.

And even those who do seem to have a solid belief system are often outwardly successful but inwardly unhappy. These people have adopted their personal version of one of society’s Stories and moved confidently into life and established themselves, becoming very prosperous financially and professionally, with a great career and family, etc.. But the things they’ve built their lives around are things that they have been conditioned to believe are essential for success and happiness, as opposed to what they truly feel are important and would want out of life. Their personal Story is more programmed than deliberately chosen. They are so driven to achieve what they’ve been conditioned to believe will bring them a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that they don’t notice the emptiness they feel inside until they are very far down the path they’ve trod. One has only to look at divorce rates to know this. Too many of those materially prosperous ones have all the physical manifestations of what our society calls success, but inside themselves they feel miserable!

This applies to the majority of us today, even if we aren’t among those who are materially successful. We, too, have been on a life path and striving toward things that don’t align with who we truly are, all the while feeling a deep, troubling sensation that something is off. And, outwardly successful or not, the majority of us aren’t feeling deeply happy and fulfilled. Which is faithfully reflected in the fact that we’re struggling with almost all of our relationships; with spouses, children, parents, coworkers, and neighbors.

We go on like this until, at some point, many of us stop ourselves and ask, “What the hell happened? Why am I so unhappy? I did all the right things – I thought!” Of course, those of us who haven’t been so successful are saying to ourselves, “I am trying to do all the right things! But it’s just not working out for me, and I don’t know why!” And in all of those cases the person ends up saying to herself or himself, “Why is it turning out like this? Why is it not working out for me?!” For those of us who struggle with life and can’t understand how or why it’s like that for us, a hopeless and oppressive resignation can set in and weigh ever more heavily upon us with each passing year.

***

bobby-harveyI was perhaps different than most in that I did pay attention to and evaluate for myself the Stories I was being told as I grew up. And they largely didn’t make sense to me. I therefore couldn’t bring myself to truly buy into any of them. This began in childhood and continued into my early adult years, at which point it began to have a serious impact on my life. Nothing about what I saw going on in the world at the time made any real sense to me. To me the world was quite ugly, and there was no path through it available to me that I could convince myself to follow. I therefore withdrew from society to the degree that I could, because I found no place for myself in it. However, I was extremely unhappy and confused and thus couldn’t sustain that posture for long. Within a few years I was driven by basic human need for acceptance and a sense of belonging to reenter society, which meant that I had to align with its fundamental Stories enough to be able to participate in it with any success.

Even though I had rejected the institutionalized Stories available to me when I began my adult life, I still ended up adopting and trying to live by a personal Story that was comprised largely of beliefs from those societal Stories. Consequently, I, too, moved through the rest of adulthood sort of haphazardly carving out a place in this world and a living for myself by doing the things that my conditioning had informed me would support me and make me happy to some comfortable degree. I followed that Story for a long time, struggling the whole way to make from it a happy life. But I never got there. And after many years of that struggle, I crashed. My adult life had progressively become more and more difficult, until I finally reached a point of such despair that I had to change something, or else I didn’t want to be here anymore. So I changed something.

What I changed was my tight hold on the things I believed and the way I thought. Prompted by the terrirobert-small-sizeble desperation I felt, I began to allow new ideas and ways of thinking and behaving to become part of who I am. In response to this relaxing of my rigid inner stance, my life began to take turns that gradually brought me out of that extremely low and ugly place. I was step-wise led to discover things about myself that triggered within me an awakening.

I don’t like some of the connotations that are attached to the word “awakening”. But it’s the one that best describes how this experience felt to me, because I became far more conscious and aware than I had been before this change occurred in me. I awoke from a stupor that I hadn’t known was upon me. And once awakened, I recognized that the fog that had surrounded me for most of my adult life was due to my trying to live according to the beliefs that had been programmed into me by our society, instead of following my own truth.

This awakening came about through a series of rapidly unfolding and very impactful inner events. The first occurred when I suddenly realized that the person I was becoming and the life I had been building were something I never wanted to be. This frightened me to such a degree that I knew with utter certainty that I would rather die than continue on that path. I knew I had to change. But life soon took over again, I got pulled back into it, and my decision to change fell into the rear view mirror and faded out of sight. A couple of years later, when I felt my life still careening down that same ugly path, I reached an even lower point of utter despair and experienced a complete inner meltdown. I felt such extreme anguish at how I and my life had turned out that I literally cried out in desperation, to whom I didn’t know, “Okay! I need help! I don’t know what to do anymore!” I asked for help. And my asking created an opening within me that allowed help to then begin coming to me.

The help I asked for came to me in various forms, step-wise engendering within me further awakening. The first help came in the form of a new friend who led me to recognize that my avid and decades-long reading wasn’t merely a relaxing pastime, as I had thought. Prompted by this friend to think about what I had been doing, I came to realize that my extensive reading amounted to personal research, with a purpose behind it. Although that purpose wasn’t immediately clear to me, shortly after this rather shocking discovery about myself it was revealed to me when the very information I had been seeking – without being aware that I was doing it! – was delivered directly into my hands… by the same friend who had prompted me to think about what was behind my reading!

What’s more, there was proof of the truth of these “missing” pieces of information, in that I experienced an extreme, full-body reaction to the revelation of them, which left me in absolutely no doubt about them. My entire being immediately recognized them for what they are as soon as I encountered them. There was also undeniable evidence of them in my own life history. I could instantly see how they had been at work throughout my life in the way that it had turned out. They are rules of life, or laws, that explain exactly how this vibrational world acts upon our lives.

That information was then life-changing in itself, for it filled in the confounding gaps left by the Stories I’d been taught, thus piecing together all that I had already learned via my lifelong search into a cohesive whole. You see, while those key pieces of information are actually included within the teachings of Science and Religion (I capitalize to indicate the general institutions), both of those institutions have kept them very obscure. For different reasons, they both do not proclaim and teach us these key concepts, which are necessary to complete their own Stories to the degree that one can then use them to make sense of things and take better charge of one’s life. Again, those vital pieces of information are indeed contained within the overall canon of both Science and Religion. They are there. So far, though, those essential parts of their Stories aren’t highlighted and taught, while man-made distortions and distractions are.

Seeing all of this then catalyzed a number of further comprehensions about myself that likewise came quickly, one after another. The primary of these was that my research had been part of a personal quest that I had begun in childhood and never let go of. I recognized that I had been trying to make sense of the world from the time I was a child, and that I was still doing it! I grew up and still live in the United States, with all of its typical western influences. Christianity, our educational system, science, medicine, government, art, media, etc., all influenced me, just as they do everyone else. And I had been paying very close attention to and thinking about the Stories of Life that I heard from the very beginning. I’d been internally evaluating and trying to make sense of them. And I had begun doing this at quite a young age, beginning with Religion and then moving on to Science as I grew older and my education progressed. This early, innate desire to make sense of the Stories I was hearing had then been superseded and pushed out of my awareness and into my subconscious by my efforts to make my way in life as an adult. However, this quest had never truly left me and so became the impetus for my unconscious and unrecognized avid research later in adulthood.

The next rapid realization of my awakening came immediately upon my comprehension all of these things. I recognized that the reason I had been doing all of this, even when I wasn’t consciously aware that I was, is because I was driven by a subconscious intuition, an innate knowing, that this amazing world could not not make sense. And because this is within me as part of who I am, it had been impossible for me to resist or quell it. Thus, I very naturally had kept searching throughout my life for a Story that could account for all that I was seeing and experiencing in this world in a way that could enable me to understand why it is the way it is, without any major omissions or inconsistencies.

As you’ve probably noticed, there is a great deal about the physical world and human beings that falls outside of what is explainable using the two main Stories of Life in our world, those told by Science and Religion, in any of their variations or combinations – at least explainable in a way that is consistent and that “holds water” in terms of logic and/or believability. Because of this and my innate knowing that the world cannot not make sense, I was never able to make peace with the world I found myself trying to make my way through, or with myself.

Nevertheless, after I had ended my self-imposed isolation of early adulthood, I had then made my way into the world and through my life the best I could trying to align with the Stories we are told about how the world works and how to live a happy life. But try as I might, I had never been able to fully accept any of those Stories. There was so much of what I observed in the world and experienced firsthand that they couldn’t satisfactorily explain to a questioning mind like mine. Even though it remained mostly subconscious, there was always a part of me that knew there was something very wrong with those Stories, and with the way my life was turning out as I tried to live by them. To that deeper part of me, it was self-evident that whoever or whatever had caused this world and all of us to come into being simply would not make life as nonsensical as the Stories we were being told made it seem. In short, I have always had a deep belief that The World Must Make Sense! – that it HAD to! And I had never stopped seeking a Story of Life that could explain all that we see in this world, in a way that did make sense.

The last realization to include here that was part of my initial awakening came as a result of the source from which I received these key pieces of information. If my friend hadn’t already been so surprisingly right about my avid reading being more than a pastime, I wouldn’t have accepted and read the book she loaned to me that contained those key pieces of information. The book came from a source that I had thought all of my adult life to be untrustworthy, even laughable. But because my friend had already gained my trust, I accepted and read it. And it had turned out to contain the very thing I had been searching for, even though I hadn’t been aware that I was searching for it until she helped me realize it!

What this revealed to me was that I had been holding a strong belief and prejudice which, upon identifying and thinking about it, I didn’t actually agree with. Yet again, I was faced with something about who I was as a person that I had been quite unaware of. And, once I consciously thought the subject through for myself, it didn’t reflect who I truly was nor what I actually believed. This revelation was yet more evidence that I didn’t know myself anywhere near as well as I had thought. Naturally, it led me to wonder again if there were any other similar things going on inside of me that I didn’t know about, and I set forth to find out.

***

All of these things occurred over the course of just a few months, and they left me forever changed. There simply was no way I could carry on in life the same as I had. Besides, it had all come about in response to my own asking for life to be different for me. Clearly, I was getting what I asked for; “Ask and ye shall receive!”

I was now on my way to a new life. The sense of empowerment and optimism I felt due to having found this New Story was a far cry from the low point I had had to hit before I made a firm decision to change, without any idea how to do it. Change hadn’t come quickly or easily. But all it had taken was for me to open up just enough for a slight bit of movement. It began with the simple act of allowing myself to entertain new ideas and ways of looking at life, at people, and at the world we live in. And when I continued to struggle but was willing to ask for help after falling low again, that opening widened. When our outer life is filled with pain and struggle, nothing will change until we do, on the inside.