Where Can You Find Meaning?

One of the books on my summer reading list this year is Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. Reading about the experiences of a concentration camp survivor might be considered rather harsh summer fare, but I have repeatedly heard people talk about the inspirational power of this book. I agree — and I recommend it to you as well.

Frankl’s perspective is that of a psychiatrist who experienced the horrors of both Auschwitz and Dachau. Rather than focusing on the details of those horrors, however, he concentrates more on the psychological effect they had on the inmates. I’d like to share one particular passage with you that has given me food for thought:

“An active life serves the purpose of giving man the opportunity to realize values in creative work, while a passive life of enjoyment affords him the opportunity to obtain fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature. But there is also purpose in life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment … namely, in man’s attitude to his existence, an existence restricted by external forces. A creative life and a life of enjoyment are banned to him. But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful. If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete. The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails … gives him ample opportunity — even under the most difficult circumstances — to add a deeper meaning to his life.”

For most of us, our sense of meaning is wrapped up in either creation or enjoyment. Are we making something, building up a business, raising children, creating a beautiful home, working for political or social causes? In the West, a focus on creation is given the highest emphasis and esteem.

Or, alternatively, are we focused more on enjoying art, music, entertainment, food, and our leisure time? For most people, enjoyment is seen as a side pursuit or enviable luxury. Indeed, when life becomes limited simply to the pursuit of enjoyment, many people begin to feel an inner sense of meaninglessness. I must admit that I am prone to this! In fact, it was important for me to hear Frankl’s view that the pursuit of enjoyment, in itself, can provide worthwhile meaning to life.

Even deeper, however, is the realization that life’s inevitable sufferings, be they disease or loss or hurt feelings, can provide an avenue for meaning. We don’t need to experience a concentration camp to be provided the meaning-inducing power of life’s sufferings. But knowing that meaning can be found even in such an environment — one devoid of the possibility of creation or the pursuit of enjoyment — is quite profound. As Frankl describes, even as all trappings of their former existence disappeared to be replaced by unending degradation, starvation, and brutality, some people experienced inner growth and a deepening of their inner spiritual life. This is so heartening to hear. Not all people were reduced to a brutal consciousness.

Returning to a much more mundane subject, I recently attended my 45th high school reunion. It was fun and joyful to talk to some old friends and acquaintances and even people I didn’t know (I was in a high school class of 1000 — one couldn’t know them all!), but inevitably, memories of rejection by peers and losses I experienced in high school also came up for me. In fact, the reunion left me feeling somewhat morose for a couple of days. However, upon reflection, I realized that the rejections and losses of my youth comprised the very impetus that steered me toward creating a new self, a new sense of being that had nothing to do with high school or my family or my hometown. My teenage sufferings ended up liberating me to become the person I am today.

I am grateful that, most likely, none of you reading this article will ever experience the horrors of Frankl’s life in a concentration camp. But however major or minor your life’s sufferings may be, each of us has a choice about how we respond to them. Do we ultimately find some kind of growth or courage or inner awareness as a result?

How you use your life’s experiences is up to you. You may create, you may enjoy, and you may grow — even through suffering. It is all of these choices that can give your life meaning.

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Think HOMEOPATHY! — for Summertime Woes and Back to School

Summertime is waning and school days are nearly here. Remember that homeopathy can come to the rescue for all of those summer bumps, bruises, and stings. And when you’re sending your kids off to school, don’t forget to send remedies too! I’ve always bought or created a kit for my children when they went to camp, traveled, went to university, or set up their new home as adults.

Here are some useful ideas:

Homeopathic Creams

My own own homeopath, Deborah Olenev, sells a suite of very useful and effective homeopathic first-aid creams. Recently, I have been using one of her creams for a coccyx injury. Be aware that, just like any remedy, these creams shouldn’t be used repeatedly like some kind of salve. Apply, wait a few days to see the response, and if effective, apply only as needed (that is, only when the symptom returns or starts getting worse again).

At her homeopathic creams site, firstaidcreams.com, Olenev provides a lot of useful and educational information. This includes a comprehensive article about the uses of each cream, repertorizing charts, and tips about the use of creams for certain needs (e.g., for children and for numerous common complaints). In fact, I’ve learned a lot from reading her articles!

Useful Articles from Washington Homeopathics and Homeopathic Educational Services

I get the monthly newsletters from Washington Homeopathic Products and Homeopathic Educational Services and find them to be loaded with handy information. In addition to product information, they include articles or pointers to articles about the uses of remedies, new research results about the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies, information about homeopathic practice and philosophy, and timely alerts about supporting your access to homeopathy.

The Homeopathic Educational Services site includes a blog, videos, and much more. You can see the latest Washington Homeopathics newsletter at this link. The August issue includes articles about the most important travel/vacation remedies to pack, and research projects in Belgium and Italy that followed the progress of hundreds of patients who used homeopathy (successfully!) for serious medical conditions.

Buy Kits for Yourself and Loved Ones!

I love my homeopathy kits. You can get them from many suppliers, but my own personal favorites are from Helios, Washington Homeopathic Products, and Natural Health Supply.

Don’t forget — when you or a family members has some kind of health issue, consider turning to homeopathy first, not last. More often than not, you’ll save a lot of time, money, aggravation, and get well quicker too!

 

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Act Now! Before It’s Too Late

How often have you heard an advertisement that warns you to “Act Now! Before It’s Too Late”? Of course, most of the time, this kind of thing is simply a form of psychological manipulation. But there really are some things that have an expiration date.

I’m 62 and my husband Steve is 65. That means we know a lot of people in their 60s, 70s, and older. One thing we’ve consistently noticed is that as people age, they tend to become “more” of whatever they’ve always tended to be — especially those negative or childish traits. For a example, if a person has always tended to be selfish, they will likely become more selfish. If they have a tendency to be paranoid or angry, they will likely become moreso. You get the idea.

Why is this true?

The model of the complete human being described in Huna (a system of teaching based on ancient Hawaiian shamanism) provides clues to the answer. Our “Basic Self” is the part of us that is our primary driver until about age 8. It’s our impressionable emotional self, how we really feel deep inside. You might call it the subconscious, but it’s more than that. It’s the seat of our memories, the source of most psychic abilities, and a primary controller of our energetic etheric body and by extension, the physical body. It’s likely the same as the Astral Body discussed in my book Active Consciousness. Like the Middle and High Selves, our Basic Self continues on after we die.

After about age 8, however, our Middle Self starts to run the show and becomes the “boss” of our Basic Self. It’s the locus of our rational mind, the part of us that makes us finish our work even if the Basic Self feels lazy or resentful. It’s our Middle Self that goads us on to fulfill our responsibilities and often stops us from saying or acting upon how we really feel.

But something happens as we begin to age. Not only do our bodies and minds begin to weaken, but we also tend to experience a weakening of the control that the Middle Self can exert upon the Basic Self. Sometimes that’s good! We may finally act upon things we’ve always felt or desired. But sometimes it’s not so great. Without the full force of rational judgement or, perhaps, due to diminished physical senses, we may become too angry or depressed or paranoid or prideful.

Unfortunately, by this point, it may be too late to do anything about it. If you’ve never done any inner work by the time you are 70, it is unlikely that you will have the strength of mind and will to do so. That’s because it’s hard to truly confront and work on the childhood experiences that formed you. But if you do earnestly embark on this path, you will likely make at least some progress in evolving your Basic Self so that it becomes inherently wiser, more compassionate, more courageous, and more peaceful.

Of course, aging usually happens gradually. So even if you have done some inner work, you likely won’t notice that you’re becoming a bit more greedy or suspicious or angry or anxious. Even those around you may not notice this is happening until it actually becomes troublesome.

But be forewarned, this will occur. After all, as the body becomes weaker and senses begin to fail, it’s natural to revert to the habitual coping mechanisms developed and relied upon since childhood. Those most ingrained parts of us remain the longest.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any easy solutions either. There is no “spiritual bypass” for most of us (or arguably, for any of us). You can’t just jump to enlightenment and reach nirvana, eject your Basic Self and Middle Self, and become unified with your High Self and merge with All That Is. Sorry! You’re here on Earth to do the hard work. That’s why we reincarnate — to help move us along, one lifetime at a time.

So my message to you today is: Act Now! Before It’s Too Late! If you’d like to have a gracious and wise elderhood, develop your awareness skills while you are younger! Develop a meditation practice. Engage with work like the Sedona Method or Byron Katie’s teachings or those of many other teachers.

Perhaps it’s never too late to make progress. But just as those who’ve spent their lives physically active usually age better physically, it’s also a good idea to exercise your awareness muscles while they’re still in top form.

 

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Odds and Ends — Stuff to Watch and Read (about autism and/or homeopathy)

Stuff to watch on YouTube:

Great video of a New Jersey autism-prevalence research official discussing the recent federal statistics, including information about:
a) the especially high rate in New Jersey — 3% (1:33) of all children and 1:22 boys;
b) the fact that rate increases are NOT due to increased awareness or diagnostic criteria.

A scene from Just One Drop
Rachel Roberts discusses the role homeopathy has to play in efforts to contain antibiotic resistant super bugs, and research that demonstrates the clinical benefits of homeopathy.

Stuff to Read:

Evidence of a CDC coverup: link between chicken pox vaccine and rise in shingles incidence.

90% of people in India trust homeopathy : IMRB International study

 

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Life Is a Feedback Loop

Most of us assume that our day-to-day emotional and physical ups and downs are a result of things that “happen to us.” We believe we are at the effect of random events or influences in the outer world or at the mercy of other people. But what if it’s the other way around? What if, by and large, your experience perfectly reflects your inner state — not in order to punish you, but to guide you?

Certainly there are forces in the universe that are much more powerful than the influence of a single individual. In many cases, they are the outer reflection of our collective inner state. For example, the culture or political situation in a region may reflect the collective inner consciousness or subconscious of the people that live there. When a society is attracted to violent media or elects a fascist leader, it is a reflection of its inner fears. The media then sets up a feedback loop which amplifies the situation and gradually infects almost everyone unless they are consciously aware of this process.

But on the smaller scale of our personal life’s events, be aware that many of the things that crop up for you — even supposedly random events — may actually be reflective feedback. Are you suddenly experiencing a string of breakages or accidents? Are you plagued by a variety of ailments and aches and pains? Rather than assume that these events are what’s making you angry and frustrated or fearful, consider that it may be your own inner state that is causing these events. Indeed, as I discuss in Active Consciousness, this is one way in which synchronicity can operate.

However, please note:  I’m not trying to say that every misfortune you experience is “your fault”, but rather, that it may be a useful form of feedback that has  appeared as a learning opportunity. So, rather than fight what’s happening, consider that it could be released through awareness and inner action.

If you’re willing to consider this possibility, why not perform an experiment? The next time the going gets rough, take your mind off the external and go within. First, examine what’s going on for you. At a deeper level than the external events, why might you actually feel angry or irritated or depressed or vulnerable? Are you unhappy at work? Are you having difficulty with a relationship? Your state may even reflect a habitual pattern that goes back to events or traumas in childhood — things that you normally don’t think about or are aware of, but are always alive under the surface.

If you find something that “clicks”, you can now try a new strategy to alter your outer reality. You may decide to leave your job or make a promise to yourself to work on your relationship. You may begin to pursue some deep inner work with a therapist or use methods like Emotional Freedom Technique, the Sedona Method, or hypnotherapy to uncover and release wounds that normally lie below the surface. Indeed, for many people, just believing that your physical woes or outer experiences are a reflection of your suppressed inner state can alleviate the problem. That was the message of revolutionary doctor, John Sarno, MD. When your next headache or backache crops up, simply say out loud — “It’s psychological, not physical!”

I’m currently writing my third book. Much of it will be focused on self-healing through methods like these. But the deeper message is that there are many levels to our being and that when dysfunction arises, the best solution is to address a problem at its root. Thus, if your backache is actually a reflection of suppressed anger at your spouse, all the pills and back-braces in the world won’t eliminate it. You need to address that anger. Similarly, if you are besieged by accidents that reflect inner feelings of insecurity and fear, these events won’t stop until that fear is at least acknowledged and hopefully released in a healthy way.

I’ll leave you with one last tip from visionary American mystic Neville Goddard (1905-1972). According to Goddard, the events of each day reflect the dreams of the subconscious while we sleep. Moreover, these dreams reflect our state of consciousness before we go to sleep. Because of this, he suggests making a special effort before sleep to imagine your ideal goal state of being. When you lie in bed, “pretend”, if necessary, that everything is ideal — your health, your family, your job, etc. This ideal state of being will then permeate your subconscious during sleep, which then will become enacted in your waking life. Why not try it out?

“Sleep conceals the creative act, while the objective world reveals it.” – Neville Goddard

 

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Updated Article About Autism Incidence and Causes

The following article is an updated version (with the new statistics) of my older article about autism incidence and its possible causes.

When Will We Be Willing to Actually Do Something About Autism?

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The Line Between Fear and Trust

There is certainly no shortage of things to worry about these days. From politics and war to climate change to health, so many people I know are caught, almost gleefully, in a state of addictive fear. Various forms of media feed the fire. Conspiracy mentality isn’t confined to the fringe anymore. It’s gotten to the point that some of my friends become agitated if I’m not worried and fearful enough. They believe that turning away from fear and trying to indulge in a bit of trust in the Universe is reckless, even offensive.

Of course, there is such a thing as recklessness. Most people would not advocate taking a small child to a dangerous cliff and letting them run about at random. On the other hand, is it okay or not to let your child test their limits in a potentially dangerous sport? Where is the line between fear and trust, between wise precaution and recklessness?

I have a friend who is a afraid to let her children attend school because of all the media about gun violence and drug use. To me, her elementary-school-age son seems angry and trapped at home. While homeschooling can be a positive thing for some children, it doesn’t seem that way to me in this case. Has my friend’s inordinate fear created a prison for her son?

Reflecting on this, it occurred to me that perhaps the line between fear and trust should be chosen, by each person, based on how it makes them feel. Think about it. Have your fears put you in prison? Are you trapped by them? Have your days become swallowed up in fearful worry and self-protective measures? If so, it may be time for you to engage in a little trust.

One book that I have found to be very useful when I need an extra dose of trust in my life is The Trust Frequency. I like to read it in small bites — I find it calms me. Over the past several years, I’ve read it three times when I’ve needed a “trust-injection”.

What are the kinds of trust you might consider entertaining?

When it comes to health, how about trusting that your body usually knows how to heal itself? Marvel at the healing of a wound the next time you cut yourself. Your body has amazing abilities! Trust that your body will actually help you stay healthy. Treat it right with good food, water, rest and moderate exercise, and you’ll be amazed at what it can do for you. In contrast, running to doctors and taking all kinds of test and pills can imprison you in a state of chronic health worry, as you yield to the “no-cebos” of the medical machine — negative health messages that often serve as self-fulfilling prophecies.

How about trusting that a difficult period in a relationship or at work will ultimately turn out for the best? Rather than staying trapped and immobilized, what about deciding to be more courageous and open yourself up to confronting and working on a problem? Or taking action to leave a relationship or job if that seems like the best solution for you?

Rather than obsessing and worrying about some event in advance, how about trusting yourself to handle the situation and do the right thing when the time comes? Once you’ve done a bit of preparation, why waste more time on worry?

Or how about trusting that, in the long run, we are all part of an evolutionary process on Earth that, despite ups and downs, will ultimately turn out as it should? Maybe not in our lifetimes, but at least in the long run? Isn’t it possible that dark times create new opportunities for light? Instead of fighting the darkness by hiding or promulgating fear and hopelessness, why not work for progress in a way that fosters hopeful solutions? Even if humanity ends up in darkness, at least each of us will have filled our life with as much light as we can.

In the end, you must trust yourself. Trust your emotions. Are you happy or trapped in a prison of fear and avoidance? Let your internal compass be your guide. This compass is never wrong if you learn to understand it and listen to it. Much of the information and meditative exercises in Active Consciousness can help you achieve this. Let each day be a new opportunity to convert a little bit of your fear and worry into trust.

 

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Clinging Never Works

Whenever we approach Valentine’s Day each February, I usually write about the blessings of love. But what about the flip side? Lost love? Or clinging to those we love? Just as Christmas-time can be painful for many, so can Valentine’s Day.

Sometimes it’s hard not to cling to the things or people we love. We all succumb to that at some point. But ultimately, it never works.

Let’s start by talking about clinging to what has been lost in the past. If our loved one dies, or we lose all our money or a beloved object, it’s right and healthy to mourn. In fact, suppressing our feelings of loss just perpetuates the pain of loss, because it will get buried in the subconscious (and often manifests later as physical disease). For this reason, consciously grieving is essential, because eventually it frees us to move on. If we cling forever to a person or an object that is gone, we become stuck in the past. We are not facing what is. We are living in a painful dreamworld and missing out on life. (For those struggling with the death of a loved one, I highly recommend the book The Courage to Grieve by Judy Tatelbaum.)

Resentment is another form of clinging to the past — clinging to the idea that things should have been different. They weren’t. What’s past is past. Clinging to the past in this way doesn’t change a thing — it just poisons your present and future.

So what about clinging right now to the things we love?

Visualize the energy of love versus the energy of clinging. Love is open, it is flowing, it is freely given and received. Clinging is about grabbing and clutching. It is a form of desperation born out of fear.

If you are clinging to someone, they can feel it, even if you aren’t physically touching them. That’s because you are energetically sending out cords that grab at them. We all know what that feels like and how we react to it: “Get off of me! Yuck!” No one likes the sensation of being clung to. We may tolerate it with our young children, but in general, clinging just generates revulsion. And it doesn’t work.

What about clinging to objects? There is a difference between saving your pennies or cherishing an object versus clinging to these things. In the extreme, clinging to things become hoarding, gorging, binging. Once again, it’s about fear, and sometimes it’s about addiction. Ultimately it backfires because we become trapped by the objects we cling to. The energy of clinging may draw things toward us, but eventually these things entomb us, bury us, weigh us down.

Of course, sometimes it’s very hard not to cling to the ones we love. Fear of loss is a hard thing to overcome and I struggle with it myself. Here’s a few pieces of advice that I have found helpful.

First, consider the fact that we can literally “call our fears to us.” That is the message of the Rabbit in indigenous lore. The rabbit runs around saying “Don’t eat me! Don’t eat me!” and thereby draws its predators to it. In other words, what we perpetually focus on is brought nearer into reality.

Second, consider what the Sedona Method has to say about fear — that subconsciously we often want what we fear. Even if it this sounds counter-intuitive, I encourage you to consider this possibility. By consciously trying release any subconscious desire for what we fear, we can often release the fear itself.

Finally, refocus on Gratitude and Trust — gratitude for what you are actually receiving, and trust that the future will play out as it is meant to and should. By blending our energy with these more open states, we not only feel better within, but we create a world that is better for all of us. The meditations and exercises in Active Consciousness will also be helpful in achieving this.

 

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Homeopathy to the Rescue! My Voyage of Patience and Trust in Homeopathy in Dealing With A Centipede Bite

Even though I’m the author of Impossible Cure, I too have trouble being patient and trusting in homeopathy in moments of crisis. Here’s the story of my recent voyage of healing from a painful and scary centipede bite.

It was the last night of our recent trip to Kauai when our car got stuck in the mud of our friend’s yard and I stepped into a puddle wearing sandals, only to be bit on the side of my foot, near the arch. What pain! I can only liken it to 10 simultaneous bee bites all in one spot. Others describe it as being like a gun-shot wound. Luckily our friend is a healer and knew what to do. Within minutes my wound (in the form of two puncture holes) was cleaned with hydrogen peroxide, I had taken doses of Apis 30c and Ledum 30c as well as Vitamin C and activated charcoal, she had applied a slice of raw onion to the wound, and had my leg resting in her lap. I calmed down, and by the time we left a couple of hours later, the bite wasn’t that painful. I slept with the onion taped to my foot that night and took more doses of Apis, Ledum, and also Hypericum to deal with the recurring pain.

The next day we flew back to the mainland and I only took the remedies as needed on the flight and that night. The following few days, however, I got a bit cavalier and went about my normal routine — swimming with flippers and taking a long hike — all of which irritated the bite. (Lesson 1) Five days after the bite, I started developing an itchy rash of red spots near the bite. I took another dose of Apis and Ledum — perhaps the wrong move. Was it too much of a good thing? (Lesson 2)

Then, about 12 hours after an upsetting emotional blow-up within the my family (Clue 1), my foot took a more ominous turn — it started to swell up. Soon, my whole foot and toes were red, swollen, and burning, and it was starting to climb up my ankle too! I’ll be honest — I was freaking out! I felt like I was going to die for sure (Clue 2) and almost had my husband take me to the hospital in the middle of the night — not something I would do lightly, given the fact that I have an inherent (and I’ll admit somewhat irrational) fear of doctors. I took a Benadryl and managed to get a bit of sleep.

In the morning, my foot was the same. Calls to my doctor just yielded advice to go to urgent care. I knew that the docs in my suburban area of California would know little about centipede bites and would just recommend a tetanus shot (nope!), antibiotics (can’t tolerate them), cortisone, and antihistamines. Luckily, my homeopath immediately returned my husband’s call (by this point I was convinced I was on death’s doorstep and didn’t have the wherewithal to call myself) and I learned why I title this newsletter “There’s Hope With Homeopathy!”

After taking my case, my homeopath recommended Aconite 30. It definitely matched my acute mental state. It also has an acute/chronic relationship with my constitutional remedy. Within an hour, I was really calmed down. Over the next few days, the swelling and burning slowly receded. My homeopath checked in with me daily for a couple of days and I also applied Calendula gel occasionally to the bite. I must tell you, it required patience on my part to stay the course and not take any more remedies! A week later, the foot was merely itchy (especially at night). The Calendula would consistently get two small lumps to appear under the small scabs covering the two bite holes, as if it was drawing the poison up. That gave me the idea to also occasionally apply a poultice to get any remaining poison out. I found one formula online, which was a paste made of epsom salt, baking soda, and activated charcoal, all of which I had at home.

It is now four weeks post-bite and three weeks post-Aconite 30. The bite wounds are still visible with two very small bumps underneath them (I have the feeling there may still be some poison in there), but they are not bothering me very much. I’ve also been busy processing that emotional family upset I mentioned. After another checkup yesterday, my homeopath recommended Aconite 200 to complete the process and I must say, I’ve been feeling great since taking it, though the bite now occasionally stings just a little bit — hopefully a slight aggravation and part of the healing process. Let’s see what happens next.

In the meantime, though, I hope my experience has taught you some of the important lessons that I myself learned once again:

  • Don’t get bit by a centipede!
  • Make sure you have Apis, Ledum, and Hypericum in your travel kit.
  • Onions really help with the pain of a centipede bite. Apparently papaya mush does too.
  • Take wounds seriously — don’t overdo and irritate them.
  • Be patient and don’t keep taking remedies unnecessarily. This can be difficult to remember when you are panicked or in pain. However, MORE is not always better, and in fact, can make things worse.
  • Emotional upsets can trigger aggravation of physical symptoms. Triggering emotions, and emotional symptoms in general, can also provide a very important clue to the correct remedy for physical symptoms.
  • Trust your homeopath!
  • Be patient!
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Celebrate Homeopathy Awareness Week by Viewing Just One Drop — From the Comfort of Home!

Filmmaker Laurel Chiten has decided to help celebrate Homeopathy Awareness Week (which starts on April 10, Hahnemann’s birthday) by making her film, Just One Drop, available for live streaming. You can elect to make a contribution or watch it for free. To find out all the details, click here.

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