The reason I created this self help success insights page is because I think it will be both fun and revealing to take a journey through the parts of my life that helped to shape my understanding concerning life, existence and spiritual reality. I’ll indicate some of the teachers who helped me in terms of assisting me to remember forgotten knowledge, and by so doing confirming what I already knew at the deeper levels of my being! In addition to book authors these insights will reveal sources that continue to assist me with my spiritual awakening.
I’ll post images of some of my favorite books from relevant teachers, together with a small story about how or why I was attracted to them. Further, I’ll indicate how that particular teacher helped me to understand / remember any given subject. Furthermore, this page will consist of three separate sections loosely split into stages of my slow awakening. In that way, if any of the teachers indicated on this self help success insights page resonate at all, then you may be inspired to study their work!
Primarily, for more than ten years upon awaking each and every morning I am happy and I feel good. On other pages I've stated that one of the reasons for creating this website was because at that time I couldn't understand why so many people do not experience this happy, feel-good state of well-being. These self help success insights will highlight how I got to this state of 100% well-being and might also trigger something within you to help you to also achieve this desirable state.
Before proceeding I'll take a moment to talk about success. There are probably as many definitions of success as there are humans who define success. That being said I'm sure you have your own ideas about success and what it means to be successful. In my view, considering that in each reflection of the now moment, no matter where we are or what we're doing, we're often aware of ourselves and how we feel. Thus, is it possible that a good feeling body and a happy state of well-being is the primary definition of success which overrides all other definitions of success? I think so.
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After leaving the UK I found myself on a spiritual quest, a journey to get to the root of the nature of existence, to find out what it is at it's source. This journey led me to inquire into mind, thoughts, beliefs, religion, metaphysics, quantum mechanics and spiritual reality etcetera. My journey even led me to shave my head and eyebrows and become a novice monk in Thailand for three weeks. You can read that story on this self help meditation page. My adventure is ongoing and as I know that spirit is at the source of everything - I call it a spiritual journey!
For twenty five years I read
thousands of books by scores of authors - I read books from three to five hours per day. I practiced what those authors who most
resonated with me spoke about via their writing. That is to say, for me reading
was not merely a form of entertainment it was a fundamental part of my life. I
had no reason to doubt those authors, but neither could I blindly believe what
they said at face value, so with a skeptically open mind I carefully considered
what was said and I began to practice and find out for myself, first hand, the truth and
validity of any given subject!
While traveling in SE Asia I met many fellow travelers. One day in Manila I was invited to a small dorm room where 6 or 7 young guys where smoking weed. They offered the joint to me and I said "no thanks, all drugs are bad drugs!" After a short silence the room exploded with laughter. After some time logic kicked in advising - how can something so bad make everyone so happy. Eventually I decided to puff on the joint and joined in with the laughter. Of course, my knowing and stating that "all drugs are bad drugs" was due to my conditioning from the UK – that needed to change!
After about 3 months of enjoying smoking joints and laughing more than I’d ever done in my life, two friends invited me to try magic mushrooms in Bali. I had no idea what to expect as I’d only ever smoked a few joints. Although I didn't know it at the time, the effect of ingesting magic mushrooms not only broke the hard shell of my ego-self, but it also completely shattered my idea of reality! During that 8+ hour psychedelic trip I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that reality consisted of far more than I’d ever been taught by the controllers in the UK. Furthermore, I knew that I must find out the true nature of reality and thus my spiritual journey of self-discovery had begun...
Disclaimer and Caveat: although I truly believe that natural drugs, such as those from the marijuana plant and the psilocybin mushroom, are tools from nature which can be used by those people who are attracted to them, I'm not advocating the use of drugs for everyone or indeed anyone. This must always be a personal choice and rational and reasonable consideration must be contemplated before deciding and choosing to take such drugs. In my view, the important thing to remember about natural drugs is that they are there to show you something, either about the world, about yourself or about the nature of existence.
As such, once you have received any particular message from any particular natural drug then you no longer need to take it! This might be after taking it once, taking it several times or taking it for several years, but ultimately it's a tool to assist you to remember more of who you really are. I used marijuana in a variety of forms for many years, but only took psilocybin mushrooms five or six times. These days my own body has made it very clear that I can no longer take any of these kinds of drugs because I no longer "need" to take them for my spiritual growth!
When I was seven years old I went to a boarding school in this beautiful old Georgian era house, illustrated above. The house was surrounded by extensive grounds and large trees, spinneys, streams, lakes and lovely nature everywhere. At that time my family lived in a very small council house, which consisted of a small living room, kitchen and bathroom downstairs and postage stamp sized gardens back and front. Upstairs consisted of a tiny landing with doors leading to three relatively small bedrooms.
Once per month most of the kids were driven by minibus some 60 miles from Bletchley to London to stay with their families for the weekend. The experience I remember quite vividly was of walking into the tiny family home - my entire world actually physically shrunk to the same size that my parents were used to. This was an actual palpable - in the moment - knowing; there was no doubt in either my body or my mind that this took place. During my monthly visits my entire world was reduced to a tiny fraction of the area, space and size I was used to for most of the month!
As I had attended that school for about six years, during this period I must have had this insight into perspective fifty or more times. Thus due to this repetition, there was no real way for me not to "get" this lesson, which perhaps ironically, had very little to do with school! Even so, I can't actually remember ever telling anyone about those experiences, up to this very moment of writing this webpage...
Now, wind forward to when I began smoking marijuana. One of the first experiences I had was that "time" slowed down for me, but this didn’t cause any noticeable distortion for others in the world around me. For instance, as I was listening to music, probably reggae at that time, the moment I became high from smoking weed the sound of the singing slowed right down and the words seemed to take an indiscernible amount of "time" to reach my ears.
The effect from ingesting psilocybin mushroom was even more pronounced than the effects of smoking weed. For instance, in addition to the music and time distortion, upon becoming high from magic mushrooms my friends who were sitting opposite me, according to my senses, actually moved away from me by about eight feet. Seeing this, in jest, I made a "comeback here" gesture with my hand and my entire arm and hand seemed to take ages to pass in front of my eyes as it also went away from me to where my friends were sitting.
At that time, even though high, I observed that the distortions in time and space were limited to my friends and me. That is to say, the other people in the restaurant, who, I assume, were not tripping carried on as normal, the effects of distorted perspective that we experienced did not affect the other people one iota.
Following are some of my favorite respected book authors. This section is loosely ordered by when I discovered these authors and their books, rather than in order of any preference. Although bear in mind that sometimes I was reading multiple books by different authors at the same time (yes I'm a Gemini), so there is some overlap. I'm not suggesting that you read any or all of these books or study any of the authors, but rather that you consider whether any of these titles or themes resonate with you and base your decision to research further or not on how you feel about them.
During my SE Asia trip I’d decided to leave the UK indefinitely and live in Thailand full time. Four somewhat like-minded English guys who had become friends in the guest houses of Khao San Road decided to share rent in a nice apartment in Bangkok. One of the friends was reading a book called "The Teachings of Don Juan – A Yaqui Way of Knowledge" by Carlos Castaneda. After inquiring into the subject matter, which was non-fiction, philosophy and mythology, I knew I had to read that book.
In many ways what Castaneda wrote mirrored my own psychedelic experiences. Together with this and the fact that the book category was non-fiction I was hooked and couldn’t get enough. During the next several years, I read all eight of the books based on the Teachings of Don Juan in order of publication three times. That is to say I read 24 books. I learned so much from those books and applied much of it to my way of thinking and being. Like Carlos I also had a somewhat huge ego-self, although I wasn't fully aware of that at that time.
As I spent a lot of time relaxing and chilling out at any one of the many excellent Thai beach resorts, I had plenty of time to practice the things I'd read in those books. Much of Castaneda’s work was concerning sorcery and shamanism and involved observing people. Don Juan often referred to the fact that each being and thing was incased in ball of energy, what he called a luminous egg and the color of this egg represented the health of a person or a thing.
I spent some time looking for the luminous egg of plants, rocks and people with moderate success. Later I came to realize that concerning people, Don Juan was probably referring to what I now understand as the Merkaba - which actually means Mer (light), Ka (spirit) and Ba (body), which makes perfect sense to me. Other teachings involved observing people and paying attention to what they say verses their actions and noticing the contradictions.
Of course, within those eight books, obviously, so much more was taught about anthropology, native Americans, shamanism and sorcery – far too much to go into in any detail here. In the end I think the main thing I got from those teachings was that it’s OK to be a shaman, a sorcerer or a wielder of great power, but ultimately it’s much better to be a man of knowledge!
I can still remember very clearly the time I discovered Jiddu Krishnamurti or did he dis-cover me? I was riding an Enfield motorcycle around India at the time. I went to a town called Puri on the East coast, partly to see some ancient ruins and partly because I knew there was a government ganja shop there. There was an American guy at my guest house selling cheap knickknacks and anything he could find in order to support his opium addiction. I picked up "The Krishnamurti Reader Vol. 1," read the back cover and bought the book.
After diving into the book I covered a lot of it very quickly. After all, there's not a great deal to do in quiet Indian towns, so doing a lot of reading was easy. I was riding my bike through the town thinking about what Krishnamurti was saying while comparing it to what Castaneda wrote and a conflict arose within me. And in that moment I experienced a, very strong, kind of unpleasant "gut" instinct in which my higher self via my emotional guidance system was informing me not to listen to my mind (my ego-self) and to continue reading Krishnamurti (K) books.
Even though my ego-self complained, something within my consciousness overruled its objections and I continued reading the book. In fact, the same American guy also had the Krishnamurti Reader Vol. 2, so I bought that too! Now, if you've ever read K books you'll know he used high level language. I had to carry a dictionary around with me otherwise some paragraphs just didn't make sense. Of course, the beauty was that over time I self-taught myself to learn English at a higher level!
Both Castaneda and Krishnamurti pointed out that everyone had old programs running in their head which resulted in what they called internal dialogue or self-chatter. This constant noise made it almost impossible for any new information in the form of inspiration and insights to reach our conscious mind. Pure positive thought is one way and meditation is another way to counter the affect of this noise and go into the silence!
I knew K was right about that because personally I had two programs running that I was consciously aware of. Namely: a) I knew most pop tunes, bands, albums and the time and position in the pop charts. And b) I knew all the details of most UK cars spanning a period of about 20 years. The make, model number, model extras, years of production, approximate cost, etcetara - in effect all really useless knowledge, unless participating in a quiz!
Upon returning to Thailand, my solution to the continual self-chatter taking place was to refrain from listening to music for a period of about eight years. I needed to find a way to curb the continuous stream of unimportant data from polluting my mind. In addition to that, I had zero interest in Thai news or any tv dramas or shows, period. The only thing I did for mental stimulation was reading spiritual and other books. As a result of this self-imposed abstinence I was able to reach a state of mind in which thoughts still come and go, albeit much more slowly - which resulted in a peaceful chatter-free mind which continues to this day!
I read all of Richard Bach's books, starting with Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, a book about a seagull that flew for his love of flying rather than searching for food. Many of Richard's books are about the adventures he had while barnstorming in an old bi-plane around the United States. He said that aviation had always been his passion and his teachers helped him to realize he had a talent for writing. Thus, he incorporated his love for flying and his writing talent in the form of books. Richard's work resonates with me a lot as he writes about his personal experiences and includes what he learned from them in his writing.
The book I read most often is Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. The Illusions story is a parable in which reality is an illusion. Richard Bach is the central character flying passengers on short rides in an old biplane. He meets another character, also a pilot, called Don Shimoda who was called the Mechanic Messiah and who famously once disappeared in front of a huge crowd. But he gave up being a messiah as he was tired of telling people that freedom and happiness were within their reach, only for them to keep worshiping him and doing nothing to free themselves.
Don uses his power for a variety of things, from floating tools around, to keeping his biplane spectacularly clean, even though Richard’s biplane gets filthy. Don shows Richard the Messiah’s Handbook, which is filled with short aphorisms. Don relates that the book has no page numbers and simply opens at the page one needs. Don explains that one can do that with any book. Later, Don makes an impossible landing in a field, and Richard asks him how he did it. The messiah says that the secret to all his powers and miracles is in the understanding that the whole world as we see it is an illusion.
One day Don tells Richard that he can have anything he wants from the universe, he just has to ask for it. Richard doesn't believe this, so the messiah asks him to test it by visualizing something simple. "Okay," says Richard, "a blue feather." The messiah tells him he'll find it soon. Within a few days, they're in another town eating breakfast and Richard is shocked to see a picture of a blue feather on the side of the milk carton - it's from the "Blue Feather Dairy." He's amazed and points it out to the messiah who just says "I thought you wanted an actual feather."
The Illusions book was truly my first insight into the law of attraction. It was the first time I really began to get excited and actually believe that we can have, be or do anything we want; we just have to give the right signal to the universe. Perhaps the hardest part might not be getting what you want, but figuring out what it is that you really want. That is to say, to become really clear in your mind about your desire!
As I was running a sports bar and living a beach life I had lots of time for introspection and reading. When not surfing I was reading, when not taking care of business I was reading, I was even reading between visits to check up on my bar, the primary activity of my life in those days was reading. Aside from studying the work of the authors already mentioned I was reading such titles as The Celestine Prophecy, Siddhartha as well as all of Kahlil Gibran's books - reading was a big part of my life! This went on for around seven years until...
One day my ex-wife brought our daughter to visit and I noticed she was reading a book entitled "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. I'd never heard of that book but was intrigued by its title, so I read the back cover - instantly I knew that I simply must read it! I was surprised my ex was reading such a book, so I asked her about it. She said that during our time together, due to observing that I was continually reading Krishnamurti books she was intrigued and wanted to know more. Thus she managed to get K books in Thai language and later, friends had recommended "The Power of Now" to her, so that's how I came to know about it. The universe certainly works in strange ways!
The Power of Now came at just the right time in my life. I'd already spent a lot of time understanding my mind and working on maintaining a positive reflection of my ego-self. Now was the time to step up my understanding to a higher level. This meant understanding that both the past and the present that we imagine are merely abstractions of our mind. That is to say, while the actual past and the actual future are real in the sense that they are always occurring "now," the past and the future as we believe them and think them to be, in truth only exist in our mind!
The Power of Now reminded me that as our awareness of our consciousness is always only "now," therefore "now" is where ALL of our power lies. That is to say, it's not in our best interest to spend too much time reflecting upon the past or contemplating the future because our true power does not exist in those fictitious places within our mind! The key is to become more and more consciously aware by being more conscious of our mental and physical actions for most of the time.
The Power of Now also illustrated how and why so many people are unconscious. Which means they are unaware of their own consciousness and just seem to plod on from day to day, without any real awareness of what's happening all around them. And it seems to me that in current times in which most people have their head stuck in a smartphone, we're already living in a zombie apocalypse I highly recommend all Eckhart's books!
Although I didn't realize it at the time, Conversations With God (cwg) by Neale Donald Walsch was my first introduction to channeling, in this particular instance the channeling was accomplished via automatic writing. As I'd had zero interest in any kind of religion or the idea of God from an early age I was rather skeptical about reading such a title. However, a very good badminton partner friend who knew that I was on a spiritual quest had a copy of book one so he gave it to me, and I started reading.
Almost immediately I can say that I wasn't disappointed by my decision to read cwg, as the material presented was almost antithetical to that regurgitated by old school religious practitioners. Gone was the idea of any kind of blame or guilt, the kind of things that I knew deep down were merely control systems for the masses.
In place of this was unconditional love, compassion and understanding. This was an actual dialogue between a human and a non-human. This was a human asking a non-physical entity questions and receiving answers which made perfect sense to me - I was simply enthralled by this material and couldn't get enough!
Some of the ideas stated in the bible and other religious texts is accurate, but much has been altered for the purpose of control and for thwarting humans from reaching their full capacity. Particularly the idea of an angry revengeful God who's omnipotent, but apparently needs lots of your money! And I mean, does anyone really believe that Jesus of Nazareth really looked identical to King James 1st? Hello
Alan Watts truly had a great understanding of spiritual and metaphysical subjects and he did a wonderful and often humorous job of explaining Eastern wisdom to a Western audience. Aside from publishing around 25 books, Alan Watts gave an incredible number of lectures from a variety of locations in the United States, Canada and Europe.
In addition to his vast knowledge Alan Watts had a particularly unique voice. Thus, rather than reading all of Alan’s books I preferred listening to many of his lectures. To listen to a short audio clip of Alan go here and scroll down to "Zen Bones" at the bottom of the page.
Alan Watts work mainly focused upon humans in society, thought, belief, the definition of happiness and how to achieve it, spirituality and the meaning of life - aka the nature of existence. To this day I still listen to Alan Watts – there are so many videos of his lectures available FOC online.
Through these self help success insights, I suggest that once you’ve found a lecture, sit back in your favorite recliner, close your eyes and enjoy being subliminally enlightened by this great master!
TO BE CONTINUED...
Link to self help goals2 - the secret
Around six years ago upon realizing a higher degree of financial wealth and moving to a much nicer house I sold my favorite collection of around two hundred books, many of which I'd read at least three times. The reason for this was threefold: first I'd decided to completely give up reading as I'd already done enough to last two or more lifetimes, second, I no longer needed to get information through books and third, I no longer get attached to anything, so keeping those books around would have been excess baggage.
Here's to your happiness and well-being, always, in all ways
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