The Untethered Soul
I would like to share a little about the best book I have ever read. It is called The Untethered Soul the Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer. There is a quote on the cover of the book by Deepak Chopra that says "Read this book carefully and you get more than a glimpse of eternity." I read that quote before starting the book and said "yeah, whatever". Maybe he was right. I have highlighted half of the book for future reference and will share some of it with you.
Singer challenges the reader to take a step back and observe the mental noise that is the conversation you hear in your head all day, every day. The observer of that conversation is the real you, your soul. He says "come to know the one who watches the voice, and you will come to know one of the great mysteries of creation.". That is quite a statement and it is something we need to explore further. The problem is that "if you can't get the world the way you like it, you internally verbalize it, judge it, complain about it, and then decide what to do about it.". What if you could control that voice? The good news is that you can! "Your inner growth is completely dependent upon the realization that the only way to find peace and contentment is to stop thinking about yourself. You're ready to grow when you finally realize that the "I" who is always talking inside will never be content". He goes on to describe the problem with the common way of approaching life and that is the idea that by changing the world, the "things outside", we will find our solution. Real happiness comes from objectively watching your problems instead of being lost in them. Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950), a great teacher in the yogic tradition, used to say that to attain inner freedom one must continuously and sincerely ask the question "Who am I?". I had chills after reading that because I have a photo of The Shroud of Turin in my bedroom with a quote under it stating "Who do you say that I am?". These quotes are repeated continuously throughout time and are the premise of the Buddhist Self, the Hindu Atman and the Judeo-Christian Soul. When you really ask these questions and truly search, it's amazing what you will find. Stop being "so preoccupied with controlling your world of thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations that you don't even know you're in there." Change the way you observe the Self and it will change the world you live in!
"As you pull back into the consciousness, this world ceases to be a problem. It's just something you're watching. It keeps changing, but there is no sense of that being a problem. The more you are willing to just let the world be something you're aware of, the more it will let you be who you are - the awareness, the Self, the Atman, the Soul."
I encourage you to read this book and please share your thoughts!
Please "share" so that we can all BeneFIT!!!
Everyone Should Skydive!!!
When you're 10,000 feet in the air, the last thing you think about is jumping out the door of a plane. I had no intention of ever skydiving until my friend Jon signed me up after a difficult divorce he was going through. I agreed to go, but I didn't think the plan would follow through. It sure did and I'm so glad that I went. It's the experience of a lifetime and should be on your bucket list if you haven't had the chance to go. It is an amazing feeling hanging at 5,000 feet with nothing below you other than your shoes!
Big Bang Consistent With Genesis?
Interesting article in the newspaper today in the Wall Street Journal about the Big Bang Theory and I'm not talking about the television show. I'm talking about the idea of the universe being created from a massive explosion, starting from the size of an atom. An Associated Press poll revealed that 51% of Americans do not believe in the "big bang". There was a recent announcement on March 17th providing overwhelming evidence that the "big bang" is indeed factual based on the discovery of gravitational waves and cosmic inflation. According to the author, Mr Aczel, "it also fundamentally does not conflict with scripture." Also, "it was Genesis that provided the stimulus for the first mathematical calculations that led to the 'primeval atom'." The first person to come up with the idea of the "big bang" was a Catholic priest in 1927, Georges Lemaitre, who was also a physicist and astronomer. He was able to prove Einstein's idea of the universe wrong despite resistance from the science community and changed Einstein's view on its creation by using the Book of Genesis. Aczel ends his article by saying, "The 51% of Americans who deny the big bang-if they do so because they think the theory conflicts with faith-should come to trust our science." Amir Aczel is a physics writer and author of "Why Science Does Not Disprove God".
I'm telling those who ask for evidence proving God, it's out there if you look.
Please share so that we can all BeneFIT!!
I wish I could make this stuff up and if you're hearing it for the first time, you probably think I'm on the verge of going coo-coo. Everyone should be aware of what science is teaching us and start letting go of the classical way of thinking because it only limits us as a human race from our maximal potential. I picked up this book called "Why Quantum Physicists Do Not Fail" by Greg Kuhn. This guy knows how to simplify scientific language and translate in a way that can be easily read. Let me remind you that quantum physics is not some crazy belief system, it is real science. Chapter 9 of Kuhn's book is quite fascinating. If you missed my blog on the Observer Effect, please give it a look so you'll have a better understanding of what I'm about to discuss. Something very powerful has been uncovered through science and that is the idea that "nothing in the material universe is a preexisting entity. No material object exists independent of you, awaiting your discovery. You are, literally, the creator of all that you see." (Kuhn p. 66)! Kuhn goes on to say that "material objects are created solely in context with you, the observer." Take a second to digest that. We can't comprehend that because we have been taught to think a certain way and developed a belief system that keeps us from exploring this train of thought. Kuhn describes it better, "you command the quantum field to form that which you already know, those things about which you have reestablished, habitual patterns of thought. This is a convenient and handy physical adaptation of the human brain that saves you from having to completely form your world anew with each observation of the quantum field...This handy tool, our brain's neural pathways of habitual thought, is actually designed to shortcut the process of constant seminal creation and allows you to live a normal, adult life on our planet. And because your brain is the repository of these neural networks, it is easy to believe the facade that your brain (and, thus, "you") are experiencing free will and choice in your life." That is not the case.
There are those in life that slowly learn to figure out that life is a choice and being happy is one of those. Don't get stuck in the idea that everything in the world happens to you and start to understand that you have more control than you "think". Science is now telling us that we happen to the world not the other way around!
Please "share" so that we can all BeneFIT!!
Rules To Live By....
Let me just begin by saying that what I'm about to discuss is true science and not something made up from fantasy land. I've spent some time writing about the mind body experience and how your thoughts determine the world you live in. I followed it up with quotes from several brilliant minds and could follow it up with many more from Jesus Christ to Einstein to Buddha to Eckhart Tolle and on and on. They all discuss how your thoughts determine and lay the foundation for the world you live in. One famous quote that you may have heard by Norman Vincent Peale, "Change your thoughts and you change your world." What if this was backed up by science? Would you believe then? Quantum physics may take you there. It is a branch of physics that deals with physical phenomena at nanoscopic scales, where the basic rules of physics falls apart. If you have the time watch "What the Bleep Do We Know, Through The Wormhole" on YouTube, prepare to see another side of the world you didn't know existed. The most intriguing theory relating to quantum physics, to me, is the Observer Effect. It states that by the very act of watching, the observer affects the observed reality. You read that correctly. In other words, the tiniest of particles behave differently from when they are not being observed compared to when they are being observed. It's best that I leave it up to Morgan Freeman to explain in this video, but you have to watch it to the end.
Any thoughts on that? Again, the smallest particles in nature that make up all things is randomly scattered, but once it is observed, their behavior changes. How we think about things, events, etc., may shape our reality according to actual science! Hopefully, I didn't lose you on this one.
I hated physics in college, but there is something mysterious about quantum physics that has to make you wonder.
Thanks for reading and please share so that we can all BeneFIT!
ZEN - Guaranteed to Make You Happy
"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." -Shakespeare
Having acceptance to other religions, theories, beliefs, etc. has opened my eyes to a new way of thinking and approaching life. There is a lot to learn from Western belief systems and it is something I stumbled across in a store in Seattle, WA. The book is called ZEN and the Art of Happinessby Chris Prentiss. It's a little book with a little fat guy and a fat grin on his face (he must've read the book!). It's Buddha if you haven't figured that out. Anyway, there are some great quotes in this book and it made me realize how connected all of the major world religions are. I keep coming across the idea of staying in the moment and avoiding the busy mind. This can be found in so many writings by the most brilliant minds that walked on this planet. It is still possible to have a strong Christian faith while learning from others. Prentiss even says, "Zen is a journey of exploration and a way of living that, in and of itself, does not belong to any one religion or tradition". It is something that we can all BeneFIT from and help us lead healthier lives!
Prentiss basically starts out the book by asking simple questions about whether you are happy with your current situation, your life, your possessions and if you are keep doing the same things. If not, the choice is yours to make the changes to be the person you want to be. It is a simple idea, but yet so effective if you are willing to embrace these thoughts or lack there of. Let me throw some quotes at you from this book:
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. It is founded on our thought, it is made up of our thoughts." - The Dhammapada
"The true man sees what the eye sees, and does not add to it something that is not there. He hears what the ears hear, and does not detect imaginary undertones or overtones. He...is not busy with hidden meanings." - Chuang Tzu
"When you find yourself in a trying situation, that's when you go to work, reminding yourself of this truth and causing yourself to act as though whatever is causing the difficulty is for your maximum benefit." - Prentiss
"The Universe doesn't make mistakes. Everything is happening just as it should. It's only our perception of difficulties that causes us the distress and the difficulty we experience. Not only that, but when we label events as "bad", we fail to perceive the benefit that is waiting for us." - Prentiss
How many times have you heard this throughout history?! There are so many distractions in our world today that we don't have time to hear the birds chirp and calm the mind and we wonder why anxiety levels are through the roof.
"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?" -Dogen (love that!)
"Your worst enemy cannot harm you
As much as your own thought, unguarded.
But once mastered,
No one can help you as much."
- The Dhammapada
This is something that we may come back to in the field of medicine, Greek physician Hippocrates, who is considered to be the father of medicine, told his students that negative emotions cause disease and that positive emotions are a crucial factor in recovery! So poorly accepted in Eastern medicine and I hope we figure that out sooner than later.
Avoid expectations. Expectations set you up for failure.
"You should not be surprised at whatever you see or hear...If you are ready to accept things as they are, you will receive them as old friends."
- Shunryu Suzuki
"The Universe always strikes at your weakest point because that's what most needs strengthening." - Prentiss
"The miracle is not to fly in the air or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth." - Chinese Proverb
"Do not pursue the past.
Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is. The future has not yet come.
Looking deeply at life as it is in the very here and now,
the practitioner dwells in stability and freedom."
- Bhaddekaratta Sutta
These are all simple methods of thinking yet so effective and repeated so often throughout history (for a reason)! Hopefully, this relaxed your mind! Please share so we can all BeneFIT!
If I believed in coincidences, I'd tell you that I picked up this book called "The Emperor's Handbook" by Marcus Aurelius, A New Translation of the Meditations by C. Scot Hicks and David V. Hicks by accident, but I don't believe it. I was strolling through Barnes and Nobles and just happened to pull this book out of the thousands that were there and began reading. I was in awe of the information and life changing quotes that were packed in this small book. It was the first book that sparked a curiosity for more answers because of it's powerful message. This is no novel with a story, it's just a book with bullet points and amazing quotations similar to the one in the photo attached to this blog. Let's first point out that this book was never meant to be published, it was the thoughts of a great thinker written as if it were a diary, but only pertaining to his thoughts. I'm not going to give you a history lesson on Marcus Aurelius, but I'm going to share with you some of his thoughts which may in turn change yours.
Most of the present day thinkers seem to expand on the same message that Aurelius documented 2000 yrs ago. He was ahead of his time, without a doubt.
Here's what lit the lamp:
- "Not knowing what other people are thinking is not the cause of much human misery, but failing to understand the workings of one's own mind is bound to lead to unhappiness." Basically, once you understand that you are in full control of your thoughts, you can choose to live the happy life that you want. It's not what others think, rather it's what you think (or don't think).
-"Purge your mind of all aimless and idle thoughts, especially those that pry into the affairs of others or wish them ill." A silent mind is absent from stress and anxiety. "Get in the habit of limiting yourself only to those thoughts that-if you are suddenly asked, "What are you thinking at this moment?" - enable you to reply without equivocation or hesitation, "This" or "That". In this way, you show the world a simple and kindly man, a good neighbor, someone who is indifferent to sensual pleasures and luxuries and untouched by jealousy, envy, mistrust, or any other thought you would blush to admit"
-"There is no present advantage in anything that may someday force you to break your word, or to lose respect for yourself, or to hate, suspect, or curse another, or to pretend to be other than what you are, or to lust after what you'd be ashamed to seek openly. The man who gives pride of place to reason and to his indwelling spirit and remains the devoted servant of each-plays no parts, utters no complaints, and craves neither the wilderness nor the crowd. In fact, he lives without pursuing or fleeing anything at all."
-"We live only in the present, in this fleet-footed moment. The rest is lost and behind us, or ahead of us and may never be found."
-"Trouble comes from the mind's opinion of what lies outside it; and second, that everything you now see will change in a moment and soon be no more."
-"I hear you say, "How unlucky that this should happen to me!" Not at all: Say instead, "How lucky that I am not broken by what has happened and am not afraid of what is about to happen."
-"Nothing ever happens to a man that he is not equipped by nature to endure."
-"Bear in mind that the measure of a man is the worth of the things he cares about."
-"Don't fear the future. You will face it, if that is your fate, armed with the same reason that protects and guides you in the present."
-"The mind, as an instrument of reason, lacks nothing, except what it might imagine itself to lack. Consequently, if it refuses to create troubles and impediments for itself, it cannot be troubled or impeded."
-"Don't hanker after what you don't have. Instead, fix your attentions on the finest and best that you have, and imagine how much you would long for these if they weren't in your possession. At the same time, don't become so attached to these things that you would be distraught if you were to lose them."
-"To live each day as if it were your last without speeding up or slowing down or pretending to be other than what you are-this is perfection of character."
I love this one;
-"When you have done something well and someone else has benefited from it, why do you crave yet a third reward, as fools do, who want to be thanked or to be repaid?"
-"If you're troubled by something outside yourself, it isn't the thing itself that bothers you, but your opinion of it, and this opinion you have the power to revoke immediately."
-"We must abstain from desire no matter what , and pay no attention to the things over which we have no influence or control."
-"Fear not that life will someday end; fear instead that a life in harmony with nature may never begin."
-"You are composed of three parts: the body, the breath of life, and the mind. The first two belong to you insofar as you must take care of them, but only the third is truly yours." Wow!
This is an incredible book and this is only a fraction of the quotes. I encourage you to explore it further as I enjoyed picking it up again and going through my highlights. An active mind is and anxious one, try calming it by staying present in the moment. My good ole friend Bill Larson used to say, "Stop during your busy day and just look around and see how beautiful everything is!" Please do so and please share this blog so everyone can BeneFIT!
People seemed to be pretty interested in the facts I described regarding the Resurrection of Jesus Christ in my earlier article and it was the most hits my page has seen yet. I appreciate your curiosity in the matter. We all have faith, but we're also human and in search for solid facts. The Shroud of Turin provides the answers if you can explore with an open mind. I had a period of strong doubt that quickly turned after exploring the Shroud.
Here are some more interesting facts that you might have trouble wrapping your mind around. The Shroud has absolutely no shadows as if the image that was projected onto the Shroud originated from the body of the subject, creating a projection onto the linen. Images are given dimensionality by the angle of the light or light sources, not in this case. One observer/scientist studying the Shroud said that there is an optimal viewing distance to see the Shroud image, and as it is approached closely, it disappears! This rules out any chance of a photographic replication. The back of the image is also projected onto the cloth as if the body was elevated because of the lack of pressure points on the body image. Scientists also are quite clear of the fact that no pigment, dye or stain was used to create the image.
This Shroud has been researched by exceptional scientists in their respective fields and they're findings only strengthen the case for its legitimacy. There are microscopic particles found within the Shroud that travel the path described in the Bible. This includes pollen specific to certain geographical locations, limestone samples found in the Shroud that match the limestone found in ancient Jerusalem Tombs, and higher dust particles found closer to the feet. The dust mites also trace back to the time of Jesus! How could someone from the 14th Century come up with something like this?! The accuracy of the horrific brutality Jesus endured is also incredible. There are blood flows from numerous puncture wounds on the top and back of the scalp and forehead which follow gravity along with swelling over one cheek. The scourge marks are also visible and accurate to what the Roman's used. The "unseen thumbs" are also noted due to damage to the median nerve from a spike being driven through the wrist causing the thumb to rest into the palm. Almost all of medieval and modern artists depict Jesus as nailed through the palms during the crucifixion which is not accurate according to forensic experts.
If you still don't believe, please explain. If you need me to explain why the Carbon Dating back in 1997 was inaccurate, I can do so.
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Dr. Mark Giovanini
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Scott Rusin is the Director of Physical Therapy at the Sandestin Executive Health & Wellness Center in Sandestin Resort, Miramar Beach, FL. He has a degree in Physical Therapy, is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Nike Golf NG360 Performance Specialist Powered by the Gray Institute.