I didn't know how I was going to tell Cathy the bad news. A feeling of uneasiness and embarrassment filled me as I sat beside her. Her curly brown hair rested gently on her shoulders, and she looked cute in her blue jeans and pink sweater. Cathy and I had been dating for several weeks. We had planned to spend the afternoon together down at the beach.
How on earth was I going to explain things to her? The news had been a big surprise to me. I never expected it. It came to me as soon as I had awakened that morning. It was like my higher self manifested as an inner voice of conscience that spoke to me in a very clear manner.
Something deep inside me knew that the higher self was not kidding. I could tell. Upon hearing the instruction, I had been affected on a deep level, as if a tension had been set up inside me.
I struggled to think of the right words. I wanted to tell her the news later that day, sort of break it to her gently. But the voice had said, "No. She must be told as soon as you meet her."
The tension inside was driving me nuts.
Swallowing hard on the lump in my throat, I tried again. "Cathy, listen."
"What?" she replied in an uninterested manner, her eyes looking at some thing in the room.
"I have some bad news for you."
She did not move.
"It's over. We have to stop seeing one another."
I was surprised how easily the words finally came out.
Cathy didn't respond. I wondered whether she had understood.
"What!" she cried suddenly as she jerked her head toward me. "What do you mean?"
"It's over between us. You have to go. I don't know how to explain it."
By now Cathy was looking at me intently.
"It has nothing to do with you," I quickly reassured her. "It is something inside me. It is hard for me to describe, but I woke up this morning and just knew we had to split up."
Cathy looked shocked. She said, "You didn't say anything about this yesterday evening. I thought we were having a wonderful time."
I went blank and remained silent as if I had been struck dumb.
"Will, are you sure you are all right?" she asked with a look of concern.
"Cathy, I'm fine. Believe me, this has nothing to do with you. You have not done anything wrong. I just feel I need some space to, to, er, to study my spiritual books."
I started to feel nervous, really uncomfortable. I told her that I needed to get a drink of water and then left the room just to break the tension. Pacing around the kitchen, I recalled what had happened that morning as soon as I woke up. The inner voice of conscience had clearly spoken to me.
"End your relationship with Cathy," it had said. "She has got to go. You need more time to study the metaphysical books."
Having enjoyed Cathy as a regular date, I didn't want to sever our relationship. But I could see she was a hindrance to my serious study of the metaphysical books.
I consoled myself with the thought that perhaps the masters intended for me to marry a soul mate at some point in the future when the time was right. As for Cathy, she hadn't known what to think about my interest in metaphysics. Now she was going to conclude that I was completely crazy.
Returning to the living room, I noticed that tears were running down her cheeks. I started to feel awful.
I stood motionless for a few moments, not knowing what to do. Then I sat down beside her and put my arm around her.
"Cathy, I am sorry. I am really sorry for this. Believe me, I am not up set with you or anything like that."
"Then why don't you want our relationship to continue?" she asked in a choking voice.
"It is all a matter of destiny," I replied.
She did not move or say anything, but sat there quietly staring into space. I felt embarrassed. And yet I felt resolute about what I was doing and had no second thoughts about it. The decision was final. I intuitively knew that it had to be this way.
Getting up, I asked Cathy whether she would like some coffee. She shook her head. Tears still rolled down her cheeks. A few minutes of silence passed. I finally walked toward the front door. Cathy followed.
Turning around, I gave her a big hug. We parted and went our separate ways.
It had been a couple of months since I had started attending classes at the Lighted Way. I was now eager to start serious study of the metaphysical books I had purchased.
One of the classes held at the Lighted Way was a systematic study of the book Treatise on White Magic, written by Alice Bailey. I found the book fascinating. It claimed that the spirit guide Djwhal Khul had telepathically dictated the contents of White Magic to Alice Bailey, a disciple of the masters. She lived in America and acted as a scribe for the penning of the book manuscript, beginning her work in 1919. The Lighted Way carried approximately twenty different titles dictated by Djwhal Khul to Alice Bailey. I had purchased several and now began to study them in detail.
As I studied these metaphysical books and attended the classes at the Lighted Way, I began to realize that my connection with the Lighted Way was by no means accidental. I regarded my association with this metaphysical center to be part of my destiny plan for this lifetime. I believed that "divine" intent had led me to Muriel in order to receive training from her and evolve my consciousness. I regarded it as my destiny to be part of the New Age movement, that great manifestation of "God's" plan for planet Earth.
A few weeks after the split with Cathy, the engine in my green Ford Pinto blew up. Dense blue smoke belched out of its smelly exhaust. Having worked at one time as a car mechanic, I diagnosed that a piston had disintegrated and decided to strip the engine and replace the broken part.
I had always performed my own car repairs, no matter how major the job. I once owned a new car, but found it a bore because it never needed working on. I tended to own older cars because I knew I could take care of any necessary repairs and service. It was part of my way of life.
Shortly after the engine blowup, I got up early one Saturday morning to carry out the repair. Everything was prepared. I had rented an engine hoist and had cleared a space in the garage so that I could work efficiently.
I ate breakfast rather quickly, because I was anxious to get on with the major surgery to the engine. I normally did a meditation right after breakfast, but on this particular morning, I decided to skip it.
As I was putting on my mechanic's coveralls, I heard the inner voice of conscience prompting me to do the meditation. But being in a hurry to start on the car, I ignored the voice. However, it persisted until I finally heeded the advice and decided to meditate for only five minutes or so.
Sitting down cross-legged on the carpet in my bedroom, I tried to get as comfortable as possible. Wearing coveralls did not help. After going through the invocation and visualization ritual taught at the Lighted Way, I sat in the silence of meditation.
My inner thinking became amazingly clear. The inner voice of conscience spoke. "You are completely wasting your time repairing the old Pinto," it said. "You are indulging in an old habit pattern that is now obsolete. Scrap the car and buy yourself a brand new vehicle."
My higher self then explained that instead of spending precious time in the maintenance of old cars, I should be devoting most of my spare time to meditation, contemplation, and the study of New Age literature. "You need to gain a much deeper understanding of the knowledge expounded in the Alice Bailey metaphysical books," the inner voice advised.
I was amazed how clear and logical my thinking became as I did the meditation. It was as if a whole new way of perceiving things had opened up. I could clearly see the folly of my old thinking and behavioral pattern. Even though my "personality" liked the challenge of rebuilding engines, I could see that I was wasting valuable time and energy.
My personality thinking now protested that I did not have the financial resources to buy a new car. It reasoned that I should repair the Pinto as planned, but then sell it so as to have more money for the down payment on a new car.
"You are still thinking in old ways," the higher self interjected. "Let go of the old self. Poverty consciousness is an obsolete attitude. It will hinder your development and growth. You should scrap the car and trust God that all your financial needs will be taken care of."
Reluctantly deciding to step forward in faith, I ended the meditation with a recitation of The Great Invocation. Standing up, I took off the coveralls and phoned the wreckers to make arrangements for scrapping the old car.
The process of meditation seemed to have worked in a very practical way. It was amazing how clearly my higher self had told me it was foolish to keep repairing the old Pinto. Listening to the inner voice enabled me to break the old pattern of thought and action. I could now understand what Muriel was talking about when she claimed that a process of transformation would occur as one responded to the wisdom of the higher self.
I could see that if my old personality were left to operate as it had done for years, there was no way I could change and expand my consciousness into new and wiser methods of dealing with situations. Muriel constantly stressed the need for the higher self to take control and dominate the personality. The lower self with its old habit patterns and inefficient methods of functioning, had to be released. She emphasized that the only avenue to the superior consciousness of the higher self was through the practice of meditation.
The counsel regarding my experience with the Ford Pinto made me strongly aware of how much I needed to change. I became excited about the possibilities that lay ahead if I were to continue practicing meditation. Perhaps I could become very wise and develop acute business acumen. Maybe I would develop talents that I was not even aware I possessed. If I could tap into cosmic power and wisdom, I thought, a whole new vista of exciting vocational possibilities could open up before me. Perhaps I could become a political leader, helping to carry out the will of the masters in the arena of government.
Later that week, I received clear directions during meditation to purchase a specific model of car. The voice of conscience specified, "Get a Plymouth Champ. It is the car for you. The masters want you to have a Champ."
I could not understand why I should purchase this particular model. It would not have been my choice of new car. I rebelled against the direction and set off to visit the local Volkswagen dealer to inspect a Sirocco, a model that had attracted my attention.
As I drove to the dealer in a borrowed pickup, the inner voice of conscience started to speak to me. It was as clear as if I had been in meditation. It said, "Get a Plymouth Champ; you are wasting your time visiting the Volkswagen dealer. Buy a Plymouth Champ; it is the best car for you."
I was surprised to hear my conscience speaking in this distinct manner. I actually resented its intrusion into my plans for the day. I wanted to be free to choose my own car. What surprised me the most was that I could perceive the voice even though I was driving down a highway. I began to wonder if it really was the voice of my higher self; perhaps it was just rubbish in my mind, subconscious nonsense.
Ignoring the pleas of my conscience, I continued on to the Volkswagen dealer. The Sirocco felt wonderful as I test drove it around the streets. Suddenly the voice of conscience interjected, "You are wasting your time. The masters want you to buy a Plymouth Champ," it protested. "It is the best car for you. Obey your higher self. We know what is best for you. Forget the Volkswagen and buy a Plymouth Champ."
The Volkswagen salesman tried his best to sell me on the Sirocco, but he did not realize he was competing against an unseen advisor.
I drove away from the dealer irritated by the fact that my voice of conscience had pestered me again. I had planned to visit the Toyota dealer next, so I headed there.
About halfway there, the voice spoke out again: "Why don't you listen? We have told you already that the Champ is the best car for you. You are wasting your time going to the Toyota dealer. Buy a Plymouth Champ."
I wondered, Who is the "we" that the voice talked about? Could it be that the masters were talking to me through the medium of my higher self?
The voice was so distinct that I pulled off the highway and parked the pickup. I decided to meditate right there in the vehicle. After going through the usual invocation and imagery ritual, I relaxed into meditation. The same inner voice of conscience began to speak again.
"Get the Plymouth Champ," it gently advised. "It is the right car for you. You will like it."
I thought about how wise the advice had been to junk my Pinto. I could also see that my income was more than sufficient to buy a new car, even though my personality had initially protested that I did not have enough money. The higher self surely knew what it was doing.
I decided to try an experiment. I agreed to do exactly what the inner voice was telling me. If it turned out that the Champ was a bad car, then I would know that this inner voice of conscience was an unreliable source of technical guidance.
I turned around and headed for the Plymouth dealer. "You are doing the right thing. Don't bother to look at any other cars. Get the Champ," the voice confirmed as I drove away.
I was surprised how persistent the inner voice had been. It seemed to be able to burst into my thinking at any time. Yet the voice definitely didn't think as I normally thought. I concluded that it must be my higher self and that it could operate outside of meditation almost as clearly as during meditation. It seemed that the masters, or possibly the spirit of "God," was able to speak to me directly through this voice of conscience.
I eventually made a deal on a Champ. It was a wonderful car, and I enjoyed it immensely.
I came to believe that if I aligned my life to the voice of the higher self, "God" would bless me. I strove to develop a faith that would allow me to hand my life over to the will of "God" expressed to me through the higher self. I believed that by so doing, I would come into the abundance and joy of the New Age and would experience both a material blessing and an abundance of happiness as I fulfilled my destiny plan.
After practicing meditation for a few months, I was able to more clearly perceive the still, silent voice of my inner mind. It also became much easier for me to verbalize this inner voice during the group channeling sessions. The secret seemed to lie in the ability to differentiate the voice of the higher self from the voice of the regular intelligence, the personality - an ability developed by practice and perseverance.
The channeling I did in the groups started out as a verbalization of the thoughts from my higher self. As I began to speak, the words would then come out under their own volition, and I could channel long messages. When we channeled the masters, it was my understanding that the master was speaking through the higher self of the person doing the channeling. I desired to be used by the masters as a medium for carrying out their divine work.
I noticed that the strange golden-white light in the front of my forehead was now often present during my meditations. Sometimes the light was lilac or violet colored.
I finally asked Muriel about the light.
She told me that it was caused by an energization of the third-eye center, a major chakra located near the pineal gland in the front part of the brain. She emphasized that meditation causes physiological changes in the brain cells as the light does its transformative work.
From my study of the metaphysical books, I learned that the third-eye center is supposedly an energy center, or chakra, linked to the development of intuition and psychic power. It is postulated that the act of meditation facilitates the absorption of cosmic energy into the various chakras in order to raise their energy levels and promote the development of divine powers.
Muriel explained that the development of the third eye center would give a person etheric vision, an ability to see into the spirit realms - to have spirit vision, so to speak. Supposedly when this center is fully developed, one can psychically perceive distant places and events, and even see the presence of angels or other spirit beings. I looked forward to developing these abilities.
It appeared that the main goal of the training at the Lighted Way was to enable a person to attune to his higher self and use it as a source of guidance and wisdom. Over and over Muriel stressed that one can reach his higher self only through meditation. She also emphasized that a bridge needed to be built between the lower self (the personality) and the higher self (the soul or God self).
In metaphysical terminology, this bridge, called the "antahkarana," is symbolized by a rainbow and is commonly referred to as the "rainbow bridge." This explains why the rainbow is a common New Age symbol. Of course it does not have the same meaning as its Christian counterpart, which symbolizes God's covenant with Noah.
I was taught that one must experience a transformation in lifestyle and consciousness as one strove to discipline himself and bring his personality under the control of the soul.
For example, if I had outrightly refused to obey the voice of my higher self when it told me to break the relationship with Cathy, the development of my consciousness would have been severely curtailed, no matter how much meditating I did. The classes constantly stressed that obedience to the higher self is a very important requirement for progress to be made on the path of God-consciousness.
The parting with Cathy, the scrapping of the Pinto, and the purchase of the Champ were all moves of obedience on my part that were the first steps in a process of allowing the voice of the higher self to completely take over my life. I gradually began to receive all kinds of "directions" - usually during meditation - that resulted in drastic changes in my life.
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