Some thoughts on how I got to where I find myself today...
During the time I have been studying about why we are the way we are (or I guess you could phrase that studying ourselves...whatever), one question that keeps popping into my mind is, how many hours do we spend learning the "3 R's" (Reading, Writing and aRithmetic!), and other tools we use in the physical plane, and by comaprison, how much time do we spend learning about ourselves?
I decided it was finally time to look into it, so I just did some research on the hours spent in the "3 R's" zone to try to answer that part of the question. I visited a few statistical web sites, and based on an average of 6 hours per day, 180 days per year, it appears that in K-12 we spend around 12,960 hours in school activities, then if we add a 2 year degree to that it's around 15,120 hours, and a 4 year degree makes it 17,000 hours...and I stopped there.
By comparison, how much time do we spend studying spiritual and/or religious matters, philosophical works, and other works giving an undertsanding, or at least attempting to, of why human beings are the way we are, and what does all of that mean, and where does it all lead? I suspect for many of us, by comparison, it's pretty darned little, other than readings as part of course requirements during our primary education, and depending on what majors we choose in higher education.
I know for some periods of my life, it was none at all. For others, it was varying small amounts, a book here, a discussion there, and random ruminations now and then. In the past 13-14 years, it has probably been in excess of 2,000 hours, based upon an average of 2-4 hours a week minimum. Still a tiny drop out of the total studying time in my life!
What caused this shift over these past 13-14 years? A growing unease with "the way things are" - or the way they appear to be at least! Watching the seeming pain and despair that affects so many, so much of the time. Deciding I wanted to understand why we seem to keep choosing paths that lead us back to that pain and despair. Why the unending stream of wars, fights, relatiosnhip problems, withdrawal, starvation, etc. etc. etc. that we see around us constantly. Perhaps also it was becoming tired of the more common explanations for all of it - things like "That's just the way it is!", and finally asking myself, "Really? Really???"
I guess one major shift that started me on the path was attending a very intense three day inquiry into why we are the way we are as human beings. It was a program called The Forum, by Landmark Education, which my cousin encouraged me to participate in back in 1993. Stunning, challenging, hard at times, and it opened my mind to ways of thinking I had never previously considered. I honestly believe it should be required curriculum for all human beings. While everyone who does The Forum may take away something different from it, everyone will take away something of value, even if they don't recognize it at the time. Promise!
One of the many important things learned during that 3 day weekend was the concept of staying in the conversation, which Landmark Education strongly encourages, as do I. When we become aware of new information, especially information that flies in the face of much of what we previously knew of "conventional reality", the way we were before and the way more of the world around us thinks and acts will constantly tend to drag us back to "the way we were" and out of this new zone of awareness we find ourselves in. You can think of it as the new balde of grass in a huge field of grass, and the new blade is leaning to the West. But the "breeze", or conventional thinking, is blowing towards the East, so most all of the other blades of grass in the field are leaning to the East. And so, gradually, the new blade of grass is bent to the East, joining the other blades in that field. If we don't make and keep a committment to "stay in the conversation" of our new knowledge, we will likely drift back to our previous thought patterns and beliefs, pulled by the world around us and all the scripting we were given during that early part of our lives that had us be and think and speak and act the way we did.
For those breaking free of old ways, old thoughts, and old patterns of being, I strongly encourage you to make and keep your own committment to keep studying, keep learning, keep questioning, keep awakening and "Stay In The Conversation"! As new ways of looking at and seeing your world around you take root, you WILL become more and more determined not to return to the past, you WILL start seeing the amazing Miracles occurring around you day in and day out that escaped your awareness previously, and most importantly, you WILL start seeing that YOU are the Miracle as well, and can create them in and for others. And THAT is what I wish for each and every one of you! If I can become a part of that pathway to awakening for you, I am blessed and honored for the chance. Peace...