Inspiring Articles


Fate's Door - It's always open
by Jim Ryan

There’s a chinese story about a farmer whose prize possession was a horse. One day the horse ran away and everyone said “Ah, it’s your fate”.
He said “Maybe”. Shortly afterwards the mare returned with a stallion and everyone said “What good fortune. This is your destiny. This is fate. And he said “Well, maybe”. After a period of time, the two horses worked so well that he earned more money, the farm was thriving and everyone said “This is such good fortune. It’s your fate, you see”. He simply said “Well, maybe”. His son liked riding the horse around the farm and one day he fell off the horse and became slightly crippled. People said “It was fated”. And the farmer said “Well, maybe”. A short time afterwards the army enlisted the young people from all the villages to fight in the local war, but they didn’t take the son because he was crippled. In that war 99% of all the young men died and the ones who remained behind said “Ah, such fortune and fate that your son survived. This is just destiny.” And the farmer said “Maybe”.

Most of us think fate or destiny is something predestined, that which has already happened or been decreed. When something happens we often say, “It’s fate, it’s your destiny”. If we’re jealous, gritting our teeth we say, “It’s your fortune” and deal with it as a sort of psychological balm on how to cope with things.

Do you feel you can influence your destiny or your fate? Do you believe your fate or fortune lies ahead. That it is either the Elysian fields or the grinding fields of pain. Which avenue do you go down? Are you fated for one or the other? What causes events and situations? What is the causative force or energy that creates actions? The law of karma, the law of cause and effect says that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, that everything we do has been created by some previous activity, and that the situation that we are in now, has been created by our actions of the past. It’s a well-known spiritual, metaphysical law and also a scientific fact, that an action will have a reaction. This deep understanding becomes the background to help us think about destiny and faith.

Three types of reaction can be identified: short-term, medium-term (intermediate) and long-term. An example of short-term reaction is, that I go to Greasy Joe’s, have a delicious grease pie and I immediately get sick. Immediate reaction. Cause and effect. An example of an intermediate reaction is going to Greasy Joe’s and having a few greasy pies and feeling quite ill in a couple of months time. Long-term reaction is going to Greasy Joe’s for twenty years and one day I drop down dead. Greasy Joe’s got me. Long term effect. It took twenty years for the body to cave in. But because it’s happened over a long period of time I may not associate it with Greasy Joe’s. People are then puzzled as to what happened. They didn’t know I’d been helping myself to Greasy Joe’s every day, the effect has been building up and it hits me. So karma can come in that way: cause and effect. Everything that each one of us is going through is a result of actions and activities that individuals have set up in times that have passed. These past actions have formulated a pattern, which manifest in our own experiential life. All of us here are the sum total of our past. The way we sit, the way we think, the way we interact and the way we react are all results of our past programming. One of the greatest spiritual universal truths is that whatever we have been implanting into our experiential life will manifest at one time or another, either immediately, or over a period of time. As many reactions happen in a very staggered way or in collision with other effects, it may become hard to identify them. It is very difficult for us to make sense of it and therefore we believe it is chaotic or the fruit of an unjust God. We feel powerless. We cannot just blame it on an impersonal “them”. We have been part of that “them”. The only ones we can ask, “what to do” is ourselves.

“We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.”
What I am colours my world. We see things according to the input that we put in our consciousness. The philosophical positioning and experiences that I have gone through frame my world.

“A human being sees the river as water, a substance to wash in. An animalistic human being would see the river as a means or food, as a source of exploration. A saint would see the river as nectar that brings bliss. An angry person would see it as a weapon. A wandering ghost would see it as putrid blood. A demonic person would see it as molten lava.” (from a buddhist text).

We can see that the water is the same but each person according to their consciousness sees it with a different perspective. Hence, for some an experience is hell and for others it’s incredibly beautiful.

We have been moving through time and space on our own evolutionary spiritual journey. According to that journey we’ve been infiltrated, permeated, invaded by different outlooks, phobias, dysfunctional activities within our own being. These colour our reactions, actions and activity. Accepting this will help us move in a way, which benefits the self, and helps us to understand others. Otherwise, we blame everyone else except ourselves. Spirituality and metaphysics helps us to make sense of a seemingly chaotic world, understand it, plot our journey and make it easier. We are all equipped to deal with very difficult situations. Spirituality leads us to re-programme, to rethink that nothing is impossible. Nothing. It is only so, if we allow ourselves to believe so.

We can think about our actions in three ways:

  1. what to do in the middle of a storm,
  2. how to change the pattern of our actions; and
  3. how to sublimate actions that are waiting to occur.

In the middle of a storm
“Understanding is not so much a voyage of discovery, but it’s about seeing with new eyes.” (Proust)
A large part of spirituality or metaphysics is about changing perspective. All we’ve got to do is stand back, be detached, see other possibilities, other avenues that will be useful for us. What to do when you’re in the middle of a difficulty, a storm, a difficult relationship, something unpleasant? The first thing is take responsibility for it. Otherwise we dis-empower the self, becoming a puppet controlled by the circumstances. By taking responsibility, I’m able to accept, stand back and go into silence. Empowering myself through reflection and introversion and seeing the way forward that would deal with and finish the situation. We often prolong situations by feeding them waste thoughts or negativity. We drag waste into our inner mind, breath life into them and they become real. Just stand back. Let it go. It’s not worth it. Once you’ve let go, it will diminish and its effect will then slide away into the stream of life. Empower yourself in different ways. Think about your own qualities. Take help from God.

A quote to reflect on:

I asked God to take away my pain.
God said “NO. It’s not for me to take away. It’s for you to give it up.”
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said “No. Her spirit is whole. Her body is only temporary” So love her whole.
I asked God to grant me patience.
God said “No. Patience is a by-product of tribulations. It isn’t granted. It is earned.”
I asked God to give me happiness.
God said “No. I’ll give you blessings. Happiness is up to you”.
I asked God to spare me pain.
God said “No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.”
I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said “No. You must grow on our own. But I will prune you to make you fruitful.”
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said “No. I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.”
I asked God to help me love others as much as he loves me and
God said “Ah, finally you’re getting the idea”.

Changing the pattern of actions
We need to step back and look at life for a few moments. Look at yourself. Where are you at, in this moment? What type of person are you? What’s the quality of your life? Are you happy? Are you doing the things that you want to? Do you cause sorrow to others? Are others causing sorrow to you? If so, why are you allowing it? Am I argumentative? Am I loving? How do I feel at the end of the day?

The first step in change is to look at the self. If I don’t look I won’t change. Look in the mirror of your mind. Go inside and just think about yourself, this in itself will bring massive change. You’ll change something that you don’t like. If you don’t like it, you won’t hold onto it. In this way, we’re reprogramming ourselves in our moments of lucidity. Make that quantum movement into newness, into things that you want to do. This is changing the pattern of our actions, the changing of consciousness. We have been programmed into thinking that we are what we see in the mirror and, we react according to how the world sees us. We think, this is us, and then the ego of the physical self manifests and we go through all the reactions related to the I of ego, the problems that come with the ego. This is related to the physical self, the physical form. All the wars through history and all the pain and sorrow throughout historical time are all related to the physical, “I’m so and so, you are different, we will fight you.” So spirituality says “Let’s move away from our physical form and see that in reality, we are spiritual beings. Spiritual energies that are incredibly subtle and unlimited, beautiful and powerful. These are the wonderful energies of the self. Let go of the physical form and move into an unlimited state of self awareness.” This frees us incredibly.

What is our attitude towards others? Is it that of rivalry and competitiveness? If so, than we can easily become critical and judgmental. We are holier than you and, you are not as holy as us, because our book is bigger and fatter and it’s got bigger words etc. Spirituality transcends divisiveness, and says let us understand our brothers. All of our brothers are on the journey of life, traveling, experiencing and doing their best. All of them are making efforts and making choices according to their consciousness. If they do something that is wrong in our eyes, maybe circumstances has pushed them down that avenue. Let me have compassion. Let me open my heart. Let me have good wishes. Not judge, deride or attack them. Soul consciousness is about opening our heart to our brothers on a deeper level, ie understanding the spiritual soul and its journey towards its own fulfillment. It frees us then. Think of the pain that you’ve been in when you’ve interfered with other people, in their lives. It’s like saying to an actor on a stage “Go on, say this”. The actor says, “No, I’m sorry, I’ve got my own lines”. When we interfere with anybody, we have no idea what they should be saying or doing. It’s our ego or our fear that’s creating this. This is often the cause of a lot of our pain because we’ve forgotten the purpose that we came to fulfill.

We all have a purpose, a particular blueprint that we’re trying to align or to meet. If we miss this, than we become very unfulfilled and discontented. The sign of this is when you’re doing something, and everyone says “It’s brilliant, you’re so good”, but inside you’re just thinking “I’m fed up. I’m not happy. This is not really for me.” To align with your purpose, just ask yourself what makes you happy, what gives you the experience of fulfillment?

There are two kinds of purposes. There’s the intrinsic spiritual purpose which is about fulfilling the evolution of your spiritual self, meeting the demands of your soul and that’s why we’re all here. The soul demands to be uplifted, to meet itself, to take itself on to a higher plane and to manifest itself on this plane. If you don’t than the soul is actually in a hidden, dormant state. When you go against your conscience, you smash your conscience because you’re ignoring it. However, our higher self, our higher conscience constantly wants to be embraced and touched. When you follow your conscience there is an incredible upliftment, where you experience the unfolding of your beauty in your life.

Secondly, there’s the karmic purpose, which is really what we have to do physically, to resolve, reconcile, and create something. You’ve got to meet that purpose as well. To meet these two purposes, I have to go into silence. Go towards the inner self, into the inner plane, and just allow the intuitive voice to manifest. Ask yourself, what do I need to do? Ask God, “What do I want? What should I be doing?” You’ll know the answer. It’ll come. We know it, but we don’t trust it. Maybe our self esteem, our self confidence, has been so shattered, or abused in the past that we can’t accept whatever’s coming from ourselves as anything valid or strong. And so it’s really about restoration of self-esteem, restoring the self, accepting our own beauty, wisdom, and truth. Experiment with it. Spirituality is about empowering and recognising the self and also about respecting other people’s spirituality too. It’s also about correct action, which is linked to purpose of course, and also to what’s happening in my life. Is my life full of benevolence? Am I giving or helping? Is it creating well-being?

“Gandhi’s Talisman” is a story about a person who wasn’t sure what to do in their life. Gandhi said, “I’ll give you a talisman. Whenever you’re in doubt or when it becomes too much for you, apply the following test: Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have ever seen, and ask yourself if the step you contemplate would be any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? That is, will it lead to benevolence and freedom for the hungry and spiritually starving millions on this planet. Then you’ll find your doubt in yourself melting away. Then you’ll know what you need to do.” That’s a very big touchstone for Gandhi to give. What he’s saying is, “Does this thing that I’m doing, or involved in, is it going to give benefit to somebody? Will other people gain help from that? Is it about self centredness? Is it all about me, me, me, me, me, me? Is it really about love? And if we go for the “me me me me” anthem, there will be loads of dosh but not real happiness or fulfilment. We’ve got to become visionaries where we create this alternative picture of what we want to be. Replace negativity with a new spiritual environment.

Sublimating the effects of an action before it manifests
If you think of everything you’ve done in the past, all the millions of actions; than the reactions must come back, they will come home. A farmer plants the seed and the season for them to develop comes later. We don't necessarily associate the effect with the cause - we forget it. For example, if you pinched some sweets and no-one saw you, you may feel you got away with it, however the truth is someone did see you – it was You. It was recorded on the recording machine of your consciousness. The inner policeman will go “Aha - I’ll get you later” and it gets you. We all hold the seeds of our past and these seeds are waiting to germinate, they are waiting to be manifested. So, let the beneficial ones come but what about the bad ones? What are we going to do about that? The very first step is about letting go. This is connected with meditation and with consciousness.

“Our deepest fears are like dragons guarding our deepest treasures.” Wilco Often the fears, the problems, the phobias that we hold within us block the manifestation of the beauty or the power that’s within ourselves. So, just let go of the consciousness of I, let go of the form of matter, let go of all the materialistic needs that we feel we need. Let go of the pain and the sorrows that we hold on to. Let go of the prejudices, criticisms, all agendas and than move into a new plane of awareness. Sometimes it’s a bit like a child in the swimming pool, we know what we want, but we can’t let go of the bar because of the fear that if I let go, I’ll have nothing. Generally not being able to move into new planes is linked to karma. It’s a block that’s stopping us, but it’s also a result of pain experienced in the past. Do you ever do this: If you go to the doctor and the doctor says, “Take the medicine three times” and you repeat “Take it three times, take it three times,” but you don’t take it. Doing this is similar to going to all these personal development lectures and reading lots of self help books but not doing anything. That is also karma, a block that’s stopping you from moving into acceptance and experience. In a way it’s having faith in the self, in who you really are. Having faith in destiny, that it is wonderful, your future is incredible, ACCEPT THIS. It’s like Ulysses, he went through so much difficulty on his great journey; demons of death, difficulties roaring on his consciousness, disturbing him, illusions came but he held fast, failed but he kept going. His driving force was the dream, a vision of returning home. We have to do the same, be focused on the aim and let go of all the other things.

Unlocking Fate’s Door
If we hold onto pain, negativity and darkness, the spiritual karmic law prevents us from accessing our inner world. The door is locked. You have to have a pure desire, determination, courage to open the inner door, otherwise it remains locked. When we enter the inner dimension, things begin to happen. The subtle spiritual energies of the self influence us, empower us, and free us. Our thinking starts to change, perceptions and awareness begin to open up; the revolution of consciousness happens.

“Our whole energy remains blocked, either in the past or in the future (always in the past or future, no present). And when you withdraw all your energies from the past and the future a tremendous explosion happens. That explosion is awareness.”

Let go of the past, let go of the future and you move into the now. In the now, there is awareness. It’s very simple. The blocks and the traps are the past and the future. Like a pendulum, our thoughts pitch from the past to the future, and there’s no experiencing the now, there’s nothing.

Spirituality brings us into the now. In the now, we see what is needed, we move into self-awareness. I can then begin to understand, “Who am I?” I am an eternal spiritual energy that manifests through this body. This begins to empower me, as I can then access qualities of love, peace, power, understanding and, bliss that will guide me through life. When we use spirituality in our life, it changes the pattern of our interaction. If I am loving than the recipient will respond with love. If I am peaceful you become peaceful. This is synchronicity. No need to do anything, just be. This is cause and effect. You will change the pattern of your environment, your interactions, people’s heart will melt. When there is love, you are just so natural and easy that it will change everything. It will bring change in ourselves, relationships, perceptions; and reactions; our words will be sweet. Our vision will be accepting, embracing our spiritual family into a one-ness, togetherness, harmony. Our vibrational energy field will manifest, it will show, it will be, it will touch, it will calm, it will cool. This is the power of self-awareness.

My awareness becomes unlimited and we begin to take in the wider picture. For example, if you walk into a play and say, “Oh my God, he just killed that woman on the stage. Isn’t it a dreadful play?” But someone says “It’s just part of the play, you’ve got to see the beginning, middle and end.” People judge by the way as they see things, however, you can’t because everything is related. It is a series of related scenes and interactions. It’s a whole pattern. Stand back and take in the beauty of the whole harmony of what is happening in the play of life.

Empowerment means to fill yourself with power; give yourself strength, and displace the effects that weaken you. For example, say that you see yourself as a pot of dirty water but by filling the self with virtues, performing good actions, and thinking good thoughts, I replace the dirty water with pure water. I’m not emptying the jug, so no need to go through the whole process of analyzing and reprogramming. It’s too difficult and too complex. What spirituality does, is it fills you, at the same time it automatically displaces the dirty water, so that eventually it becomes clean water. The more I sit, tap into and link into my own reality, I am filling myself with strength, qualities, and virtues.

In terms of transformation, how can we change our nature? On one level, I can fill myself with good qualities and I can feel peaceful, but how can I eradicate the weaknesses? I think the only way we can do this is through God consciousness. Linking my thoughts or my mind with God, the Ocean, the unlimited, a powerful point of being, a pure consciousness. Through this link what happens is that I’m taken into a state of transcendence, going beyond, rising above the effects that pull me down. Experiencing the self to be completely free from influence. So taking our mind into a state of God consciousness, we can develop, experience and manifest our higher, purer self for a longer period of time. Through the love light energy or the fire of God’s love, the effects of the past are burnt. If I’m aggressive, self centred, or critical, than through self awareness of who I am, and experiencing my qualities, I become a better person, nicer and softer. Yet the effects of the past are still there. The seeds are still there, deep in my consciousness. In the stage of God consciousness, the seeds of the past become baked when exposed to God’s love. So how do we know that’s happening? One of the signs is that we become lighter. Karma is experienced as feeling heavy; it’s like carrying weight. Like Dicken’s Scrooge, carrying the chains. That’s karma. You are carrying the effects of the past. You’re heavy, you’re depressive, you don’t feel you can do anything and you are trapped. I want to say this but, I say that. I want to do this in my life but, I can’t, I keep going another way. This is the sublimation of karma stopping you developing. So meditation is about freeing yourself.

Knowledge changes our vision, our thoughts, our attitude. Meditation is about empowerment, giving us strength. It changes our habits, fills us with virtues, strengths and it frees us. This is why we need both, knowledge and meditation together.