The perception of lack of power is due to our limited perception of reality. In truth, the same power that floats billions of gallons of water in the sky in the form of clouds and propels all the planets in their orbits around the sun. The power that has created the immense mountain ranges of the Himalayas and literally moves the oceans this way and that in the form of tidal shifts, is the very same power that animates us. It is the power that beats our hearts 100,000 times a day without us even trying.

 

By Robert Butler

 

Personal power. It has a nice ring to it.

Tony Robbins built his career on it (somewhere in a box in my garage I have the whole set of his cassette tapes). Too bad it’s a myth.

Not that each of us doesn’t possess power to varying degrees. Thirty-plus years ago, I bought every self-help book and course I could get my hands on that promised me the secrets of unlocking my hidden personal power. And the reason I did that is (drum-roll, please) because I believed I didn’t have any.

I had read once that some people’s sphere of influence was no larger than their own craniums. That resonated with me.

Having been raised with parents that insisted that children be seen and not heard, alongside an older brother and sister who repeatedly told me that they had heard me but chose to ignore me, it was an easy thing for me to grow up believing. And it couldn’t have been further from the truth.

But how could certain people hold sway over even entire nations simply by the power of their words, and I couldn’t even convince my siblings that it was their turn to take out the trash?

The perception of lack of power is due to our limited perception of reality. In truth, the same power that floats billions of gallons of water in the sky in the form of clouds and propels all the planets in their orbits around the sun. The power that has created the immense mountain ranges of the Himalayas and literally moves the oceans this way and that in the form of tidal shifts, is the very same power that animates us.

It is the power that beats our hearts 100,000 times a day without us even trying.

It digests our food and converts it into energy without so much as a thought. There is never a moment when we are disconnected from that power. Yet we can easily come to believe we have no power. How can this be?

According to Vedic sources, the atomic size of the spiritual particle that comprises our unique soul is 1/10,000 the tip of a hair! Yet this seemingly tiny spark of spiritual energy animates our entire bodies as well as infuses us with consciousness that extends in all directions well beyond our bodies. Is that not powerful? The only variable is consciousness. That consciousness is, in fact, the only thing we are ever experiencing.

Naturally, this perspective requires an inherent understanding that we are parts and parcels of a higher power. You can call it God, Christ Consciousness, Krishna, Allah, the Force, or whatever you like. It is the animating principle of all life and from which all consciousness springs.

Some will deny this particle and insist that life is simply a random combination of molecules and electrical charges bumping into one another, seemingly with no rhyme or reason. In that conception, which does not account for the origin of consciousness, how could anyone have any power at all?

The answer might be much simpler than it seems.

Let’s look at the electric power plant and the light bulb in your house. Because that light bulb is plugged into the wall, and the wall is plugged into the power plant, that light bulb possesses and is energized by the same power as the power plant. The quality is identical. The only difference is the quantity. Whether the power plant is powering a lightbulb, a refrigerator, or charging your electric car, the nature of the electricity is the same. How it is being used, however, is a choice that is entirely up to you. We are like that light bulb and have the entire power of the power plant at our disposal at any given time!

The same is true of our consciousness. At no time are we ever truly be disconnected from the Supreme source of all consciousness.

Due to freedom of choice however, we can ignore that connection. Sometimes, due to the influences of our environment, family or life trauma, we can forget that connection. In the Vedic conception of spiritual truth, this is a state of ignorance called Tama-guna.  Simultaneously, we can make a practice of meditating and focusing on that connection. It is a choice that we must make from moment to moment.

Great yogis use these individual moments to focus their consciousness on this Divine Source of consciousness. The Sanskrit term for this state of consciousness is Sattva-guna.

I’m sure you’ve heard many times “with great power comes great responsibility.” All deeds, both great and small, good and evil, do originate with thought. We have great power to create or destroy. Simultaneously, we must never mistake ourselves as the source of this power.

Like the power lines that transmit the power from the electrical generating station to your home, they possess all the power of the power plant, and only serve as a means to deliver it. They never claim it as their own. Yet if you were to grab one of those power lines and try to hijack the energy without going through the authorized process, you will be immediately electrocuted. Similarly, if we claim to be God, or the Source, we are playing with live wires.

In a sense, we can see ourselves as those live wires. As instruments of the divine, we have the ability to deliver the power of the divine to others. In Native American circles the shamans and medicine men call this “hollow bones,” and see themselves simply a conduit for the power of the divine to be transferred. For some unusually gifted people it comes naturally; for the rest of us, it is a state of consciousness that requires awakening, awareness and practice.

Regarding growth, we can also look to nature for examples. No matter how many seeds we plant, and no matter how diligently we work the garden, without nature’s gifts of rich soil, water, and abundant sunlight, nothing we plant will grow. Similarly, we are dependent on the Divine’s natural gifts for our own ability to grow, both materially and spiritually.

Although we have the luxury of how to direct our own consciousness, it would be a serious blunder to think we are doing everything exclusively by our own will.

It has been said that not even a blade of grass can move without the sanction of the Divine. That does not mean we are forced into a rigid destiny, for as humans we have free will. What that means is for us as individuals to achieve our desired spiritual results, we must align our consciousness with that of the Supreme Consciousness.

We can achieve this through meditation, yoga, prayer, and spiritual practice. It cannot be forced. It is a soft and receptive process.

The more we apply ourselves, the more the infinite will reveal and manifest itself through us. One of the descriptions of the infinite is that it is ever-expanding. That means spiritually speaking, there is no limit to the extent of our growth!

Our material bodies will gradually falter and vanish. But the nature of spiritual consciousness is infinite and eternal. As we commit ourselves to our spiritual practices, we begin to reveal our true identity as spiritual beings.

Then, and only then, will we fully manifest the infinite power that is our human birthright.

 

Even as a child, Robert Butler was fascinated with the nature of consciousness. A practitioner of Bhakti Yoga and committed vegetarian since the age of 17, he embarked on a lifelong journey to help himself and others uncover the mysteries of life. After living in an ashram in his late teens through his mid 20s, he traveled extensively, and delved deeply into personal growth and healing work. For the past twenty-five years, he has run a San Diego based nonprofit that supports three Bhakti Yoga ashrams and sustainable farm communities: Audarya Ashram in Philo, California, Sarahgrahi near Asheville, North Carolina, and Madhuvan in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. He is an author, spiritual counselor and senior staffer with the ManKind Project, as well as a mentor with the Boys to Men Mentoring Network. He lives in Encinitas, California.

 

Photo: Pixabay

Editor: Dana Gornall

 

Did you like this post? You may also like:

 

Use Your Pain or It Will Use You.

  By Debbie Lynn   It takes such strength to get-it-together after a hard blow. It takes the willingness and a lot of energy to fully, deeply get out of our wounds and to function to some kind of normality again. Or should we? Maybe touching our normal is...

12 Points on Establishing Boundaries as a Mindful Parent (and why it’s necessary)

  By David Jones So many things are involved in trying to raise strong, healthy children. Some seem really obvious like diet, exercise, and being grateful. But there's a particular social building block we don't want to neglect---boundaries. Healthy boundaries...

I’d Rather Not Try the Green Chili: A Story of Impermanence & Embracing Uncomfortable

  By Holly Herring   Today I went to church. It was awful. For a little bit of the backstory, I just moved to a new state. I’m brand new here and I seem to have brought my expectations from my old state with me. Now, this church I went to had a great message...

I am Pro-Choice.

  By Melle Hany   I am pro-choice. Thankfully, I have never been placed in the position of having to choose to have an abortion myself. I have, however, seen first hand the decision making process required when I drove a close friend to a clinic 30 minutes...

Comments

comments