Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Living On Purpose

Here are my notes from Mark Thurston's afternoon workshop on February 4, 2007

Edgar Cayce On Personal Transformation And Your Soul's Calling

“Courage is the decision there’s something more important than fear,” Mark Thurston said while we were getting seated for the workshop. He was telling us about his journey to Mullingstorp (http://www.mullingstorp.com/) and what it catalyzed for him in terms of transformation.

(If you click on the above link, you'd better be able to read Scandanavian languages.) It sounded as if the creators of Mullingstorp synthesized many of the leading edge technologies for change in order to create their own version.)

Mark Thurston is a genuinely entertaining story teller who uses self-disclosure in a comfortable and appropriate way. The awakening he experienced at Mullingstorp refocused his work back to the heart, and not just the intellect. He realized that the body needed to be honored as a bridge to spiritual life and growth.

There are two kinds of change: Self-improvement, which is like polishing what we are, making things a little better, or Transformation, which is awakening to a radically difference sense of who we are.

As an analogy he pointed to the square floor tile. If it turned into a cube, it would still contain the square but it would be dimensionally altered.

The alteration he experienced was allowing the heart center to warm the intellect.

Not everyone realizes that 2/3 of Edgar Cayce’s work consisted of health readings. The other third were life readings. Cayce invited people to do their own personal research and not just accept his ideas. He believed that maintaining a posture of exploration is how we grow and change. This ideology is practiced at the Cayce Foundation today.

Your Soul’s Calling: How you live your calling will change as you change, for instance as you mature. If you wonder whether there’s anything left for you to manifest, consider what Cayce told a confused client, “If there weren’t a next step that you could be doing with your life purpose, you wouldn’t be allowed to be on the earth.”

Mark then discussed Cayce’s steps in conveying a soul portrait of the person for whom he was giving a Life Reading:

Discourse on the importance of setting an ideal. An ideal is not a “should” but is a guiding principle at the heart of your life. It is motivating, expresses your values and feels right to you.

He then provided an inventory of talents, skills and aptitudes. We all come as gifted individuals; we stumble when we compare ourselves to others.
Mission Statement: A sentence regarding how the talents and abilities could be used in service.

Application – Plan

Signposts appear as feedback that you’re living your purpose

When Cayce read for a young man who was still troubled by bedwetting, he linked bedwetting with the boy’s past life during the Salem Witch trials—you have to hear the story rather than have me recreate it. Let's just say that dunking in that life was involved.

Cayce mapped a path for the boy and cautioned the parents about shifting their child’s experience before the age of 14 or the boy would end up sabotaging his true soul calling.

We were then asked, “What is your bedwetting problem?” Where do you sabotage yourself or detour from your true calling?

This led us to the topic of what Carl Jung called the shadow. The shadow is the part of ourselves we're blind to and often appear as the things about other people we dislike. It's a reflection of something unconscious that is within. We can either transform our issues or project them onto others.

In order to fully explore these unconscious aspects of ourselves, it is essential that we set a spiritual ideal and a commitment to meditate. That will provide a kind of container.

Cayce once asked in a reading: “What’s more real, Christ love or the essence of love that can be found even in the vilest of passions?”

And then answered: “They are one and the same.”

One signpost that you are living your soul’s calling is joy. See others benefiting from your life. It’s not about quantity of people. There is a ripple effect.

If you nurture a particular kind of sensitivity you will see how all of life is purposeful. This allows a kind of wonder or awe rather than cynicism.

Synchronicities are wonderful signposts. (Meaningful coincidences that let you know you are in the rhythm and flow.)

Ideally, you’ll feel that you are tapping into an energy bigger than yourself, the presence of God.
One of Mark’s teachers, Llama Govinda, asked, “In what way do you experience your own lack of wholeness? For example, if you are lonely, than you are missing the ingredient of Divine companionship.

If you feel trapped, then you can experience the divine as freedom. Your brokeness is restored through your connection with the Absolute/God/Divine.

Human will has been reduced to willpower. Yet human volition is at the heart of how we grow, change and transform.

Cayce speaking about soul energy/life force: Mind is the builder, will is the individualizer, your sense of who you are.

Will is often asleep and we simply react to life.

We then did the exercise I usually dread in which we're partnered with another person and are asked a repetitive question. Each time you answer the question you are given a neutral thank you and then asked again.

Apparently at mullingstorp you would have to spend hours or even days on a question, depending upon the evaluation of your progress.

Our first question: What calls to you?
Second repetitive question: What serves you on your journey?

This is the first time I’ve experienced this exercise as having a purpose and not just being about getting us to nothing or to the idea that we really don't know.

Being a committed listener for the other person, not only allows them to feel heard and received, but also opens the space for new ideas to surface.

Life can be about waking up in a spiritual sense, which requires will.

How can we develop healthy will?

In The Art of Will, Assagioli observes 7 qualities of will. Mark has taken these and rearranged their order so they correspond with the chakras. (Chakras are centers of consciousness in the body-interaction of mind and will.)

He’s also added what he considers is the distortion that’s mistaken for healthy will.

First Chakra: Dynamic vitality to life – without it, one is sluggish, fatigued.
Distortion: Bursts of energy and collapse.

Second Chakra: Affirming self discipline. Balance of yin-yang.
Distortion: Repressive, self-negating. Holding oneself back from expression rather than moving toward a goal.

Third Chakra: Courageous initiative. This also takes in prudence and wisdom.
Distortion: Recklessness.

Fourth Chakra: Patient persistence.
Distortion: Stubbornness

Fifth Chakra: Decisiveness or wishy-washy
Distortion: Decision-making that’s done too quickly, inappropriate timing, or getting stuck in options

Sixth Chakra: Focus and concentration or can be scattered
Distortion: Obsession
Healthy will sees things in a wider context

Seventh Chakra: Oneness-Harmonizer, Synthesizer

The mind typically works by making distinctions. Will can synthesize life for us.
Distortion: Blender that doesn’t allow respect for all the individual parts

Where you feel something missing is your growing edge.

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