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September 09, 2007


Priscilla Palmer

Thank you so much for adding The Personal Development List as a whole page. And for The Link in your side bar. I really appreciate it.

Secret Simon

No problem, Priscilla - and thanks for including me in the list!


Brilliant Simon

You really are telling it like it is!

I smile at the concept of Enlightenment and hate the term as it implies it is a thing that you can own! So many people have made so much money (and often over complicated and caused confusion) helping people to search for this "thing".

My personal experience (and in saying that, I don't for one moment claim to have achieved any particular state) is that it is your original nature and so has always been there: "closer than hands and feet" says the Bible. That fits with the concept of Oneness, realisation of our interconnectedness with everyone and everything, and so many other titles used for "Enlightenment". It really is an awakening or a realisation in itself to know it is never "out there" to be achieved.

And yes, real and total acceptance of this moment and being present in the Now is an access point to what really is "the Peace which passes all understanding" (and the reason it passes all understanding is it cannot be understood by the mind).


Do you seriously mean to suggest that some people might wish they'd eaten less chocolate for breakfast? I wonder who those people are, and whether they'd consider sending their surplus to me....


Excellent post. It is true, all that we seek is within the seeker. All that we wish to know, we already know. Being is the ultimate state of enlightenment.

Liara Covert

Thanks for this most uplifting post. I share the beliefs expressed by Eckart Tolle and will look into the Awakening into Oneness by Arjuna Ardagh.

When it comes to travel, people often quest for enlightenment only to discover all they ever wanted or needed is inside themselves. Yet, displacement can seem necessary to step back and finally see the truth. As humans are born, existence may be a journey to learn how to remember what is truly important, and this has been temporarily forgotten. Some people awaken quickly and still others never truly awaken.

I also think of books like The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and Higgelty Piggelty Pop! There Must be More to Life by Maurice Sendak. These protagonists came to their own conclusions about the truth.


I first started reading Eckhart Tolle about 7 years ago and was transformed by his writings and public speaking. He is an amazing man.

The Serenity Prayer fits this post, Simon!


Pam - I admit that some of the stuff I write is a bit far fetched. But notice I didn't suggest that people might wish *to eat* less chocolate for breakfast, just that they might wish *to have eaten* less. It's a subtle difference, but it means that the surplus chocolate in question has already been eaten, which may make it marginally less attractive.


Sally - Yes, you're right. What we're talking about is our 'original nature'. This was how we looked at life when we first came into the world, before we got reprogrammed into seeing things differently.

It is a shame that the term 'enlightenment' seems to have been misused, because I do like the word. 'Lightening' is very much how it feels when I get my occasional twinges of this different way of being, and I also like the idea of a light going on in the top of the head, like in the cartoons. Because that is all it takes: a sudden realization that it is easy.


Mark - Yes, we know it all already. We knew it when we were born. The only tricky bit is forgetting the stuff we've learned since.

Liara - This seems to fit in with what you say about stepping back and remembering what is important. Because although we say how simple it is and we know it all already, getting back to that can seem difficult. It's not that the journey has to be a hard one - it's that we don't know which way to turn.

We're a bit like a caged bird with a cloth thrown over it, the way people do with budgies and canaries. It seems as though to let in the light, we have to find a way to remove the cloth. It takes a while to realize that the door of the cage is open all along.

I read The Alchemist a few years ago and didn't really connect with it. Maybe it's about time I tried again...


Marion -

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Those are wonderful words, Marion, and I always thought them perfect, yet in the context of this post perhaps a subtle change is needed: God grant us the serenity to accept *everything*. Then, I think, the rest will follow.

(Trouble is: I'm not sure it scans as well...)

Thank you all for your kind words and comments!

Liara Covert

Hi Simon.
I like your caged bird analogy. The funny thing is, maybe its only a case of noticing the invisible key we wear around our own necks and using it to unlock the door of the cage we built. After all that, we also lock it ourselves and forget the key is with us.

Alternatively, you could work on extending mental abilities to levitate the cloth off your own cage. Yet, that's only if you prefer to stay locked inside. Based on the ways we choose to see, and what, that will determine if we devise ways to change.


It clearly isn't the money itself, not really, for even if they manage to hang on to it, the chances are that some of these problems will come along to make them miserable anyway. Even at best, it seems inevitable that the elation will start to dwindle away over the weeks and months, even if all the money remains.

Sue Ann Edwards

Grinning...what if...everyone who ever won a million dollars was 'me' also?

I had a brother in law one time, that thought himself a 'hunter'. I told him he was a 'seeker', because he never came back with anything.

A lot of time, our pleasure in is the pursuit. Like being a zealot. If this is the case, then our joy would end, as soon as we found, what we sought.

Our 'lesser' selves, are very clever and insiduous when it comes to ways to fool ourselves.


I was intriqued by the previous post and bought the CD and book. I am into chapter 2 in the book and I am enjoying it very much. I am saving the CD for after I finish the book, which at this rate, will probably be tomorrow! Excellent so far - thanks for the recommendation. I look forward to letting you know what ideas/feelings they inspire in me. I have really enjoyed your blog. Glad to have found it!


Thanks, Liara, I'm quite pleased with the caged bird idea too, and you introduce some interesting variations! I wonder though, cos my clarity comes and goes on this... Sometimes, if something extreme is happening, it can seem very hard not only to accept what is happening but even to see that acceptance would be a good idea. To return to the original version of the analogy, perhaps I should acknowledge that this poor bird has been indoctrinated from birth to believe that the door isn't open, and told that if it even imagines for *a moment* that the door is open, then the cage will explode and it will be left as nothing more than a bundle of scorched feathers. Perhaps that describes our situation a bit more accurately. And of course, we humans have a more vivid imagination than a budgerigar does - especially when it comes to catastrophies.


Hi Stoovie - I have to admit I'm intrigued by your response. I suppose the only thing I can say is: I couldn't have put it better myself.


Sue Ann - This ties in nicely with a comment I left recently on the 'How To Have It All' thread. Our 'lesser selves' are never satisfied because whenever we get what we thought we wanted, we always want something more. There's a (mistaken) logic in it: if a million dollars hasn't made us happy, then obviously we must need two million. And as you say, we take pleasure in the pursuit. As long as we're still looking, we can hang on to the illusion that what we are searching for is really what we want.


Karen - Thanks for your encouragement! I hope you enjoy the book and CD and I am looking forward to your feedback...

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Jon F

I can see that when I finally get my head around Conversations with God that Eckhart will be the very next book on my list! There seems to be something wired into the nature of man that we always want just the next little thing just out of our reach, never what is just within our grasp. Goats are the same. We used to have a pet gaot and it would always stretch out and eat the grass right on the farthest point it could strain against its leash, while all around it was standing in lush green grass!!! That goat needs to read Eckhart too!


Hi Jon - Yes, I suppose it is this yearning which has spurred us on to achieve so much. That is why the human race has developed so many wonderful and exotic ways of traveling about the planet, entertaining ourselves, and killing each other. The only trouble is: that yearning hasn't made us happy.

Interesting about the goat. We tend to think of animals as more in the moment than we are. And indeed that seems to be true. They seem to be more at peace with their essential nature. And yet perhaps the 'higher' species have something of us in them too. They may not have invented the automobile, but they yearn for the field on the far side of the fence...

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  • "The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone like us to come along - people who will appreciate our compassion, our encouragement, who will need our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. It is overwhelming to consider the numerous opportunities there are to make our love felt." - Leo Bascaglia
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  • "Your mind is the interference to experiencing the bliss of this moment." - Dr Joe Vitale
  • "A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive." - Albert Einstein


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