Beating the fortune teller

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You are always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past. ~ Richard Bach

My first spiritual teacher was a Chilean filmmaker, writer, healer and expert in Tarot, a Western equivalent to the Chinese book of wisdom under the appearance of a cards pack that people use to predict the future. I was 21 and would attend his weekly talks – the ‘mystic cabaret’ – in Paris. They were a delightful blend of inspired improvisations, thought provoking and reality-altering insights on applied spirituality, free dive explorations of the nature of consciousness and its relationship with life, body, matter and other dimensions of being – above all, it was great fun.

One of the main things I learnt from ‘Jodo’ was that when a card reader or seer predicts your future, however accurate and well-intentioned is the forecast, you actually get programmed to manifest it. What they read are the tendencies operating in your subconscious mind as vibrations patterns and, from there, form an image of the future you are most likely to create for yourself.

The same happens with doctors, teachers, parents or anyone to whom we have attributed a certain form of authority: what they affirm is accepted by the subconscious mind that lends its power to manifesting it – unless you decide otherwise of course. Ultimately, you are the one who is creating your future destiny. You can therefore change it. Patients diagnosed with life threatening illnesses, children labelled ‘incapable’, ‘lazy’ or ‘stupid’, inventors or social reformers faced with social rejection or victims of abuse can either accept to ‘behave’ the verdict the authority has issued or they can choose to reject it and proactively affirm health, intelligence, talent, freedom or justice.

The world is full of intelligent, talented and caring individuals who go through their life believing they are just good enough to survive the journey; but there is also – fortunately – an increasing number of intelligent, talented and caring individuals who, although declared inadequate, challenged the destiny that was imposed on them. They obeyed their own intelligence, intuition, aspiration or a compelling inner sense of mission and exerted their ability to make internal choices. They determined the conditions of their own life.

Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Alva Edison, Steve Jobs, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Aurobindo Ghose are among those individuals who, sometimes in the most inhumane conditions, transformed the world by asserting full mastery over their own ability to make choices. All, under different circumstances, challenged existing conditions with the sole power of their consciousness and won stunning victories.

The story of Viktor Frankl told in Stephen R. Covey’s Seven habits of highly successful people is probably one of the most dramatic and remarkable examples of how an individual can change the experience and the course of his own destiny by reclaiming the power of choice.

“Viktor Frankl was a determinist raised in the tradition of Freudian psychology, which postulates that whatever happens to you as a child shapes your character and personality and governs your whole life … Frankl was imprisoned in the death camps of Nazi Germany … his parents, his brother, and his wife died in the camps and … except for his sister, his entire family perished. Frankl himself suffered torture and innumerable indignities, never knowing from one moment to the next if his path would lead to the ovens or if he would be among the “saved” who would remove the bodies or shovel out the ashes of those so fated.

“One day, naked and alone in a small room, he began to become aware of what he later called “the last of the human freedoms” – the freedom his Nazi captors could not take away. They could control his entire environment, they could do what they wanted to his body, but Viktor Frankl himself was a self-aware being who could look as an observer at his very involvement. His basic identity was intact. He could decide within himself how all of this was going to affect him. Between what happened to him, or the stimulus, and his response to it, was his freedom or power to choose that response.

“In the midst of his experiences, Frankl would project himself into different circumstances, such as lecturing to his students after his release from the death camps. He would describe himself in the classroom, in his mind’s eye, and give his students the lessons he was learning during his very torture. Through a series of such disciplines – mental, emotional, and moral, principally using memory and imagination – he exercised his small, embryonic freedom until it grew larger and larger … In the midst of the most degrading circumstances imaginable, he became an inspiration to those around him, even to some of the guards. He helped others find meaning in their suffering and dignity in their prison existence.”

There is, inside the mind, a silent presence, still and aware that is the real ‘you’. The real you has the power to challenge the fortune-teller. We all know that our minds and the thoughts, emotions and energies they generate play a vital role in the creation of our personal realities. But what the fortune-tellers have not told us is that behind thoughts stands a conscious being who is also the creator of the very thoughts he is observing and experiencing.

By becoming aware of this silent inner presence, we can reclaim the power over our own mind and consequently over our own life. We can change our mind. We can change our world.

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3 thoughts on “Beating the fortune teller

  1. Dear Sharon, many thanks for sitting with this long post. I am glad you liked it and really thrilled by the fact that it was getting under press more or less on the same as you posted your last post where you also mention Victor Franckl!

  2. My dear Frederic, I was so inspired by the way you handled this subject matter. In fact, I just sat here a long while just reflecting on the points you brought out. Isn’t it so wonderful that we have been thinking of just the same issues at the same time. Just know that I am deeply blessed each time you write so masterfully, authentically and honestly from the depths of your soul. In many ways, I truly believe the way you addressed this very crucial topic far exceeded my own little attempt! Btw, it is almost uncanny because in my first draft I actually mentioned Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Einstein among the list of those I highly admire and triumphed over unimaginable odds! Thank you once again for this truly excellent post! Sharon

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