All rights reserved, No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, electronic or photographic process or in the form of a phonographic recording; or copied in any manner for public or private use- - other than “fair use” as brief quotations-without previous written consent of the publisher.
The author of this book does not dispense medical recommendations or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, emotional, or medical problems without the advice of a physician, either directly or indirectly. The intention of the author is only to offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for emotional and spiritual well-being. In the event, you use any of the information in this book for yourself, which is your right to do so, the author and the publisher assume no responsibility for your actions
Library of Congress Control Number: 2012909971
Hartford & Baines Publishers Charleston, South Carolina
Printed and bound in the United States of America
The Strength in Knowing “The Strength in Knowing is a heartfelt depiction of one man’s journey to spiritual enlightenment and self-discovery. This book will be a wonderful read for those who are beginning to search for more meaning, love and direction in their lives. The author suggests several valuable and realistically attainable ways to begin one’s path to a more fulfilling, joyful and God-centered journey on the physical plane.”
Thomas S. Lipsitz, PhD Clinical Psychology, Saint Louis Missouri
“The Strength in Knowing is truly inspirational reading, enriching and thought provoking. The world would be a dramatically better place if even a few of us would be guided by its powerful ideas. The busier you are, the more revelations you will find.” Anthony S. Shen, M.D. Missouri Baptist Medical Center
“When your thinking is unlimited, so is your potential. Appt, and his new awareness, is a true emergence and unveiling where he explores and identifies the specific skills you need to make your potential for success explode into results.”
Nadim Nasrallah, M.S. D.C. M.A. Saint Louis Missouri
Dedication viii Foreword ix Authors Preface xi Acknowledgements xv Introduction xvii Section 1 Pursuit of Awareness 1 Chapter 1 The Beginning 3 Chapter 2 Physical Awareness 13 Chapter 3 Life and Associations 21 Chapter 4 Realization of Purpose 27
Section 2 Spirituality 35 Chapter 5 Belief Systems 37 Chapter 6 Spiritual Events and reality 61
Section 3 Meditation 73 Chapter 7 Meditation Defined 75 Chapter 8 Meditation Awareness and Techniques 81 Chapter 9 Enlightenment 97
Section 4 Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People and Children 103 Chapter 10 Perception and Duality 105 Chapter 11 Is Destiny Why Bad Things Happen 113 Chapter 12 Cause and Effect 119
Section 5 Love 137 Chapter 13 Romantic Love 139 Chapter 14 Flawed Relationships 145 Chapter 15 Types of Love and Fear 153
Section 6 Time 161 Chapter 16 Awareness of truth 163 Chapter 17 Plateaus of Life 171 Chapter 18 Time is Passing Faster 181
Section 7 Energy 189 Chapter 19 Being in the Present 191 Chapter 20 Receiving Energy 207
Section 8 Purpose of Existence 219 Chapter 21 Humanity’s’ Sensitivity 221 Chapter 22 Perception and Existence 231 Chapter 23 Purpose and True Happiness 235
About the Author 253
De gratia Dominus illuminatio mea
By Favor of Grace, the Lord is My Light
Pursuit of Awareness
I suppose it all began when I was ten or eleven years old, that is, this sense of a need to have answers about life’s purpose and my purpose. I engaged in a lot of existential thought for my age, or perhaps for any age. I still, to this day, do not know what possessed me to be so interested in existentialism, as young as I was. Have you ever thought about where we came from? What are we, that which is called a human being? Where are we going? I do not mean the fact that we originated from our mothers’ wombs. Childbirth is a result of the act of making love. However, how did the act of making love to perpetuate childbirth originate? From Adam and Eve? In addition, are we anything else besides human beings, with our intelligence and physical presence? Where are we going on our journey, and what does life really mean?
Processes and evolution enable the acts and methods we have learned and utilized. As, people grow and with age, they gain empirical knowledge. Nevertheless, where did the processes and techniques that we now know about originate? What am I, besides this identification as a human being with what we call a flesh-and-bone body—the intelligent life-form that each of us is and this physical entity that evolves? What is our purpose—do we have a purpose? What is our ultimate destiny? Where are we going when we depart the planet? Though those questions were phrased differently at the time of my youth, I do not suppose young as I was, that I realized that the questions I pondered had such a tremendous amount of philosophical depth.
I recall arriving home from school when, rather than playing, I felt a desire to go to my room. I picked up a piece of paper and began writing. I do not recall what the impetus was to begin writing; I can only suspect it had something to do with my life’s purpose. What I wrote was a poem, and it began like this:
To be for me to be is to be. And to be is being and being Is to be. Therefore so shall I be.
A friend of my mother, named Beth, was visiting; my bedroom door was open, and she walked in. She asked what I was doing, and I replied, “Oh, just writing.” She asked if she could see what I was writing, and I replied, “Sure.” She read the poem and looked at me with the most peculiar expression. She said the poem was nice, but I did not understand the meaning of her expression for some time. If I was able to correctly identify the look she had, it was most likely astonishment at the content of the poem. I suspect she wondered how the poem could be so profound when written by someone so young.
Nothing of any significance, with respect to my inquisitive nature, occurred again for some time, that I can recall. I believe it wasn’t until several years later, when I was in my early teens that anything unusual occurred.
I returned to this philosophical state periodically, asking the proverbial questions: who am I, where did I come from, and where am I going? These thoughts I do not believe ever left my mind from the time of the poem “To Be.” I was plagued with these questions and found myself feverishly reading books relating to existentialism. I had hoped that they would give me the answers I needed. At times, as I continued with this pursuit, I would become mentally overwhelmed with my identity issue. I became very anxious and somewhat depressed, as the exploration seemed to overload my brain. I felt like my problems were similar to those of a computer when it could not digest data because of the unusual volume or the complexity of the content. The computer may become overloaded and end up crashing, or perhaps shorting out due to the lack of a circuit breaker. I felt, at times, that I might be losing touch with reality. There were actually periods of time when I did not understand who I was.
I knew that I was this entity described as a human being. I knew my name and the other essential aspects of my nature, and I had all the functions we normally possess, but somehow that knowledge was not enough. It seemed as though there was an awareness that was lacking in my consciousness that was crucial to my identity issue. I find it extremely difficult to describe exactly how I felt then. It was almost as though my brain was able to comprehend my state of mind, but I was unable to formulate a description of how I actually felt because the way I felt was indescribable. I had a sense of knowing, but it was just an inexpressible feeling. Why could I not simply accept the fact that I was an intelligent life form called a human being and leave it at that? Was I attempting to find answers to questions that perhaps did not have any answers?
I became frightened and tried not to think anymore about the subject. The answers I needed were difficult for me to comprehend because of my inability to discern that which, perhaps, I might never know about existentialism. The answers given in the books I read were subjective, stemming only from authors’ observations and their understanding. The philosophical aspect of virtually anything may stem from one’s own perception rather than resulting from scientific documentation. So deductions based on knowledge or values, logical reasoning, and critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs about a subject would then be based strictly on perception, rather than on pragmatic evidence.
Continually plagued with my identity issue for about six months in my mid-twenties, I sought psychological help, which at first I was not certain would be beneficial. The help was therapy for despair, I suspect, because of my anxiety and inability to resolve my identity issue. Despondency accompanied this state of mind. Where did I come from, what was I, and where was I going? My inability to understand these aspects of my existence was becoming overwhelming for me. In addition, during some of these uncertain periods, I felt I was actually beginning to lose touch with reality. On rare occasions, I also had thoughts of suicide, either by taking some sleeping pills or by crashing my car into a tree off the side of the road. I do not believe the suicidal thoughts would ever have come to fruition, but the fact that I had them was very disturbing to me just the same. I believed and realized that the thought of the loss of my life should be God’s decision and not mine, regardless of the circumstances.
As much as therapy does, sometimes it causes one to look at questions and concerns from a different perspective. Somehow, when another person poses questions or makes statements, it perpetuates a different approach to a better understanding of the subject. Therapy would help me find reasons and answers for some of my questions.
But ultimately, we in essence answer most of our own questions and concerns in the course of therapy. The therapist’s expertise in knowing when to ask the proper questions and when to make the necessary statements facilitates success for the patient. The therapy and the accompanying medication helped me reduce the fear and despondency with which I had been plagued. This, in turn, enabled me to find a greater acceptance of that which is, was, and shall be. However, the acceptance was still not enough of an explanation or understanding for me. I continued to struggle to comprehend the questions that still plagued me: where did I come from, what am I, and where am I going?
Occasionally when an individual is in a low emotional state, a level of anxiety may catapult him or her to a higher state of being. Perhaps this higher state of being or awareness may even extricate the person from a state of depression and into a more normal state of mind or even a higher level of consciousness. Many times, states of depression, anxiety, and ruin can be stages in life by which some of us may be elevated to higher states of mind or even states of change.
Devastation can be a reward and a path to regeneration.
Let us compare anxiety and depression, which are low points in one’s life, to throwing a football or baseball. The thrower’s arm is lowered behind him or her in order to obtain the greatest height and distance. In shot put or javelin competition, the competitor bends to the lowest position in order to obtain the greatest height or distance. Anxiety or depression may be the low points or the vehicles, on occasion, that transform us to higher mental states or states of change.
We are sometimes able to free ourselves from negative states such as alcoholism or drug abuse with programs specifically tailored for this. I believe that these programs may be supplemented or accomplished with this type of viewpoint. When the intensity it takes to extricate one from a negative state is equal to or greater than the intensity that perpetuated the state, then the person can be freed of that state. The application of this process for depression or other conditions is appropriate when the individual has an extreme commitment to success. I say “process,” but I mean that which would require concentrated focus and willpower to facilitate release from a negative state. An intense commitment to success is key to and fundamental for extricating oneself from the negative situation.
Sometimes people do not have the will and motivation for a cure. In some instances, this might be due to a fear of facing reality or of facing situations one just does not want to deal with. Another instance might be when someone needs attention, usually because of his or her current state of mind or despondency. The original process I mentioned to extricate oneself from the negative state, may require therapy to facilitate, first, the inspiration and motivation necessary to enable the essential concentration needed to accomplish the cure. The situation, mental pain, and degree of dysfunction of the individual would dictate the degree of focus required for success.
Understanding the ingredients that brought this state of mind or level of pain to the present status is paramount and essential. If we search our hearts, souls, and minds for answers to why we are who we are, the answers are there, waiting to be brought to the surface. We must permit ourselves to access the truth from the deep abyss it dwells in, in spite of the pain the truth may produce. Success for the individual is based on an awareness of the causes of a problem coupled with the proper focus, dedication, and trust in God that will ultimately make possible the release. If therapy is necessary, it may reveal the aspects of the personality that brought about the negative state, if one isn’t successful in identifying by them self. And again, if treatment is necessary, and if it is accompanied by a strong enough will for success through intense focus and dedication and trust in God, it will unequivocally generate freedom from that which plagues the individual.
The purity of all that is, an awareness of the divine in the entire splendor of what exists is expressed in the devotion of one’s ability to discern the eternal (without a beginning or end.)
The Strength In Knowing
Summary of Belief Systems
1) The philosophical aspect of virtually anything may be one’s perception rather than the result of scientific documentation.
2) Analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs about a subject would strictly involve perception rather than pragmatic evidence.
3) If we have a stronger awareness and appreciation of what we possess, it will ultimately enable greater peace for us.
4) One should search their heart, soul, and mind for the answers to why you are who you are.
5) If identification of our own causes of negative states of mind is unsuccessful, therapy may be necessary.
6) It is essential to know the ingredients that brought these states of mind or levels of pain to the present status.
7) One must focus in order to access the truth, regardless of how painful it might be.
8) Success for the individual is based on an awareness of the causes, coupled with the proper focus, dedication, and trust in God that will ultimately make possible the release.
9) Many times, states of depression, anxiety, and ruin can be stages in life that elevate us to higher states of mind or states of change.
10) If the intensity needed to extricate one from a negative state is equal to or greater than that which perpetuated the state, then one can be free of that state.
11) This particular process would require intense focus and willpower to facilitate release from a negative state.
12) Intense commitment to success is fundamental for one’s extrication from the negative situation.
13) Inspiration and motivation are necessary to enable the essential strength needed to accomplish the goal.
14) Intense focus, dedication, and trust in God will unequivocally generate freedom from that which plagues us.