By Cathy Eck
The hardest concept to understand when initiates choose the path of freedom is that all the tools that worked in the illusion are worthless to the True Self. It isn’t that they are wrong or bad, it’s just that you ain’t in Kansas anymore.
The Vision Board
In some circles, the vision board is king. Experts say the vision board fuels the law of attraction, and it does. However, the law of attraction is a law within the illusion. Everything you create in the illusion has two sides — what you want and the opposite.
One time, I was inspired to spend a whole day appreciating, and something big did change in my life. Some part of me wanted to start an appreciation movement. But, I didn’t. Around that time, someone else did. She created a gratitude movement. But a few years later, she crashed and burned. Appreciation is who we are; it is not a technique. But when I didn’t understand that, I too thought it was a magic formula for success.
This is the most sophisticated trap in the illusion. Every religion, movement, and spiritual community has fallen into it. They take something that is natural and true and turn it into a technique. The technique can bring success, rewards, and even enlightenment within the illusion, but it can never bring you freedom.
You Were Born a Grateful, Positive Visionary
It isn’t that gratitude isn’t amazing or positive thinking is bad. It is that you were born grateful and positive. Likewise, visualization is a natural skill. If you are forcing it, you’re trying to leap over your beliefs when you could just let them go. When you take something natural for the True Self and do it as a false-self activity, you get a beautiful whipped cream topping for your manure. It’s delicious in the beginning, but eventually, it tastes like shit.
Our true desires are within, underneath the manure. They come effortlessly if we remove everything that covers them. The visionary movement promoted the “God as concierge” notion. It focused on receiving whatever was missing from life. If you believed in the power of vision enough, the universe submitted to your belief. It is an updated version of the genie in the bottle. But now your mind has another belief to follow and a pain-in-the-ass genie to tote around. None of us need more beliefs.
Those of us who followed the power of thought movements acquired extra manure to scoop (and a genie that is more trouble than he’s worth). We got lots of new and improved ways of doing hard work. The mind starts out visualizing the car or the house. But eventually, to get up in the morning, you need a vision the night before. The mind takes any technique and makes it into a rule just like a computer program. At first the technique is fun and game-like, but soon it becomes a fucking chore.
Our minds have no compassion. They don’t give a damn if you try hard. They don’t even care if you just lost your job and your husband left you for a man. Minds only do what they are programmed to do.
Using a Vision Powerfully
But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. A vision is a very important tool in the quest for freedom. You just have to recognize that your mind is the ultimate grantor of wishes — not the universe, not God in the clouds, and not other people. When all the beliefs and rules that block a vision are gone, the object or career or people you desire will be there wondering where in the hell you’ve been.
This is hard to see because we have so many beliefs in the way. We’ve accepted social rules, religious rules, and beliefs. We’ve got other people’s opinions and criticisms in the way. We’ve got memories of times we didn’t get what we desired. The positive thinking movement was built on the belief that we’ll never dig out all that shit so they invented ways to spread it out and plant some new seeds. It works better in the garden than in the mind.
The reason for a vision is to tease our beliefs out of hiding. If you get the object of the vision, it’s a bonus. The real goal is freedom. If we want a nicer house, we must learn which beliefs move us toward the house and which ones don’t. Then we let the blocking beliefs go. Discrimination and letting go are easier if we set a direction. Success is never about getting the vision. In fact, looking for evidence of the reward is like shooting yourself in the head to remove a belief; it doesn’t work.
Very often, I’ve worked incredibly hard toward a vision only to realize that the vision wasn’t that great. It served its purpose because it motivated me to let go. Now a new and improved vision moved into my mind.
A Vision Focused on Giving
The biggest flaw in the vision board activity is that it is focused on receiving; our True Self loves to express or give its gifts. In “Culinary Artistry,” the author describes three types of chefs. The first is the burger-flipper, the second is the accomplished chef, and the last is the culinary artist. He says that the burger-flipper wants survival, the accomplished chef wants enjoyment, but the third wants to entertain. The artist, he points out, uses his talent to give, not receive. And yet, what we receive in return says it all. He says that the burger-flipper produces people who say,”I’m full.” The accomplished chef produces customers who say, “That was delicious.” But the culinary artist transcends cooking altogether and people leave saying, “Life is wonderful.” That’s the true power of vision.
The lost art of mentorship talks about giving our talents.