Sitting on an airplane in flight, I was listening to an inspiring audio seminar on my iPod. Then the in-flight movie came on. Since I was in a bulkhead seat and the projection screen was just a few feet from me at eye level, it was almost impossible not to watch the movie. So I kept listening to the audio seminar with my ears and my mind, while the movie paraded before my eyes.
The film, a predictable teenage romantic comedy, was easy to figure out even without sound. So, while I was primarily focused on the lecture, a lesser part of my attention was tracking the film. Halfway through the movie I realized I was participating in a seminar that transcended the one I was listening to. I was learning how to remain established in a higher consciousness even while the drama of the world unfolded before me — the formula spiritual masters prescribe for a successful life.
We live in a multi-dimensional universe in which an infinite number of parallel realities exist simultaneously. Some of the realities are wonderful, others horrible; some exhilarating, others annoying; some fascinating, others boring. The reality you live in is determined by what you give your attention to. On one dimension, a mindless movie drags on, while on another dimension impeccable wisdom is broadcasting. You get to choose which story you will participate in.
Attention is the most powerful currency at your disposal. Where you place your attention today is a coming attraction of what you will receive tomorrow. You may not be able to control the events that present themselves to you, but you have total control over the vision you use to see them. In that way, you gain mastery over your experience. Perspective makes all the difference.
Where we live in the country, sometimes rodents show up. When our little visitors increased in numbers, we got a cat to keep the population down. One morning I woke up and enjoyed an empowering meditation, tapping into a pool of deep inner peace that established the frequency for a great day. Then I walked into the living room and found a dead rat on the rug. After an initial “Arrrgh,” I got a shovel and scooped up the remains. As I headed outside, my partner Dee commented, “I am so grateful the cat is doing her job!”
Ah, another way of looking at the situation! We hired the cat for a reason. Why should I complain when she fulfilled her role? Two realities presented themselves as an offering for my choice: a disgusting sight or a job well done. I decided the second option felt better, and the apparent problem gave way to a sense of gratitude.
Metaphorically speaking, we all have dead rats on our living room floor and we all have agents doing their job to keep things running efficiently. The more you complain about the dead rats, the more you find. The more you thank the cat, the more you find to be grateful for. The facts of events are neutral. Your interpretation creates their meaning and subsequently your experience.
It’s all about frequency and attunement. The spectrum of visible light we see, as well as audible sound, comprises a tiny, tiny slice of the full spectrum of light and sound. If you think that the only light in the universe is what your eyes can see, or the only sound your ears can hear, you will not have access to extremely helpful dimensions beyond the obvious. Radio, microwave and X-rays are just a few of the many unseen realms that enhance our life. The movie of the five senses, rich and amazing as it is, is just one channel among an infinite number available.
All healing and world progress comes through visionaries, people who see a brighter, higher, broader, freer movie than the masses are watching. If you are fixated on what is, you cannot discover what could be. To improve the world, beginning with your own life, you must look up. In Genesis 13:14, God told Abram (later Abraham), “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west.” The instruction was more metaphorical than literal. God was telling Abraham to broaden his vision, to not be stuck in the narrow-sighted vision that keeps most of humanity embroiled in sorrow and suffering. To discover a new land, Abraham had to use a new way of seeing.
As we enter this fall, a crucial time on the planet, you and I are being called to a new way of seeing. As old forms and institutions fall away, we must lift up our eyes to more fulfilling movies with storylines that take us where we want to go. If we continue to use the kind of vision that has shown us the old world, the old world will continue. If we use the kind of vision that shows us a new world, the new world will begin. Even if a silly movie is being projected right before your eyes, you can switch your focus to the inspirational lecture downloading. That lecture will guide you precisely as to how to understand the movie of the world, master it, and go beyond it. “In my father’s house there are many mansions.” One airplane, many movies.