I learned a great deal from observing my children when they were very young. Like most children, they often played with toys, leaving them out when they were finished. I repeatedly asked them to put their toys away, which only seemed to work when I insisted.
I then had a strong feeling that if I see it, it is my responsibility. I began wondering what would happen if I started responding to everything that caught my eye. So I began an around-the-clock practice that went like this: anything that entered my awareness became my responsibility, anything that was my responsibility I would attend to, and anything I attended to I would complete. I did this practice for a week and did not let anything get by me; by Sunday, I was picking up cigarette butts off the street.
After that week I was a more contented person. I realized how much time I had spent worrying about my circumstances, hoping they would change. But whenever I tried to decide what to do next, there was never any clarity. During this experiment, however, clarity emerged on its own, as whatever called to me became the next logical thing to do.
This practice in presence — a kind of moving meditation — made me feel that I no longer needed to prioritize my schedule because life had already done that, drawing my awareness to whatever required its attention. In addition, my presence — and in turn, my vision — deepened as I stopped ignoring what I was seeing. In no time at all, a renewed sense of spaciousness and ease emerged.
I now know that life is continuously serving us our curriculum, and if we naturally respond moment by moment to what is calling us, we not only will experience an amazing state of grace and presence, but we will also develop a real sense of self-respect, knowing that we will meet whatever life brings head-on. By living choicelessly we benefit from the guiding compass of the universe, experiencing less stress and more joy, inspiration, love, and gratitude.
Merging with Life
When we “work” at being present, we remain locked in a pattern of excessive effort and thinking. Rather than responding to light’s invitation to full awareness, we remain lost in thought, plans, and anxiety, and we see the world through the tunnel vision created by those concerns. Those thoughts lock our reality into place, freezing light into matter.
If we stop trying to be present and instead tap into our breath, align our eyes and mind congruently, and respond to life’s invitations, presence finds us. Presence is what arises when we embrace all that life (and light) has to offer.
When we stop searching, we start finding. By looking less, we see more. When we allow the light within us to merge with the light that guides us, we experience oneness. Without any effort, we relax into a state where we have no decisions to make. There is no confusion, second-guessing, thinking, or searching for answers. There is just beingness — an acceptance of life as it is.
Life Becomes Magical
With presence, life becomes magical. We not only feel better, but our stress dissipates and our bodies heal. We respond to life more fluidly, developing an ability to be with whatever arises, flowing in response to life in the same way that children do.
Infants and children do not look for anything; they simply respond to whatever calls their attention. When we reawaken this innate ability in ourselves, our lives transform radically. We enter a state that some call “the zone,” “the flow,” or even “genius consciousness,” in which “we” disappear and our knowledge is no longer limited to information received from the five senses. We become more empathetic toward ourselves and others, and more intuitive. Rather than reacting to one situation after another, we start flowing with life and, over time, we become increasingly aware of experiences just before they occur and can now “welcome” them. It is a miraculous state of being.
What you might call the “divine inspiration” encoded in light moves us in a direction that is expansive, infusing us with a deep desire — beyond the wish for anything personal or material — to embrace our most potent longing for oneness with the vision we have been given. There remains only a witness who is present, spacious, and imperturbable. Everything appears clear and seems to scintillate. The resulting sense of peace is so blissful that it may bring tears to our eyes.
No matter how many miracles we experience, each new wonder is always astounding, inviting in more such experiences and reminding us that all of life is literally beyond belief. Over the past twenty- five years I have been transformed from an eye doctor and vision scientist to an “I” doctor fascinated by consciousness and the science of life. Barely a day goes by that I am not in awe of this marvelous world we live in and the people I encounter. I am excited to share what I have learned because it has transformed my life, and I believe it can transform yours as well.
Your Life Is Looking For You
Our purpose is hidden in our joy,
our inspiration, our excitement.
As we act on what shows up in our life,
our purpose shows up.
— JAMES KING
Your life is looking for you, continually guiding you through the process of presence so that you may fulfill your reason for being. This fundamental fact is not only true for humans but also for everything that exists. We are being guided — not occasionally — always!
The key to our awakening, freedom, contentment, and highest potential is all the same. Do what you love, love what you do, and the world will come to you. This is because doing what you love is the same as following your guidance, creating a foundation of authentic trust, unconditional love, absolute integrity, and unquestionable respect for the wisdom of life and your own sense of knowing.
Life includes many experiences, some pleasant and some not so pleasant. While none of us feel comfortable with pain, loss, illness, financial worry, or relational stress, these experiences are all an integral part of our life’s journey and foundational to our spiritual development.
I did not read much as a child, so most of what I learned did not come from my formal education but from my direct experience. In the process I discovered my inclusive nature and realized that life is not about them versus me. It is always about “us” — all of us. Inclusivity grows out of the humility gained by realizing that we each have a job to do, and that job is essential to the integrity of the whole, inseparably linking us to everything else.
When I am involved in something, I am focused on every detail. That focus comes from living choicelessly because when we are guided by life there are no choices, decisions, or options to consider. All our energy is naturally focused on the guidance we have received, because we know that everything we are directed to accomplish is a sacred task. Something keeps us on track and keeps us going no matter what happens in our life.
Presence: Seeing the Visible and the Invisible
Our physical eyes are designed to see the outer world of form. Our spiritual eyes are designed to see the invisible. When these eyes collaborate fluidly, congruence and coherence meld into one and signal the beginning of a new way of seeing and being. That is presence.
With presence, we respond to life like the leaves of a sun-loving plant turning toward the essence of the universe — light. This essence is the invisible force that illuminates all that is visible — a field of awareness that sees when our physical eyes are closed and watches our dreams while we sleep.
Throughout this book I have attempted to support my insights with scientific evidence. However, it is important to realize that while we must recognize the great achievements of modern science, we must also realize that science cannot provide us an explanation about what is truly essential to the human spirit.
In Nature and the Greeks, Austrian physicist and Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger writes:
"The scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously."
Now that I am seventy, my youthful search for scientific truth has been replaced by a sense of knowing that requires no substantiation but rather a surrendering to my not knowing, which allows true wisdom to reveal itself. I feel humbled whenever such whispers traverse my awareness, blessing me with an opportunity not only to grow but also to support others on their journey.
At this point I feel that our hindsight, insight, and foresight combine to create our total vision, dissolving our di-vision and opening our eyes to the divinity in others and ourselves.
Today, my greatest pleasure is in holding the hands of a group of individuals whom I mentor. This work is based on three principles:
1. Healing relationships cannot be hierarchical — everyone involved must be the same “height” or equally accessible.
2. Nothing is wrong with us and therefore nothing requires fixing. In my experience, spending time with another who sees us as whole is often enough to transform the way in which we see ourselves. In this way, contact is content.
3. Mentorship is about preparing an individual for the most important day of their lives, the day they spread their wings and leave the nest, soaring through the landscape of their life in a return to their essence.
4. As our essence grows more visible in our walk, our talk, the way we listen, how we handle our daily affairs, and show up for each other, our vision truly reaches and touches the world, for we are the light that has always guided and illuminated our journey.
Copyright ©2018 by Jacob Israel Liberman.
Reprinted with permission from New World Library
Luminous Life: How the Science of Light Unlocks the Art of Living
by Jacob Israel Liberman OD PhD
We are all aware of the impact of sunlight on a plant’s growth and development. But few of us realize that a plant actually “sees” where light is emanating from and positions itself to be in optimal alignment with it. This phenomenon, however, is not just occurring in the plant kingdom — humans are also fundamentally directed by light. In Luminous Life, Dr. Jacob Israel Liberman integrates scientific research, clinical practice, and direct experience to demonstrate how the luminous intelligence we call light effortlessly guides us toward health, contentment, and a life filled with purpose.
About the Author
Dr. Jacob Israel Liberman is a pioneer in the fields of light, vision, and consciousness and the author of Light: Medicine of the Future and Take Off Your Glasses and See. He has developed numerous light and vision therapy instruments, including the first FDA-cleared medical device to significantly improve visual performance. A respected public speaker, he shares his scientific and spiritual discoveries with audiences worldwide. He lives on Maui, Hawaii.
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