Most people today are familiar with the idea that there are at least two aspects to our minds – the conscious and the subconscious.
The CONSCIOUS mind is our thinking, choosing mind. It responds to our sensory experiences and to the ideas we encounter.
The SUBCONSCIOUS mind holds our deep beliefs, whether negative or positive. It never questions or argues, it simply carries out whatever has been impressed upon it (our deep feelings and beliefs, not the rapidly changing thoughts and fancies that skim across the conscious mind).
The subconscious mind, while controlling all the functions of the body, goes way beyond the senses. It is connected with Infinite Intelligence, which allows you to know anything anywhere at any time, provided that you are open-minded and receptive. It knows no limitations. The life principle resident in your subconscious mind can and will, if properly directed, restore your body's health, attract friendship or love, achieve excellent results in study or business, find the right buyer for your home, attract all the money or favorable circumstance you need or desire. It is your greatest power, and it is already yours; you only have to learn how to use it.
A summary of the Law of the Mind is this:
“Imagine the desired end and feel its reality; then the infinite life principle will respond to your conscious choice and your conscious request. This is the meaning of 'believe you have received, and you shall receive'. This is what the modern mental scientist does when he practices prayer therapy." - The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy.
Religion has long talked about 'One God'; many have assumed this to be a superbeing type of character, like an angel. But mystics have usually described God as a kind of everywhere-at-once, loving, all-knowing, powerful energy.
Meanwhile, Science has established that everything is an expression of Energy in different forms, vibrating at different frequencies, but all an expression of One Energy.
It seems that they are talking about the same thing. What the mystics describe as an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient 'God', is being matched by what scientists are discovering about the nature of Energy.
This all feels right to me. I understand God to be the Divine Energy from which everything is made. It is the Grand Organising Design/Designer (G.O.D.). It is the Infinite Intelligence evident throughout creation. Its purpose and nature is Love.
It would be impossible not to recognize that there is a mathematical precision in our physical world. The laws of nature determine proportion and sequence and timing, govern gravity, maintain balance of ecosystems, etc… This is matched by an incredible order in our emotional lives. Nothing is random. When we pay close attention to our experiences, we find that they express our beliefs. If we allow ourselves to learn from the 'mirror' that our experiences hold to us, we can truly grow and evolve ourselves. I believe that our purpose is to find the divine order at work behind apparent chaos; to recognize unity behind apparent separation; to find G.O.D. - love - in each experience.
Divine Love is not the emotional love we feel for family and friends (or pizza and chocolate!). It's an unconditional acceptance. It's appreciation. It's universal love. And when we feel that sort of loving, grateful acceptance for our lives as they are, anything is possible.
The sequel to The Mastery Club is called The Hidden Order and it explores this concept in detail.
There is a wonderful old Chinese proverb (139 BCE) about an Old Man and a Horse that I share in The Mastery Club. It expresses the idea that events are neutral and it is us who place values and judgements on them. If you've ever judged something in a particular way, and later changed your opinion, you will relate to this story!
There was a very poor old man. He had one magnificent possession – an exquisite white horse. Such a fabulous white horse you’ve never seen. Everyone wanted this horse. Kings constantly offered fabulous sums for it, but he always refused to sell because he loved the horse – it was like a person. How can you sell a person you love?
Then one day he discovered that the horse had gone – the stable was empty. The villagers gathered round and said, ‘We always knew that one day such a valuable horse would be stolen. You should have sold it while you had the chance – you could have got a good price for it, and at least you would have had money in your pockets. Now you have nothing.’
And the old man said, ‘Don’t go too far – all we can say is that the horse is not here – anything else is a judgement.’ Two weeks later the horse returned and brought with it a dozen wild horses.
Again the people gathered, ‘You were right, old man, we were wrong – it’s not a misfortune, it’s proved to be a blessing.’
Again the old man said, ‘Don’t go too far – all you can say is that the horse has returned and that a dozen other horses have come with it. Who knows whether it’s a blessing or not? It’s only a fragment!’
This time the people didn’t say much, but they knew inside themselves that it was a blessing, that the old man was wrong. The horses could, after all, be sold for quite a profit.
A week later, the old man’s only son started to train the horses. He fell from one of them and broke both his legs. Again a crowd gathered. ‘You were right, old man, it wasn’t a blessing, it’s a misfortune. You only son is crippled – your only investment in the future, crippled, useless.’
Again, the old man said, ‘You’re obsessed with judgements! Who knows whether it’s a blessing or not? Only say that my son has broken both his legs. It’s a fragment. Who knows the outcome?’
Shortly afterwards the country was called to war. It was against a strong army and all the young men in the district were conscripted. And they were going to certain death because they were so outnumbered. They were all called up, and the whole town was weeping.
Except for the old man’s son. He was excepted because he had broken legs.
Again the people gathered around: ‘You were right, old man. At least you have your son, even though he’s crippled.’
‘It’s impossible to speak to you people!’ the old man exclaimed. ‘You are obsessed with judgement. Who knows if it’s a blessing or a curse? Only Life knows.’
- Were you thinking, ‘Oh, that’s good’, ‘That’s bad’, all the way through this story? Life is a big puzzle, and perhaps sometimes we judge things prematurely...
One of the main characters in The Mastery Club is a home educated child - as are mine! So if you're curious to know more, read here:
What is it? Parents choosing to take personal responsibility for their children's education. There is a wide range of styles, everything from 'school-at-home' to something known as 'natural learning', in which children follow their own interests in their own time and way.
Who home educates? Anyone who is so inspired. People from all walks of life, be they single parents on pensions, wealthy people, 'ordinary folk' and even the famous. Watch this short video to discover some of the more famous, although rather American-centric, home schoolers.
Why do people choose to home educate? Sometimes because a child is under-achieving at school (whether ahead or behind the class) and the parent wants to provide the personal attention their child needs; sometimes because a parent is inspired by a philosophy that says, 'trust the innate intelligence within the child to direct that child to learn what s/he needs to learn when needed'; sometimes because children have special needs which are not being met at school. It’s about freedom of choice.
How widespread is it? Thousands in Victoria; tens of thousands in Australia; millions in the USA. Home education is a world wide phenomenon. Recent studies in Japan have also shown that the number of home educated children has risen dramatically in the past 5 years.
Which has the longer history - home education or school? Home education was around long before schools...
How do you go about it? Contact your local Home Education support group for advice regarding the law in your region. Some government departments may try to discourage you from home educating, so check the legislation in your state or territory. If your child is a pre-schooler, simply don't enrol him/her. If your child is currently at school, withdraw your child after explaining politely what you plan to do. Check what the laws are regarding home education in your region.
What sort of track record does it have? The results of extensive research both in Australia and overseas can be found on the internet. (Try Google on the following names: John Taylor Gatto, John Holt, Alan Thomas, and John Peacock.) For recent Australian studies visit this page at the Home Education Network website. A recent New York Times article describes home education as 'the gilt-edged education...'
Is it legal? Legal in every State and Territory of Australia but the laws relating to home education vary from state to state.
If your child is locked in a closet, he/she will have issues with socialisation upon emerging; on the other hand, if your child participates in family occasions and shopping, belongs to a club or attends a class, he or she will acquire the required skills quite naturally. Does school guarantee that your child will become a social success? No. Does home education? No. Does it matter? No.
I attended kindergarten, primary and secondary school and emerged from all of that still feeling uncomfortable around my peers and with very few friends. My children have been almost exclusively home educated, and they each have more/closer friends than I ever had during my school days – and they relate with the community/strangers quite adequately. As for me, I am now considered quite outgoing and social. It wasn’t school that gave me the confidence I now have – it was Life.
Curricula? Tests? Some parents choose to purchase curricula and run tests etc.; others do neither. It's a personal choice. Read widely and speak to other home educating families and experiment. Find the style that suits your needs.
University? Absolutely available to the home-educated child. Some choose to attend Years 11 and/or 12 (and typically do very well). Others do TAFE or other bridging courses, or simply apply for interviews and negotiate university acceptance on the basis of their demonstrated skills and character (home educated children are renowned for being self-motivated). See this article regarding university options. Some resources available to us all: