I use the words self-actualization and enlightenment interchangeably. We usually hear self-actualization referred to in psychological terms and enlightenment referred to in spiritual terms, but they are the same state of consciousness or level of awareness. And these advanced states of consciousness are the results of evolution or personal growth.
As we grow into these advanced states of consciousness we begin to see and understand laws of nature or principles of life that governs how we create our own experiences. It is easy to understand our level of consciousness by observing our experiences. Maslow says that the self-actualized person has discovered how to fulfill his/her needs and desires from within. If this is not your experience that simply means that you still have too much stress stored in the mind/body system to allow you to experience your full potential. As you release the stress the mind becomes clearer and you begin to intuitively understand these laws and how to work with them to create whatever you chose.
It is stress and our limited beliefs that keep us from fulfilling our needs and desires. As we release the stress and strengthen our nervous systems we become capable of changing our beliefs. At this point we see the world from a totally different perspective and everything becomes so much easier.
It is a challenge for most people to understand how doing a few breathing exercises, stretching exercises, meditation and a new way of focusing our attention can make such a huge difference. We humans seem to want to make everything more difficult than it needs to be. Since we do not understand it, we think it has to be very difficult to reach this level of understanding. It is not difficult. It just requires commitment and trust.
There is a very large group of people who believe that in order to create what we want we must dig deep within ourselves, face our fears and work through them, to discover that we can move beyond them. This is simply a misunderstanding of fear and beliefs and how they are held within us. All of our fears and feelings of inadequacy are forms of energy and are stored as stress within the cells of our mind/body system. Therefore, when working with the Unlimited Futures process, we release the stress, and the fears, doubts and incorrect beliefs go with it. It is all energy on the physical level, and when that energy is released from the mind/body system, the body begins to experience high level wellness and the mind moves into a whole new level of understanding, consciousness or awareness.
We just watched a documentary on the terrible accident that happened with James Ray and his sweat lodge experience. I do not know James Ray personally, but I am sure he thought he was doing something to help these people overcome fear and reach a higher level of consciousness. Unfortunately, that belief is incorrect. In fact, focusing our attention on the fear or experiencing more fear simply gives it more energy and makes it more real for us. There is a much easier, more efficient and more effective way to move beyond our fears and experience life on a totally different level.
This belief that enlightenment comes through suffering has been around for centuries. Buddha and many others have tried it, and discovered that it did not work. As much as we have been led to believe that enlightenment has to be a difficult process, it simply is not true. What brings us to a higher level of consciousness is healing and strengthening the mind/body system. Enlightenment is a manifestation of high level wellness. It is the building up of health, not tearing it down or destroying it.
In my book Unlimited Futures: How to Understand the Life You Have, and Create the Life You Want, I explain a process that releases stress, strengthens the nervous system, and moves one into a whole new level of consciousness. Then Unlimited Futures provides additional help for continued growth. We work with a process that has a powerful accumulative effects over time, but you begin to see progress immediately. It is easy, it is enjoyable, and it works. It simply requires discipline, which is necessary for any great accomplishment.