Life is a stream. This stream always flows. It flows whether you like it or not. Resist the flow and it overwhelms you. Swim with the flow and you can use it to your advantage. It was already flowing before you arrived into it. It always reaches the destination its meant to reach. This stream diverges into several different streams and converges from several different streams. Each stream represents a different reality.
You are sitting in a boat that is flowing with the stream. You have been given oars to paddle. With these oars you can try to go against the stream or paddle quicker with the stream. None of these two are necessary to reach the destination that is perfect and natural for you. Merely and merrily sitting in the boat will suffice for you to arrive exactly where life has ordained.
Paddling against the stream (upstream) is what most people call „life“. This type of resistance and struggle is ultimately a complete waste of energy and does not lead you to your most ideal and natural and happy destination. Instead it slows your progress to what is good and natural for you. If it has any benefit at all, then that is that it makes you stronger. The only reason someone would paddle upstream is because he does not trust that the river is taking him to the right places speedily and efficiently. He has lost his basic trust in life, the universe or „higher forces“ and feels the need to paddle elsewhere. Another reason for paddling upstream could be because he was taught that resistance will solve problems. This person will exert himself until he becomes so exhausted he gives in to the natural stream again. Many people believe that where the stream is taking them is not to their liking and that life must be struggle and fight. But most people are somewhere in between. While they go with the flow to some extent, they put on a lot of brakes with their oars because they don't want to go too fast. Going too fast they think they´d be unable to enjoy the current surroundings or they think that they would crash into a stone sticking out of the water.
Going with the stream does not necessarily mean going with the mainstream, with the stream everyone else is going. There are many streams and many other side streams of side-streams which diverge from and converge into each other. Going with the stream (downstream) means „teaming up“ with the life force that is more powerful and efficient than what you could do on your own.
It means to make use of the strong current already there, already available, already accessible.
From where you currently stand as the “normal human being” there are various alternatives to the half-crazed and hysterical upstream paddling widely practiced by society. People who use these “alternatives” (which are not really alternative but actually normal), are called “shamans”, “wizards”, “magic people”, “powerful people”. This is rather funny because its actually the other way around. Those who go with the stream are actually those who are behaving naturally. Those who experience “miracle” after miracle are actually experiencing a normal part of life, while those who try paddling or even swimming upstream all the time are actually abnormal. One could go as far as to say that it is they who are the shamans or outcasts because they are exerting an unbelievable amount of energy. Understanding this analogy you know that leading a good and successful life does not cost any energy at all. You don't have to deserve it, make it, reach it, fulfill it, achieve it, create it. It is a given. A birthright. Normal. It actually happens by itself when you are your most natural self. You don't believe that? Then you are one of the crazies. But thats alright, most people are.
You have been taught that “action is what moves mountains” and “no pain, no gain”. Contrast this belief by looking around you. Look at the trees. The stars. The mountains. Look at whatever you see outside of your window. The sun. The grass. The leaves. The sand.
Has any of this come about by your taking action?
Take a minute to look around at all the things that already exist without you having needed to do anything.
Will you admit that almost everything that exists and is happening, just happened, without any deliberate involvement or work required from you?
Face the obvious. If I asked you to „create a plant“ would you start trying to glue and paste sticks and leaves together (work/effort) or simply put a seed into the ground and let the force take care of it? There is some type of force creating all of this, isn't there? It doesn't matter whether you view it scientifically (evolution, big bang) or religiously (God) or spiritually (the universe, the field). You can witness a force creating all manners of things with ease, beauty and elegance. How much effort would you have to exert in order to achieve only one single structure that this force produces by the trillions?
Do you think that if you learned more about this force, more about this source that would be more worthwhile than anything else? Would that make sense? Could you then perhaps „team up“ with this source/force to make your life a bit easier?
If this source can create entire galaxies it shouldn't have a problem creating the comparatively minor stuff on your personal wish-list, should it?
The “stream” we have been talking about is an energy-stream, not visible with the eyes but feel able with the inner sense. Feeling at ease is an indicator that you are going with the stream. Feeling at dis-ease is an indicator of going against the stream.
Lets now look at the different options and alternatives you have to the “fight of life”.
One option would be to let go of your oars. This would mean letting go of all control and resistance. What happens? Your life speeds up and you arrival at good-for-you destinations is quicker. It is not you “creating” anything anymore, it is not you “doing” anything “in order to achieve something” anymore, it is full surrender and trust in the life force, in “God”, in the universe. On a daily life basis this would mean that you trash your plans, trash your goal-lists, trash your to-do-lists, quit “trying to get” and generally just look at what feels good and right from day to day. While feeling good you would know that you are flowing downstream (with the stream) and when feeling bad you know that you are paddling upstream (against the stream) again, and so you let go of the oars again (interesting isn't it? You let go of the oars but they are still hanging at the side of the boat, ready to be picked up anytime again! Nothing is ever lost). You would not use the feeling bad as a cause to paddle even harder (this is the most typical mistake the human makes) but as a cause to re-align with the stream, a cause to relax again.
For some, the thought of complete surrender is frightening. What these people don't understand is the paradox that loss of all control is full control. To the intellect this is a contradiction. Therefore I will not argue with you here. If allowing yourself to be washed away by the stream of joy, straight to where you belong in the nature of things is too frightening for you, you don't have to let go of the oars entirely. But you could at least loosen your grip on them a little bit, no? You hold them so tight that your knuckles turn white. More waste of energy. Let go of them for a minute. Take a deep breathe and relax.
You see? The oars are still there. And as you are lying around somewhere or sitting while reading this, you are not in a wild stream anyway, but currently floating down a gentle river. You don't have to hold on that tight. If you don't want to let go of the oars and follow the paths of least resistance and highest simplicity (the more simple and native and natural something is the more real and therefore effective it is) then you might at least stop paddling upstream. You don't stand a chance. You think you can beat the flow of things you will be disillusioned. Some people who come to practice “reality creation” in my courses are megalomaniacs who actually think that “reality creation” means getting to your destination despite swimming upstream. Others think it means building new artificial rivers...which might be possible with extreme exertion but is not even necessary to arrive at what you wish for.
Where do the rivers of life open out into? They flow directly into the vast ocean. In this analogy that would be the “sea of consciousness” or “ocean of energy”, what some mystics call “enlightenment”. But why do some wizards not actively seek out enlightenment? Because they know thats where they come from and thats where they will float back to naturally. This is why I do not teach “ascension” or “enlightenment”. Trying to “achieve” these things presupposes separation from that ocean. It presupposes that this is not your native state, not where you come from and not where you are going anyway, no matter what you do. To me the countless books and retreats and gurus preaching ascension and enlightenment are superfluous. Why strive for something that is going to happen anyway? The only reason millions of people in history have been striving to be elsewhere or something else is out of the presupposition that the way things are, the way this planet was created is somehow “wrong” and that the natural order and harmony of things is somehow “disturbed”. And so they start struggling upstream again. However, it is not “things” or “the universe” that is at fault. It is one´s own view of things and behavior (trying to swim upstream in order to arrive at some goal) that feels bad. And thank goodness this behavior is designed to feel bad...without the bad feeling we wouldn't know wrong from right, effective from ineffective, life nurturing from life stifling.
What you have been reading up to now is only a nice sounding analogy about rivers, boats and oceans, right? Wrong. This metaphoric analogy is filled with very practical everyday down-to-earth usefulness.
Getting out of the boat to the side of the river and watching the stream go by is like taking a break or meditation. You are watching the stream of life pass-by but not taking part in it. This type of meditation allows you to consider your trip up to now, to determine which streams you would like to go down next (possibility of divergence). The “observation from outside” allows you to gain perspective rather than be caught up in the automatism of it all. It also allows you to take the desperately needed break from “fighting against the water”, from upstream behavior. When you get back into the stream (finish meditation) it is more probable that you will then be flowing with the stream rather than against it. Why? Because you've taken that time out to see in which direction the stream is actually flowing.
The two helpful modes are therefore swimming with the stream or taking a break at the riverside. It is not helpful swimming against the stream. And it is not helpful to try to take a short-cut to another stream (reality) by carrying your boat across land. That would be more waste of time and energy. Nevertheless its how many people behave. They have to “reach a goal” or “create a reality” at once. In their impatience they drag the boat out of the river and try to find that stream on their own. Would they have stayed in the boat they would have come upon a crossing point naturally. And at this crossing point they could decide to switch life-streams, switch realities...effortlessly and naturally. Of course we can also see that arriving at a crossroads and not deciding will get us stuck in the middle land protruding in front of us. One who has trouble deciding which stream to go down is caught in the illusion that one stream is somehow “worse” than the other. They are, however, both water. They are both life energy. And they will both lead to good destinations. The only path leading to troublesome destinations are swimming or rowing backwards (against the stream) – through which you are exhausted and the scenery around you starts looking bleak and dangerous – or leaving the stream into the wilderness without a map. There are a lot of “lost” people wandering around out there. But sooner or later they too will come upon a stream and be given another choice to get back in. So in a sense, not even the two “bad” options are really “bad”...they are simply other experiences. The point of this analogy is not to define whats good or bad, but to tell you: If you are interested,, there´s an easier way to go about life. As most souls are not interested in the easier way but more interested in drama and struggle, this “with the stream” path will give you a sort of “advantage” over your fellow human beings by which you appear “magical” to them. I say this because the mind loves to calculate its “advantages” before actually applying something. The soul couldn't care less about “being better than others” though. Nevertheless, a life of flow does have its incentives for the mind also.
In contemplating the stream analogy there are thousands of things your mind can derive from it, of which I will only name a dozen or so. You can let the waters and winds lead you naturally. If you wish to change stream, only a little bit of steering is necessary. This “little bit of steering” is what I created the reality creation materials for. This “little bit of steering” is not hard work. Its only an alignment of attention and intention with preferred streams. Thus “Psychonavigation” or “Intention Lists”. Doing intention-lists on a regular basis is actually the process of steering your boat in the general direction you prefer. The “feeling good” exercises of the course are not to steer but to make sure you are still flowing with the stream rather than against it. Why do I recommend you trash your to-do-lists, goal-lists and weekly-plans and diaries? Because the “goal list” is focused on a stream not present in the here and now. Steering according to another stream would make your navigation look awkward “Goal-lists” are based upon “I have to do X and X and X, and then I can be at that river”. However, as you see in the analogy, you don't have to do anything to continue progressing down the river. You don't have to leave the river or struggle. Same with to-do lists. And diaries address what has happened before you arrived at this point at the river...which is irrelevant to today. In fact, being focused on the past will make your navigation look even more awkward If you are at a relaxed and silent part of the river and you are steering as if you were in the rocky area you were a month ago, this slows your progress and can even make your boat keel over.
The prime block to progress is making all of this too complicated and assigning too much importance to certain things. Assigning too much significance to various events such as rocks protruding from the water or events at the riverside, diverts your attention and makes calm navigation along the stream difficult. Assign too much importance / relevance to something negative and you feel yourself tense up and navigate improperly. Assign too much importance / relevance to something positive and the same thing happens. You become tense and unable to act. A beautiful mermaid pops up out of the river in the near distance. Beautiful yes, enjoyable yes. But if your assignment-of-importance is too strong you will loose your calm and attention and cause a boat wreck. Same thing for an ugly alligator swimming through the river. It is the assignment-of-importance towards that alligator that focuses you on it. So instead of steering clear of the alligator you move towards it. Thats just the opposite of what you wanted damn it! But you cant stop thinking of that alligator over there. You resist it, fight it...and all the while you move closer.
It is therefore wise and wizardly to “manage your importances” or the meaning you give certain things.
The attitude is: If there is something on your trip along the stream of life that is not to your liking...it is very unimportant. Not significant. Not relevant to who you are. You see, you are not suppressing or ignoring it. You are simply not giving it any power over you. Yes..there´s an alligator swimming over there. But if I don't give him attention, he will not give me attention. Deep in your heart you know this to be true. You knew it even better as a child. Remember playing hide-and-seek as a child and not being found by the others once you stopped giving them attention? And if there´s something on your trip along the stream of life that is to your liking...it is important. But it is not very important. Its only important. If it is very important you become slave to it. Maybe we should even drop the word “important” and replace it with the even more neutral “interesting”. If you want to have something try also being OK without it. This type of non-neediness will make it so much easier to have it. You also know this to be true, perhaps from adventures with the preferred sex.
Assigning too much importance to your desires builds up pressure and expectation...two things that actually separate you from what you want. The wizard does not wish for, need, crave...the wizard only intends. And intending is as easy as taking the tiny action of steering the boat to the left or to the right.
Let me demonstrate this: Please raise your arm up into the air. That was intention. Now sit there and only “wish” to raise your arm up in the air. Or “need” to raise your arm up into the air. Or have the “goal” to raise your arm up into the air. You see? Nothing happens. Pure intention has no expectation attached to it. Has no waiting-for-manifestation attached to it. Has no doubts attached to it. If there are any doubts whatsoever about something, then that something is not an intention but only a wish. A wish has no power. Did you have any “doubts” about raising your arm? Not really. If you had any doubts that you could raise your arm you wouldn't be able to raise it. Doubts only arise when you start wanting things that are not within reach or start focusing on the how, when, where of a “goal”. This is why reality creation coaching teaches to either “begin at the end” (as if the goal where already achieved) or place your intention on closer and more reachable things, or write your intention-lists without any result-expectation whatsoever (in a playful manner). All of this is closer to pure intention.
When you apply “identifying with a version-of-yourself for who something is already real” (called “The PURE Technique” in the RC Materials) what happens in context of our analogy is the following: Your body starts making the right moves with the steering device of the boat or the paddles automatically. Your conscious mind doesn't really know whats going on or why your hand suddenly twitched which caused the boat to diverge to the left lane and into another river. But it just happened because there is a “pull” to that destination. Why? Because your soul and mind are already at that destination. Its only your physical body that requires a time-span, and it is thus pulled in that general direction. How long will it take to get there? As long as you have already created a reality within and are happy with that reality (believe in it), it doesn't really matter how long it will take. Asking “how long will it take” is presupposing that its not already real anyway. Its an expression of distrust towards your inner power and belief. Whatever you desire..it is yours once you claim it (intend it) within. And as it is yours to keep forever, it becomes totally irrelevant when it comes, when it happens, how it happens, from where it comes, etc. Instead, enjoy the scenery as you float along the river. The river is taking you there automatically and naturally. Enjoy the scenery, whether it has something to do with your desire or not.
“Identifying with the version of yourself for who something is already true” also causes your body to notice things it wouldn't have noticed before. This is why this specific visualization exercise of the RC materials works so rapidly. “Omens” and “signs” and “coincidences” appear, showing you which streams to choose. These “omens” are mostly “omens” of stepping stones towards the final destinations and not indicators of the final destination itself, by the way. Often there are several stations you arrive at before the intended reality becomes manifest. Its all a matter of how comfortable you are with a chosen reality. Once the chosen reality becomes very comfortable, familiar, known...it can fall right into your lap. My job is to visualize, feel and embody. Life will do the rest. The river will do the rest.
Navigating the stream of life is strictly speaking neither control nor total loss of control. It is soft control. With total control you will not move anywhere on the river but only make your life miserable. With absolutely no control you will move quickly, but there is no telling where you will end up (except that it will not be too bad of a place as all rivers lead to enlightenment). The reality creators way is exercising just a little bit of control, a soft touch to the general direction of the boat.
The only thing more important than this slight steering (which is done either throw the intention-list exercise, see File “Intention-List”) or through the PURE-Technique (see book “Parallel Universes of Self) is staying in alignment with the stream, floating downstream rather than upstream. The way to do this is to bring yourself back into alignment with the stream when you notice you are out of alignment. What helps you notice if you are in or out of alignment is your internal navigation system: Emotions, Feelings, State, Mood. The many psychological, spiritual, motivational books that are telling you to “get rid of” a bad feeling or “overcome it” are wrong. Well, not entirely wrong, but they only understand half the equation: The bad feeling is very, very, very, very, very welcome because it is showing you that you are out of alignment with the stream and putting extreme brakes on your path to fulfillment. Without this low-down feeling you´d be even more lost. In other words, you don't want to feel good about jumping into the alligators throat. This behavior is in misalignment with the stream. So when that fearful or angry or depressed or sad feeling arises it serves you as an indicator to remind you to get back into alignment with the ever-flowing stream of goodness. It is an indicator that you have turned your boat around and are now paddling against the stream. Thats why it feels so bad. Extremely bad feelings are an indicator that you are not only paddling against the stream of life (which is essentially positive energy. There is no duality of “bad and good energy, there is only one energy and thats the stream) but have gotten caught up in a swamp like part of the river or a sinister suction whirl of the river. And...as you know...the more you struggle within that part of the river, the more it drags you in. The way to get back into alignment with the stream is either to relax completely or to choose thoughts or intentions or activities or surroundings that currently feel a little bit better to you. This is the purpose of the exercise “looking for better feeling thoughts”. Mis emotion is an indicator of either some thought or some plan or some surrounding or some person or some intention not being in alignment with the stream (warning: also some so-called “positive” thoughts are in misalignment with the stream). The solution is to deliberately find the thought or action or surrounding that feels better. Example: Does it feel bad to give up a project? Alright. Either your thoughts about giving up the project or the your planned actions (giving it up) must be changed. So you´d either not give up the project (and if that feels better you've found alignment with the stream) or you´d make a list of thoughts that feel better until you find one that really does feel right. And if “Giving up the project will open me up to new possibilities” does not give you relief, continue the list until you find a thought that does. Its really as simple as that. Do that and you´re back on the stream for awhile. Flow, look, enjoy, navigate...until you come upon the next block causing you to turn your boat in the wrong direction. With some practice, in time, you will no longer be turning your boat around every time something looking slightly troublesome comes up. Thats why people start going upstream in the first place: They see rocks coming up in the river. Rather than navigating around the rocks or speeding up to jump over them...with self-confidence and joy!...they turn around and struggle upstream. In Self-confidence and expertise however, you see that you will confront the rocks either way...whether you waste energy by going upstream and then crash into the rocks or whether you go for them right now...and put them behind you. If you go for them right now, you will have the energy to jump over them or navigate around them.
Nobody is forcing you too choose extremely fast streams. Nobody is forcing you to put on no paddle brakes on those fast streams. You can choose more calm waters and you can choose to put in a few brakes. Following the context of this analogy you can see the danger of going at extreme speeds. Extreme speeds are best left to expert-wizards. In other words, if you are a beginner at reality creation and you are visualizing like crazy on a daily basis, your boat speeds up. Not being accustomed with the various parameters of navigation and the life stream you can crash into rock or land. Had you gone a bit slower, the crash wouldn't hurt you. You´d be back into the stream again within minutes. Having gone much too quick, because your ego is impatient to finally “prove” his worth and “get” the money or whatever it is, the crash could injure you and the boat. Or in other words: If your state/mood is level 5, you don't get into a wild level 8 river. Instead you choose a level 6 stream.
So go easy on yourself. Never give anything too much importance (in any case, define your importances yourself) and keep guiding your attention to the beautiful, the enjoyable and the simple.
The stream analogy does contain everything required for a happy and effective life. But you can also extrapolate the metaphor to find out more things, other aspects and even well kept world secrets. A metaphorical story is a tool from which you can gain answers to many different things. Thats why I set the template with this stream analogy: So that you can do some further thinking and gain further insights on your own. I will finish with this song refrain:
Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is just a dream
Fred Dodson is a life coach, musician and author of several books on metaphysical subjects.