Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul's Potential by Michael Bernard Beckwith

Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul's Potential

byMichael Bernard Beckwith

Paperback | October 6, 2009

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Michael Bernard Beckwith -- the dynamic spiritual leader who touched millions of readers and viewers in The Secret and through the spiritual community he founded, the Agape International Spiritual Center -- is now sharing his transforming central message and his powerfully accessible means for embodying that message in daily life, a process he calls "aspiring toward spiritual liberation."

Michael Beckwith teaches that inner spiritual work, not religiosity or dogma, liberates us. He draws on a wide spectrum of ancient wisdom teachers such as Jesus the Christ and Gautama the Buddha; contemporary spiritual luminaries Thich Nhat Hanh, Sri Aurobindo, and the Dalai Lama; and Western contributors to the New Thought tradition of spirituality such as Emanuel Swedenborg, Walter Russell, and Dr. Howard Thurman to create a profound new belief synthesis.

Either read silently or aloud, Spiritual Liberation can be included during meditation or prayer. Each chapter includes an affirmation that distills its core concepts into a sentence or two for the reader to easily practice throughout the day. Beckwith''s personal and touching accounts guide the practitioner to integrate and activate the intrinsic gifts of divinity into everyday life.

The core concepts of Beckwith''s teachings are cohesively conceived and convincingly stated in the provocative chapters of Spiritual Liberation. Topics covering "Evolved People," "Transportation to Trans-formation," "Transcending the Tyranny of Trends," and "Inner Ecology" are some of his foundational teachings that bring together insights from a range of spiritual paths to form a coherent practice that is neither Eastern nor Western but truly spiritually global.

Regardless of their belief system, readers will find it impossible to finish this book without at least a few "Aha!" moments.
Foreword by Marianne Williamson Acknowledgments Introduction 1 Love-Beauty 2 Evolved People 3 Transportation to Transformation 4 From Reel to Real 5 Transcending the Tyranny of Trends 6 Inner Ecology: Your Personal Laws of Life 7 Energetic Shapeshifting: A Practical Practice for Urban Shamans 8 Creatively Maladjusted 9 Arch...
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Title:Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul's PotentialFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:272 pages, 8.44 X 5.5 X 0.8 inShipping dimensions:272 pages, 8.44 X 5.5 X 0.8 inPublished:October 6, 2009Publisher:Atria Books/Beyond WordsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1582702055

ISBN - 13:9781582702056

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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Read from the Book

13 HOW TO PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT Something happened inside of me I stepped into my true identity I stopped and the Spirit got a hold of me Something turned me ''round! Recently, my name and address were stolen from the ether of the internet and postal forms were submitted that rerouted my mail to Kenya. To my relief, everything was resolved without dire repercussions. An upside to the whole thing: it reminded me that there''s nothing like direct, personal experience to open the heart to compassion. We unquestionably consider identity to be our sole property. We alone have proprietorship to being a singular some-one. Thieves are not welcome in what is legally and personally private domain -- especially the intimate territory of identity. Unfortunately, with technology''s helping hand, identity theft can happen even when applying the most advanced precautions available. Frank Abagnale, the world''s most daring identity thief whose life story was the subject of the movie Catch Me if You Can, shares in the classes he teaches at the FBI Academy that all an identity thief needs today is a computer and within less than thirty minutes, all the information required to assume the identity of someone living or deceased is conveniently available. My view is that whatever happens in my life is part of my spiritual practice. I suspect this is what caused me to make the leap from exploring the meaning of identity in general to contemplating these questions: What is the deeper meaning of identity -- is it a solid or fluid thing? How do we identify ourselves with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual accuracy? Who is the monolithic "me" that we describe in résumés, job interviews, online dating questionnaires, application forms, tax returns, and ultimately a death certificate? Does any of it come anywhere close to describing the reality that each of us is? After I answered these questions for myself, I concluded that the most dangerous identify thief to be on the lookout for is oneself. If this surprises you, consider how your answers to the following questions apply to your relationship with your identity: How quickly do you give away your identity as an irreplaceably unique being and enter the game of social politics to fit in and be accepted by parents, a spouse, lovers, peers, clients, employers, a religious leader, organization, or social club? In what ways do the media and advertising influence you to compromise your life''s vision, your appearance, your choice of friends, where you live, the car you drive, where you shop, what you eat? Does intimidation or fear of the opinions of others cause you to go against your own inner guidance? Does your religious affiliation teach that questioning its doctrines is sinful and against God''s will? This penetrating tidbit from Osho cuts through the whole issue: "The greatest fear is of losing one''s identity, the image, the ego, the nameplate." Is that why we purchase custom license plates and put bumper stickers on our cars that make public service announcements to other drivers about where we stand on subjects ranging from politics, abortion, spirituality, our favorite radio station, that our child was student of the month, to where we went on vacation? Most of us invest tremendous energy in the identity we create, but to what degree is this investment, conscious or unconscious, grounded in wisdom or ignorance? Society exerts a powerful influence to create an identity that the outside world defines as successful, beautiful, hip, and so on. Most societal institutions are designed to assure that we are "properly socialized" from cradle to grave. We are so occupied measuring up to its standards, we hardly notice how we have been conditioned to give away our power, how we have been programmed to operate at a standard of mediocrity that doesn''t support taking a stand for the changes we wish to see in the world. IDENTITY THEFT CHECKLIST Countless times a day, individuals hold themselves hostage to the false beliefs they have about themselves, all the while demanding ransom from a world that is powerless to give what they are unwilling to give themselves: self-love, self-respect, and self-appreciation for their own spirit, beauty, wisdom, and creativity. When you surrender your identity to the outer world, you become trapped in the dilemma of authentic self-expression versus superficial social expectation. Do this long enough and an existential identity crisis occurs because you have stolen your identity and replaced it with a mask you wear to present yourself to the world. You may put a stop to this masquerade when you empower yourself to take self-responsibility for your life. You are gracing the planet now. How do you want to live this precious human incarnation that has been given to you? As you explore your responses to the following identity theft checklist, practice honest self-observation without judging your findings: How often do you withhold your authentic feelings or opinions to keep the peace, to not rock the boat? When you interact with others, do you play small so that others may feel better about themselves? Or do you exaggerate your virtues to appear superior to others? Do you try on different personas to determine which would be the most impressive and convincing under certain circumstances and in specific environments? Do you continue to live under a belief system that no longer serves you so that other family members or friends won''t get upset? Do you automatically accept others'' assessments of your identity without examining whether or not they vibe with your own inner sense of who you are? TWO CASES OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY There are three ways of being in the world that offer clues about your relationship with your identity. First, there is task-oriented living wherein the fulfillment of life''s responsibilities, obligations, and duties defines who you are. This offers safety and survival in a seemingly uncertain, unsafe world. At this stage, you also believe that what you do to earn a living is the central component of your being. Your profession is such an overriding aspect of your identity that when meeting a person you say your name followed by your job title. Likewise, when someone is introduced to you, you ask, "So, Miriam, what do you do?" Such individuals live in what I call the realm of "business-card consciousness." Perhaps you believe that it is your duty to have the same profession as one of your parents, or to become a parent, or to make sure that your parents'' desire to be grandparents is fulfilled, so you see your identity as being a dutiful son, daughter, and parent. Stepping out of the box is reckless, irresponsible, and scary to you, so the only safe choice is to perpetuate these familial expectations. Such convictions cause a person to live in ways that are not much different from their forefathers. They may also live vicariously through others, impersonating or imitating their heroes and heroines, characters in movies and other fantasies, all the while suppressing and repressing their inner impulsion to grow, expand, and break out of the limited, mistaken identity they''re stuck in. Many individuals do not develop beyond task-oriented living because they are genuinely convinced that their identity is "What I do is who I am." They remain in a tight cocoon of agreement with this false notion, seldom breaking through it unless a major event shakes them at their roots. They are their own victims of mistaken identity, participating in what Alan Watts described as "the taboo against knowing who we are." In addition to societal expectations and parental fantasies, identity is also forged by trendsetting celebrities, the media, educational and religious institutions -- the list goes on. Individuality is sacrificed for the security of uniformity and acceptance, even the security of guaranteed rewards in the afterlife. If it''s painful for you to have read these descriptions, then consider yourself ready to begin reclaiming dominion over your life and moving closer to discovering the identity of your Authentic Self. Know, however, that this comes at a cost, one that you would eagerly pay if you could but see the luminosity of your Essential Self, the exquisiteness that awaits your consent to express as the You of you. You must invest the spiritual coin of unbending intent to do the inner work required to reacquaint yourself with your-Self. It''s like contemplating the Buddhist koan, "Show me the face you had before your parents were born." The next way of navigating in the world is goal-oriented living. At this stage individuals exercise a certain amount of free choice about how and where they will invest their time and energies. They set their goals according to a combination of society''s values and perhaps what they''ve read in books about what constitutes success. Independent thinking and risktaking are involved, along with consideration for the meaning of existence. This is especially the case when faced with such painful losses as divorce, the death of a loved one, getting laid off, or ailing health. A certain willingness to break self-imposed boundaries is motivated primarily by the zeal to accomplish one''s list of goals, which provides a false sense of control over the outside world. Goal-oriented individuals experience an occasional inner impulsion to more genuinely self-express, but they quickly repress or don''t examine it too closely because of the fear it arouses in them. Their lives might get shaken up and become unpredictable; they may have to change, and the people who love them now may be left behind, or even worse, may leave them. Not to mention that they may have to revise or shorten th

Table of Contents

Foreword by Marianne Williamson

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1 Love-Beauty

2 Evolved People

3 Transportation to Transformation

4 From Reel to Real

5 Transcending the Tyranny of Trends

6 Inner Ecology: Your Personal Laws of Life

7 Energetic Shapeshifting: A Practical Practice for Urban Shamans

8 Creatively Maladjusted

9 Architects of the Beloved Community

10 Don''t Get Serious, Get Real

11 Jesus the Christ: Master of the Existential Encounter

12 The Myth of Perfection

13 How to Prevent Identity Theft

14 Spiritually Liberating Livelihood

15 Minding Your Spiritual Manners on Planet Earth

16 Conscious Creativity: Heaven''s Kiss of Inspiration

17 Soulware for Authentic Happiness

18 How to Make It through the Night: A Luminous View of the Dark Night of the Soul

Afterword by Robert Thurman

Editorial Reviews

"I''ve known Michael Beckwith for many years and I''ve never known him to waver from a profound commitment to spiritual Truth. Both his gifts and his mission are in full blossom now, and this book exalts them both. A great read." -- Marianne Williamson, author of The Age of Miracles