Bearing False Witness

oathPart of a continuing study of the Ten Commandments by Michael Maciel

When summoned to a court of law, we take an oath to tell the truth when asked about what happened. We are forbidden to lie about it. We are also compelled to divulge whatever information we have that will affect the outcome of the case. If we withhold that information, we can be charged with obstruction of justice.

Obstruction of justice is when we intentionally interfere with the legal process, which includes the process of discovery—the ability of the court to obtain all the evidence. We cannot settle our disagreements unless we know everything that we need to know. So, if we hold back key information, we prevent the legal process from doing what it’s supposed to, which is to reach a just settlement to our dispute.

In terms of the Law of Mind, a “dispute” is the difference between a current condition and a desired condition. The current condition might be that we don’t have enough money to pay our upcoming bills. The desired condition is having enough money to make up the shortfall.

So, we go to work visualizing the money we need—we see see it either as cash in our hands, bigger numbers in our bank account, or the word “Paid” stamped on our bills. We don’t really care where the money comes from, because money is pretty much created out of thin air anyway. We’re not stealing it from anyone else; we’re simply allowing whatever mechanisms are available to put the money where it needs to be.

But here’s the rub. Whenever we use the Law of Mind to affect changes in the constellations of our affairs, something else has to compensate for those changes. This is where the Sufi saying comes in: “Ask for what you want and then pay for it.” When we pray for more money, something has to make room. And in order to do that, all of our cards have to be on the table, including the ones we don’t want others (or ourselves) to see.

When the universal mind begins its process of discovery, it’s going to want to examine our “books,” and we might not like what it finds. It might point out things we are unwilling to let go of, things we have inordinate attachments to, or things we simply are unconscious of but nevertheless are unwilling to part with. These are the ways in which we might be obstructing justice.

For example, we might need money for the next three house payments. At the same time, we own a vintage car that’s sitting on blocks in the driveway. Now, we’re VERY invested emotionally in this car—selling it would feel like failure. So we attempt to “hide” it from the universal mind’s process of discovery. This, of course, we cannot do, because the universal mind knows everything. It is the living connection between all things. It knows everything because…well, it IS everything, including the car. But we have the ability to obstruct its process of working the whole thing out by disallowing the car’s value and by our unwillingness to sell it.

If we envision our prayer as a petition in a court of law, the judge is going to want to see all of the evidence. If we withhold part of the evidence, or if we misrepresent it, then the legal process will be thwarted, and we won’t get the results we’re looking for.

Of course, we can’t hide anything from the universal mind, but we can hide it from ourselves. Whenever we use the Law of Mind to manifest something in our lives, our lives are going to change. They have to. If we resist the changes as they present themselves, we are, in effect, blocking our prayer. This is one of the biggest reasons why our prayers seemingly go unanswered.

According to the Law of Mind, if we ask for something in prayer, we will receive it—every time and without exception—as long as it doesn’t violate the universal law of compensation. If we ask for more money without first utilizing resources we already have, our ledger sheets will be even more out of balance. We will receive the extra money, but it will only make our problems worse in the long run.

We all know that lying about other people can ruin their lives, but do we know that lying to ourselves is just as dangerous? We cannot lie to God. That is impossible. But we can (and often do) lie to ourselves. Since the Law of Mind operates according to what we ARE more than to what we say (or think), the thing that most often keeps us from getting what we want is the way we are being (whether consciously or unconsciously) in the world.

Lack is an unnatural state. If we don’t have what we need, we are the ones responsible. Our thoughts are simply at odds with the will of God. It is against God’s nature to deprive anyone of anything. If we are out of touch with the realities of our lives, if we are being inauthentic in our living, if we are putting on a front, or in any way “lying” to the world about how we feel, then we will be in a continual state of lack. Why? Because we are obstructing the movement of God’s energy, the same energy that is trying to change the conditions in which we find ourselves trapped.

There is another saying: “Always tell the truth; it changes everything.” Someone asks you, “Do you love me?” Your answer could change your world. Your sixteen-year-old son asks you to buy him a $75,000 Corvette. What could possibly go wrong? You’re tired of working and you want to take early retirement. How do you really feel about that? Will having less to do actually make you happier? People who lie to themselves are incapable of telling the truth to anyone, including God.

Have you ever wondered why unscrupulous people always seem to get what they want? It’s because they aren’t afraid to be who they are. It doesn’t matter how many people they lie to—they don’t lie to themselves. How are you being dishonest? Under what falsehoods do you labor? What sorts of pretenses are you trying to uphold? Which of your past deeds are sitting in the shadows of your unconscious, passing judgment on you every moment of your life? Wouldn’t you rather expose them to the light of day?

We are, in truth, our own worst enemy, especially when it comes to how we use the Law of Mind. Honesty isn’t just a moral or ethical principle by which we govern our relationships with other people. It should also govern our relationship with ourselves. This is why it is said that confession is good for the soul—it scrubs our inner mirror. And it helps to remember that honesty doesn’t necessarily make you a “good” person; it just makes you an honest one. Being honest with yourself about yourself may show you things you do not like. So what? Whatever you find in your self-inquiry, make peace with it, because nothing changes until it becomes what it is. Hiding problems only perpetuates them. Go within, connect with God, and then proclaim, “I stand in the Light of Christ!” But don’t do it until you’re ready to let go—of everything.


See also:

The First Commandment—it’s not what you think!

The Second Commandment—is it really about worshipping idols?

The Third Commandment—get over yourself!

The Fourth Commandment—do I really have to go to church?

The Fifth Commandment—my mother, drunk or sober

The Sixth Commandment—Thou Shalt Not Kill Bill

The Seventh Commandment—Bearing False Witness



Books by Michael Maciel


World Priest—Bringing Heaven to Earth

Five Vows front cover copy

The Five Vows—Raising Your Spiritual Commitment to the Next Level


Michael Maciel – Author 

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Thou Shalt Not Steal…or else!

brass ringby Michael Maciel

Why are there so many “thou shalt nots” in the Ten Commandments? No wonder God comes across as an overbearing father figure ranting at his children. You can almost see him pointing his finger at you as you read these words. “Don’t stay out after midnight. Don’t hit your little sister. Don’t talk back to your mother!” Don’t, don’t, don’t. No wonder so many people rebel.

But if the Ten Commandments seem a bit simplistic, it’s because principles are hard to teach, especially abstract ones. It’s the overall pattern of the “Decalogue” that tells us that there are layers of meaning below the surface – depth, not just breadth. And to plumb the depths, you have to change the context. You have to shift from a morals and ethics view to a scientific view – the science of the Law of Mind.

The Law of Mind is a principle. It describes the cause-and-effect relationship between thoughts and outer conditions. If you understand how it works, the deeper meaning of the Ten Commandments begins to stand out. Instead of being a doctrine of moral and religious aphorisms, we begin to see discreet, detailed instructions on how to get our prayers answered.

Why is this important? Why does it matter that Moses outlined the Law of Mind in the Decalogue? Don’t we have enough information already in the teachings of New Thought? Surely, everything we’ve discussed so far can be found in Charles Fillmore’s Unity Movement or Ernest Holmes’ Science of Mind. The reason it matters is because within the Ten Commandments lies the whole package. Everything we need to know is laid out in ten easy-to-remember principles. And yes, it’s also important because it gives us a window into the wisdom of the ancients stretching all the way back to the Egyptian Mystery Schools, which is where Moses received his training. What he learned there he summarized on a couple of stone tablets. Hermes couldn’t have done it better.

So now we come to what appears to be little more than a simple rule of ethics – don’t take what doesn’t belong to you. Doesn’t get much simpler than that, does it. But if we shift the context to the Law of Mind, our focus shifts also. Somehow, “thou shalt not steal” has to be internalized. And the more we look at it, the more layers of meaning we begin to see.

At the first layer, we could say that it simply means that we shouldn’t use the Law of Mind to take another person’s property. You might love the house down the street, but you’re not going to pray for that particular house. Why? Because someone’s already living in it, and they may not want to move. But praying for that house will exert a real force, one which the current owners will feel. Circumstances will begin to turn against them. Hidden problems needing repair might suddenly become apparent. Legal problems or money problems could arise, which could make the owners start to consider putting their house on the market. Any number of forces could be brought into play that would start nudging them out so that you could move in. Not good.

The second layer of meaning we might encounter would be subtler still. As a concept, we could call it “over-reaching.” We’ve all experienced this. We like the idea of going to Harvard, but we’re not smart enough. So, we force our way in by using the Law of Mind, but we quickly find out that we don’t belong there. Our current state of consciousness is simply too limited to breathe that kind of air. Or, we’re really attracted to a certain person. He or she fits our preconceived notions of what a perfect mate looks like. But when we visualize getting into a relationship with them and it actually happens, we’re suddenly miserable, and they’re miserable too, because we simply do not belong with that person.

What is yours is only yours by right of consciousness. In a sense, it must already be yours before it will come to you. There has to be a match. Not only must there be a match, there must also be space for it in your life. Whenever we pray for something without doing the necessary preparations for receiving it, we are, in effect, attempting to steal it. The thing we want simply does not belong to us. So, you can see right away that part of praying effectively requires changing yourself. You must first alter your vibration – your internal and external quality of being in the world – so that it harmonically resonates with the thing you want to possess.

The third layer of meaning is really quite powerful. Once you realize that nothing comes to you except what is already yours, you begin to see that your very existence is a reflection of who you are. All the circumstances of your life are there because you drew them to you. And if they didn’t come to you, you went to them. This realization can lead us into a state of mind that eschews desire altogether. You don’t want anything. You become the living embodiment of the 23rd Psalm: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” This state of consciousness brings with it a profound sense of peace.

But meanwhile, back here on the ground, the lesson is much simpler: don’t reach out and try to take what hasn’t yet fully manifested. Let go of the process. It’s one thing to set the wheels in motion, to ask God to give you what you want, but it’s quite another to let God give it to you when both you and it are ready. This is one thing you simply cannot control. The Law of Mind isn’t a genie in a bottle. You can’t just snap your fingers and have stuff magically appear. Mind is indeed the cause, but nature must act on that cause and bring it to fruition, and it has to do it according to its own laws. Granted, the answers to some prayers may seem miraculous, but only to the human mind. To God’s mind, most things come very easily, and there is no order of magnitude. As Emerson said, “There is no great and no small to the Mind that maketh all.”

Remember, what you fight to get, you fight to keep. Let God do the logistics. Let go. Don’t let your eagerness muck up the works. Along with preparation, timing is everything.

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Love Your Enemies—Part 2

face offby Michael Maciel

What is the one thing you hate the most? What more than anything else will cause you to hate someone, possibly forever? In other words, how are enemies created?

Learning how to create something is the first step in gaining power over it. If you learn how to create hatred, you are that much closer to learning how to un-create it.

Wouldn’t it behoove you to learn how to un-create the hatred in yourself? If you could, then you could un-create it in others.

But first, you must first understand how hatred comes into being. So, again, I ask you, what is the one thing you hate the most? What more than anything else will cause you to hate someone, possibly forever? Answer this, and you will have the power of life and death over hatred.

If you know what you hate the most, there is a 99.9 percent chance that it’s the same thing everyone else hates, too. Know yourself, and the chances are good that you will understand your fellow human beings. All of them. We’re just not that different, especially when it comes to core issues like hatred. What you hate the most, everyone else hates as well. Know what it is, and you possess the key to creating peace in the world.

The premise here is an easy one: the word “love” conceals more than it reveals. It simply covers too many meanings for it to be meaningful. Did you know that the Eskimo Indians have fifty words for “snow”? It’s because snow is such a large part of their lives. And yet, we only have one word for love. Is it any wonder why “Love your enemies” as a Christian principle is so universally avoided?

When the meaning of a word obscures the reality behind it, sometimes it’s true meaning can be ascertained by examining its opposite. The opposite of love, however, is not hate. Neither is it indifference, or the verb form of indifference, “to ignore.” While being ignored isn’t pleasant, it doesn’t usually cause us to endlessly hate the person who ignores us.

But what is it that will cause us to hate the other person, and not just in the moment but for the rest of our lives? Whatever that is, it would certainly be at the heart of what Jesus was talking about when he said, “Love your enemies.” He must have understood it. He must have had the deepest insight into the nature of hatred in order to utter the three most paradoxical words in the Gospels: “Love your enemies.”

That one passage, while seemingly unworkable in the extreme, nonetheless cannot be discarded, no matter how hard we try. Intuitively, we know that it is the lynchpin that holds the entire Christian message in place. In fact, without it, Christianity falls apart. Unless it’s there, doctrines become nothing more than statements of tribalism – “us against them.”

And what assurance do we have that if we love our enemies that they will love us back? If we lay down our guns, won’t they take advantage and kill or enslave us? What possible benefit is there in that? “Love your enemies” is, therefore, nothing more than a suicide pact, or, worse yet, the manifesto of a coward. Who could possibly take it seriously?

Or so it seems. And the only way it can seem that way is if you make false assumptions about what it means to “love” your enemies. But what else can you do when you’re using a word that has only one meaning?

What are your false assumptions? One is that you think it means that you have to be nice to those who intend you harm. Kiss them on the cheek. Agree with their ideology. Let them have whatever they want. No wonder “Love your enemies” sounds like the philosophy of a fool. But this is because the word “love” is so misunderstood. And why is it misunderstood? Because it hasn’t been linked to the roots of hatred. If you know how to create hatred, you know how to un-create it.

The other false assumption about “Love your enemies” is that when you do, you will no longer have them—your enemies will suddenly become your friends. Again, this is another sharp departure from reality. We will always have enemies, if not mortal ones, ones with whom we compete, either philosophically, commercially, or socially. In a world of competing interests, enemies are inevitable. It would be stupid to ignore them. And one thing we can pretty much say with certainty is that Jesus was not stupid. Why, then, would he attach unrealistic expectations to the most important part of his message?

So, the question becomes, “How do we deal with our enemies as enemies?” If we’re not trying to magically transform them into friends, what are we trying to transform them into? Are we trying to transform them into anything at all? Besides fertilizer, I mean. How can we possibly “love” our enemies on the battlefield, on the street, or on the floor of Congress? Is this hopelessly paradoxical, or is there something to it that actually works?

If “Love your enemies” doesn’t magically transform them into friends, it must at least help remove the hatred. In other words, it must undermine and eventually remove the cause of hatred, which in turn would help to eliminate the endless cycle of war. Imagine that. Imagine a world in which war was rare. But, that’s not the case, is it. Wars are endless because they’re being fueled by hatred. Not just the hatred that flares up over a disagreement, but the kind of hatred that endures, sometimes for centuries. It’s hatred that’s the problem, and we can’t get rid of it unless we understand it in ourselves.

So again, I ask you (for the last time), what is the one thing you hate the most? What more than anything else will cause you to hate someone, possibly forever?


Humiliation is the one thing that the human heart cannot forgive. If there is such a things as a “sin against the spirit,” it is humiliation. It makes us more than just angry; it makes us hate. And it makes us hate with a hatred that lasts for generations.

Christianity is a major world religion. It is based on the teachings of one of the most intelligent people who has ever lived. Does it not make sense that the concept of “Love your enemies” would reflect the deepest and most profound truth, and that that truth would be complex enough to cover the full range of human experience? Does it not make sense that the limitations of language would be the chief reason why such a truth would be dismissed out-of-hand by the worldly wise? Does it not make sense that out of such a fundamental, deeply profound truth would come the noblest traditions devised by humanity, such as chivalry, international laws against war crimes, commonly accepted rules of engagement, and the reconstruction of vanquished lands, as in the Marshall Plan in WWII?

Is it possible to have enemies without demonizing them? Is it possible to acknowledge that their cause is as noble in their eyes as yours are to you? Can you fight someone, even to the death, without hating them? By doing so, would it not preserve the most valuable part of you, your SOUL, and not make your physical body the bottom line? Can you live in a world where life and death are so inextricably intertwined without losing your soul?

Are you physical or spiritual? Which is the more important part? If the physical part of you is your highest ideal, then it makes sense to destroy your enemies utterly, not just their bodies but their spirit also. But do you not see that this is what perpetuates wars, that this is what causes unending hatred?

So, let’s recast the mandate in more accessible, albeit negative, terms. We do this because of the limitations of the word “love”:

Do not demonize your enemies.

Do not strip your enemies of their dignity.

Do not call them inhuman.

You can beat them into the ground, but then help them get back on their feet.

You can burn their crops, but not their seeds.

You can beat them in battle, but do not rape them or kill their children.

Do NOT kill civilians.

Do NOT kill the unarmed.

Do NOT destroy their culture or their holy places.

Do NOT, Do NOT, Do NOT humiliate them.

All of these negatives are implied in the one, simple statement, “Love your enemies.” This is not theology; it is the wisdom of the heart. And you don’t have to take my word for it. Just consider the source—it takes a certain amount of faith to accept that Jesus would not have given us a precept that was unworkable.

We will always have enemies, but will we always have hatred?


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Life on the Edge

the-infiltratorby Michael Maciel

Recently, I read a review of The Infiltrator, a movie starring Bryan Cranston about Robert Mazur, an undercover FBI agent whose work led to the arrest of Medellin Cartel boss, Pablo Escobar. One sentence stood out, not for its meaning but for its violent imagery, the way it grabbed my attention against my will and forced me into hyper-awareness of life on the edge:

“Even as Mazur gets closer and closer to the final big bust, there is still the possibility that everything could blow up in an instant — Escobar money manager Javier Ospina, for one, doesn’t trust the newcomer [Mazur] from the first moment he sees him, and his skepticism hangs in the air like the blade of a guillotine.”

Damocles2We all live under the sword of Damocles; no one leaves this world alive. Perhaps this is what makes movies like The Infiltrator so compelling – they play into our awareness of just how temporary life is. And while most of us don’t push the inevitability of our end to such extremes, we secretly long for the intensity of living each day as though it were our last.

This is the essence of the Earth Experience, is it not? Life here is a curious mixture of pleasure and pain, of opportunity and loss, of feast and famine. But we do our best to ignore the danger, treating death and misfortune as though they were a bad uncle who shows up from time to time unannounced, disrupting the normalcy of our lives.

For those on the spiritual path, normalcy is the enemy. We go out of our way to skirt the edges of the known, to push the boundaries of our assumptions, to juggle razor-sharp swords (either literally or metaphorically) as a way to focus ourselves in the sacred but elusive present moment. We seek to shatter the numbness of our complacency by inventing ways to WAKE UP, either by putting our bodies or our sanity at risk. Whether it’s facing our fears on the battlefield or in the shadowy recesses of our own mind, we’re the ones who go looking for the danger. We run towards the gunfire, not away from it.

Jesus said that the birds and foxes have their nests and burrows, but that the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. The world, for all of its terrible beauty, is not our home. It’s not dualism to say we don’t belong here, that nature is an obstacle to be overcome. On the contrary, it’s an acknowledgement that the reality of oneness is beyond nature’s capacity to reveal.

seeIt’s not that we can’t find peace in waking up to the immediacy of our environment, it’s that our environment is much larger and deeper than our senses can register. Besides, it’s our mind that has led us to the top of the food chain, not our woefully inferior animal bodies or (compared to the rest of the animal kingdom) their mediocre senses. And it’s within the mind that we find the hidden portals to the greater reality we seek. What our bodies lack in strength and acuity, our mind more than makes up for in its ability to peer behind the veil of matter.

So, we gladly give up our supposed place in nature to find that which lies beyond it. Physical comfort and, indeed, life itself cannot compete with our desire to know the truth. We would reach for that apple even if the bough of the tree stretched out over the deepest abyss. We would risk it all for that knowledge. We must lose what we call “our life” in order to transcend its limitations, to see what the eyes cannot see, to hear what the ears cannot hear, to know what the senses are incapable of perceiving. Nature is but a dark filter that reveals only the slightest hints of the reality that underlies it. To see truth, we must remove that filter and, perhaps for the first time, come face to face with the Real.

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The Question of Evil

15by Michael Maciel

Nature is autonomous and has no regard for our feelings about it. Just as our bodies have automatic functions, so does the greater body of nature. It’s up to us to harmonize ourselves with it, not it with us. When we get out of harmony with natural forces, “all hell breaks loose.” Similarly, when people get out of harmony with the needs of their body and the deeper recesses of their mind, reactions occur, not evil reactions but balancing reactions.

This out-of-balance condition is the result of basing one’s reality on the world of appearances. It’s when we focus on the effects and ignore the underlying causes. In order to see the world of cause, we have to think, and we have to be in touch with our feelings. These are higher functions, not the undeveloped sensibilities of people caught in their animal nature or, shall we say, have voluntarily surrendered to it.

This is the Devil Key. The horned figure holds up his hand to say, “What you see is all there is.” And the beast-like humans could easily remove their chains but don’t want to.

There’s a scene in Pulp Fiction where Vincent Vega complains to his heroin dealer that someone keyed his immaculately restored ’57 Chevy. He says, ” I wish I could have caught him doing it. It would have been WORTH having him do it, just so I could catch him.” This is a person caught up (willingly) in his lower animal nature. It’s where you voluntarily induce an itch just so you can have the pleasure of scratching it.


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Love Your Enemies


by Michael Maciel

There’s a popular saying in New Thought that says, “Where attention goes, energy flows.”

“Love,” more than anything else, means “attention.”

In the movie “Avatar,” the beings of Pandora greeted each other by saying, “I see you.” Each encounter began with both parties fully acknowledging the being-ness of the other.

I felt that it was a better greeting than “Namaste,” which means, “I bow to the god within you,” because it didn’t bypass the person. “I see YOU,” not some abstract notion or my idea of deity.

Similarly, martial artists greet each other on the sparring floor, and for those who practiced true Christian Chivalry, on the battlefield as well.

“I SEE you, my enemy. I’m not going to pretend that you are less than human, that I am intrinsically better than you, or that your cause, in your own eyes, is not just.”

English has no word for this kind of love. “Respect” comes close, but it doesn’t quite encompass divinity.


Join the conversation on our Facebook Group, Mystical Bible Interpretation.

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World Priest, by Michael Maciel


Finally, the book I thought would never get published is available on Amazon!

World Priest took over two years to write, which is typical (I imagine) for most non-fiction books. Now that it’s completed, I feel a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone over it, trying to make sure that it says what I want it to say. The Priesthood is not an easy topic, and I know that a lot of people will be surprised by what I have to say about it—what it is, what it isn’t, and what it can be.

I wrote it with one basic premise in mind:

Priests are born, not made.

If you have “priest” written on your soul, you know that you were born to DO something. You know that you have a mission to accomplish. And you won’t feel fulfilled until you know what it is. This book will not only help you discover whether you are a priest, it will show you how to FUNCTION as a priest.

What is a priest? A priest is one who is committed to raising world consciousness. Let me repeat that: A PRIEST IS A PERSON WHO IS COMMITTED TO RAISING WORLD CONSCIOUSNESS.

Is that you?

If so, whatever field you are in, whether it’s public service, business, science, education, medicine, clergy, technology, or whatever, raising world consciousness is your passion.

This book will help you focus your passion. And it will give you TOOLS to get the job done.

Do you feel it? Do you sense that there are people from all over the world gathering in spirit, gathering to make the presence of God a living reality on this planet? Are you one of them? You owe it to yourself and the rest of the world to find out.

Read this book. Find out who and what you really are!


Books by Michael Maciel


World Priest—Bringing Heaven to Earth

World Priest—Kindle Edition

Five Vows front cover copy

The Five Vows—Raising Your Spiritual Commitment to the Next Level


Michael Maciel – Author 

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Scrambled Eggs— Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery


by Michael Maciel


Adulterate (verb): to render a substance poorer in quality by adding another substance, typically an inferior one: “The meat was ground fine and adulterated with potato flour.” Synonyms: to make impure, degrade, debase, spoil, taint, contaminate; doctor, tamper with, dilute, water down, weaken; bastardize, corrupt.

This commandment is similar to the First Commandment (You will have no other gods before me). Their common theme is fidelity. This means that when you formulate your prayer and begin the creative process, you mustn’t allow contradictory thoughts to cloud your intention. You can’t pray for sunshine and worry that it might rain.

This is where most people get hung up about the Law of Mind—how can I see myself as healthy when I am obviously sick? I don’t have a job; where’s the money going to come from? I’m fat and ugly; who’s going to find me attractive? The problem stems from an over-identification with the world of appearances. Your senses are telling you that what you see is what you get, while your knowing is saying, “What you image is what you will get.” But you can’t adulterate the image with the “facts.” If you do, you change the image. And when it comes to the Law of Mind, the image is everything.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
– Proverbs 29:18

One of the misconceptions about the Law of Mind is that all you have to do is hold the vision of what you want in your mind, and it will magically appear. This is definitely not the case. Just look at those people who have accomplished really great things, people like Martin Luther King, Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi. Both men had extraordinary visions, but were their paths easy? No. They had to work long and hard—incredibly hard—to turn their visions into reality.

Does this mean that the Law of Mind only works when we apply great effort, the way King and Gandhi did? It does if our vision is as large as theirs were. They were out to change the world, not buy a new car. But what made it possible for them to succeed where others had failed? Was it simply a matter of good timing, or was something more at play? The thing they had above all else was fidelity. They were true (faithful) to their vision. And they were also willing to pay the price.

“Ask for what you want, then pay for it.” – Sufi saying

How does this apply to you? You’re probably not out to change the world, not in the way these two men were, but your vision—the thing you want to manifest in your life—will most likely change your world, right? So, what can you learn from Gandhi and King? How can you approach your creative act in the same way they did? Well, one way is not to settle for anything less than your vision. Fidelity. Don’t grab the first thing that comes along as a result of your prayer. Because it will, you know. The universe will try to bargain with you just to see how serious you are. “You want a red convertible? How about a blue one instead?”

This is a silly example, I know, but extend it out to the bigger picture. If you’re in pain, do you just want the pain to go away, or do you want to be healed? If your company is on the verge of bankruptcy, will you settle for a stopgap measure, or do you want the opportunity to adapt to changes in the marketplace? It’s not as though the universe is playing games with you; it’s unfolding the possibilities in a logical way. The more faithful you are to your vision, the more opportunities will show up. It’s up to you to resist the temptation to lunge for the first thing that catches your eye. Why cheat on your dream?

This is what separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls, and the whatevers from the whatevers. Are you mature enough to hold out for the best? Can you stare down the universe and call its bluff when it tries to approximate your wishes? Can you override its autocorrections to your vision? Just because the Law of Mind is automatic doesn’t mean your demands have to be logical. Dream Big. Push the envelope. The cosmos will adjust. It has to.

Marriage is a long term project. You have to work on it. In the same way, your life vision is a lifelong commitment as well. The bigger the vision, the greater the commitment. Divorce can be tragic, but giving up on your dreams is even worse. Be faithful to your first love. Whatever it is that lights you up, be true to it. The key to using the Law of Mind is fidelity. It’s the one time you really should put all of your eggs in one basket.



See also:

The First Commandment—it’s not what you think!

The Second Commandment—is it really about worshipping idols?

The Third Commandment—get over yourself!

The Fourth Commandment—do I really have to go to church?

The Fifth Commandment—my mother, drunk or sober

The Sixth Commandment—Thou Shalt Not Kill Bill


Books by Michael Maciel

World Priest—Bringing Heaven to Earth

The Five Vows—Raising Your Spiritual Commitment to the Next Level


Michael Maciel – Author 

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Thou Shalt Not Kill Bill

kill bill

by Michael Maciel

In the ancient mystery schools, candidates for initiation had to undergo many tests to see if they were qualified to receive the higher teachings, especially those that pertained to the Law of Mind. They weren’t tests to tell how much the candidate knew intellectually; they were tests of character. One of the most important of these tests was (and still is) harmlessness. Candidates had to prove that they would never use the Law of Mind to hurt someone.

Harmlessness is a quality of the heart. It describes the nature of one’s overall intention. What kind of person are you? Do you have unresolved issues that cause you to want to retaliate, to seek revenge, or to harbor feelings of ill-will towards others? Would you resort to using the Law of Mind as a weapon of vengeance? Would you pray for someone to die? Would you use it simply to dominate others? Would you use it to block the legitimate interests of those with whom you do business? These are important questions.

They are important, but they still pertain to one’s outer life. How do we apply the principle of harmlessness to our inner life?

When we use the Law of Mind, our inner landscape changes. We become aware of the hidden aspects of the situation at hand. Predictably, new information will arise, information that may or may not conform to our original purpose. As this new information arises, we have to treat it with care. We must not kill it off. We have to be willing to make course corrections if the new information deems it necessary. This is the deeper application of the principle of harmlessness in our use of the Law of Mind.

Harmlessness must be tempered with discernment. When operating on the level of mind, you will encounter many autonomous entities. Some will be living forms that have a purpose and trajectory of their own. These have to be dealt with carefully, because until you know what their purpose is, you have to let them unfold as they will. But other forms are not alive. They are strictly thought-forms that have been infused with emotion. The only life they have is that which you give them or what they can derive from the collective mind of humanity. These forms must be dealt with in the same way you would treat any other extraneous thought. You simply get rid of them.

You can only kill that which is alive. The problem with extraneous thought-forms is that they can sometimes appear to be alive when, in actuality, they are not. They can even take on the appearance of a person or an animal. Sometimes, they can look monstrous, or they can appear benign. This is why discernment is important.

Discernment only comes through practice. It comes as a result of your devotion to the real. It comes through an assiduous mindset of renunciation, the ability to cast out of one’s consciousness everything that is not of God. But this requires patience. You have to let a thought emerge fully so that you can see what it is before dismissing it simply because it doesn’t fit in with what you already know.

Meanwhile, back in the realm of everyday life, “Thou shalt not kill” is fairly unambiguous. It applies to other human beings, and some argue that it applies to animals as well. But it can also be argued that when it comes to human beings or animals, there are much worse things than death. In the case of animals, the destruction of an entire species is far worse than the death of an individual member of that species. Likewise, the destruction of an ecosystem is worse than cutting down a few trees. Similarly, building a hydroelectric dam or cutting the tops off of mountains and dumping the dirt into stream beds can destroy a watershed, something that most would consider a nonliving system but which in reality supports the life of both animals and humans alike. So, “Thou shalt not kill” has its hierarchical levels of interpretation in the physical world as well, not just in the realm of metaphysics.

Unless we apply the underlying principle of harmlessness to the commandment “Thou shalt not kill,” it seems hopelessly unworkable. Life lives by eating life. This is the law of the jungle, the ubiquitous reality of nature. If we try to remove the layers of meaning from this commandment by reducing it to a flat image, it becomes useless, because we cannot possibly use it successfully in all situations. And for it to be a true doctrine, it must be universal. There can be no exceptions.

We are thrown into a system of competing interests, a system that feeds on itself and does so with extreme prejudice. But it is also a self-sustaining system that, while presenting us with some pretty horrific challenges, also gives us extraordinary opportunities for soul growth and development. “All life is painful,” said Buddha. If it were not, we would have no reason to seek higher ground.

Our search for truth is a battlefield. As we rise up in our understanding, old concepts must go. Once they have proven themselves obsolete, we must uproot them without a second thought. The antithesis of this is to hang on to old concepts and murder the truth as it emerges, the same way Herod did in his Slaughter of the Innocents. Will you suppress the truth when it arises in your consciousness?


See also:

The First Commandment—it’s not what you think!

The Second Commandment—is it really about worshipping idols?

The Third Commandment—get over yourself!

The Fourth Commandment—do I really have to go to church?

The Fifth Commandment—my mother, drunk or sober


Scrambled Eggs—Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery


Books by Michael Maciel

World Priest—Bringing Heaven to Earth

The Five Vows—Raising Your Spiritual Commitment to the Next Level


Michael Maciel – Author 

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Spiritual Apprenticeship—do you need a teacher?

swankby Michael Maciel

Apprentices learn by emulating their master. The master says, “Do it exactly how I show you. Later, you can make your own adaptations.”

Formal spiritual development always involves the deconstruction of the student. Everyone comes with ideas about what “oneness with God” looks like, and that has to be unpacked. This is why many gurus and ashrams won’t take students who are beyond a certain age—there is simply too much baggage in the way. But while this may be impossible, with God, all things are possible.

In the movie “Million Dollar Baby,” Eddie Dupris (Morgan Freeman) says this about apprenticeship:

“To make a fighter, you gotta strip them down to bare wood. You can’t just tell ’em to forget everything they know, you gotta make ’em forget it in their bones… make ’em so tired they only listen to you, only hear your voice, only do what you say and nothing else… show ’em how to keep their balance and take it away from the other guy… how to generate momentum off their right toe and how to flex your knees when you fire a jab… how to fight backing up so that the other guy doesn’t want to come after you. Then you gotta show ’em all over again. Over and over and over… till they think they’re born that way.”

The law of spiritual development is simple: “Water can only rise to its own level.” But like any law, this one can be broken, or at least bent, meaning that there are ways to push apprentices beyond their normal limits. This is best done by a master teacher, but students do find ways to do it on their own, either by certain kundalini exercises or psychedelic drugs. But force the water over its banks and it will always coming sloshing back. Drugs and extreme exercises can offer but a glimpse. Their beatific visions are unsustainable.

True oneness with God is more than an “aha” moment. It takes commitment and training. A gemstone has a jewel within it, but it takes a master craftsman to cut away the excess.

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