The secret to success in any area of human concern is really no secret at all, it is so obvious: whenever you whole-heartedly focus your attention, you will progress.
The master key in that sentence is "whole-heartedly." Half-heartedly doesn't work. Neither does 99.9%-heartedly. Wherever there is a crack in commitment, doubt and then mistakes and then failure rush in. Whole means complete, entire, with every fiber of one's being dedicated to the goal. That works. When one is 100% complete, the almighty forces of Nature align behind one to bring success in countless unforeseen ways.
Anytime we think the problem is somehow "out there," we have missed the essential point of human life. All of our experience, all of our creation comes from inside, from here, from our heart. To change the outer world is impossible without first changing the inner world. As Thoreau put it, "For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root." The power of a life that stems from inner strength is incomparable. Life dedicated to external solutions will lead to ever-increasing frustration as one is disappointed again and again with all the noble efforts to change the outer world. The outer world has a certain wonderful disdain for the attempts of the human to change it, if the human is not coming from the place of whole-heartedness.
It is not difficult to become whole-hearted. It takes a reversal of the typical direction of awareness.
From birth, we have been trained to use our senses in a vertically outward direction. This was necessary for survival and has served us well. We needed to learn to identify that of the outer world that nourished, that which was safe, that which was not. Then we went to school and learned some ability of using the mind horizontally: thinking about things. Both of these directions of the mind we accept without question as being utterly natural and normal, simply because we are so familiar with them.
With both these motions of awareness being natural, outward vertical and horizontal, why should anyone think that the third obvious motion of the mind, inward vertical, should be unnatural and involve effort in order to accomplish? It is a curious result of waking state thinking, that the inward direction of the mind alone should involve work. The Reality is quite other: it takes less energy to think at deeper or more inward levels of thought, therefore it is actually easier to go inside than it is to use the senses in an outward direction or even to think about something! It is just that the average person has never been trained to take the attention inward. Too bad, because it is precisely by taking the attention inward that one learns to be whole-hearted.
The Ishayas' Ascension process is the most effortless means available in the world today to train the mind to move gently inward. No effort is required in order to Ascend.
None. Zilch. Nada. In fact, the single most common mistake among individuals new to the practice is that they try to do it. They try and try and try and it doesn't work and so they stop Ascending. A great tragedy, that, and all based upon the simple misunderstanding that it involves effort to Ascend. It is explained -over and over again- in the First Sphere Weekend that Ascension is a completely effortless process, but there is so much information being communicated there, it is not surprising that some of it gets overlooked, particularly this fact. The life-long habit is to use effort when one thinks. The inward direction of the mind alone is effortless. Small wonder then, it takes some time to learn this concept.
As one moves gently inward, several remarkable things begin to happen.
First, the body settles down to very deep rest, deeper than that of sleep at night. This allows deep stresses and strains to be released from the physiology.
Second, the mind starts erasing the old grooves of doubt, of limitation, of fear, of self-destructive behavior patterns. This is true because the inward movement of the mind takes one to greater levels of subtlety that automatically start erasing the boundaries of limits.
Third, joy and peace start spontaneously developing in the life, freeing one's heart from the painful shrouds of past experience.
Life begins to be lived in innocence and unconditional love.
Every area of life changes for the better with Ascension, because the mind controls every area of the life and the mind begins immediately to expand, to lose the boundaries and limits of old, fear-based thinking. As this process continues, one begins to become more and more innocent, to live life more and more fully in the present moment of time, without preconceived ideas or judgments about the nature of reality. The constant chatter of the internal dialogue gradually stills, freeing one to experience pure creativity and joy in every moment.
As life becomes simpler and more innocent, one naturally finds that one's desires become increasingly one-pointed.
As the full power of attention is directed onto a single desire, the fulfillment is instantaneous. What is desire like in the waking state? You desire an apple and go to the refrigerator only to find that the only apple there is mushy, half-rotten, with a worm sticking out of it, laughing at you. With increasing evolution, you desire an apple and go to the refrigerator and your roommate has just purchased a bag of the most beautiful, ripe, crisp apples you can imagine. Evolve a bit further, and you don't have to get up out of your big overstuffed chair: you desire an apple and your partner walks in the door bringing you one, saying, "I just thought you might like an apple..." Evolve further still, no partner is necessary to produce the apple at your side, in your hand. These are stages of growth of physical mastery, of one-pointed faith.
For verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. [Matthew 17:20]
Faith as a grain of mustard seed is one-pointed faith.
When the intellect is firmly focused on a point, the awareness is free to experience itself as it truly is: unbounded, infinite, absolute. When the intellect is established in one-pointed faith and learns to entertain desires in one-pointed faith, the unbounded nature of Ascendant Awareness acts instantly to fulfill the desires. This is known as the Miracle Power; it automatically develops in anyone who continues Ascending long enough to clean all the internal machinery completely.
The waking state sells itself far short. Created in the image and likeness of God, the average human lives a life more akin to the animals than to the glorious potentiality of full human realization. Unfortunate misinterpretations of the world's scriptures have contributed greatly to the distorted and unfortunate self-images that keep humanity locked into limitations and boundaries instead of freeing the human race to soar with angelic wings into the heart of Heaven.
Fortunately, any mistake, even those of centuries-long duration, can be changed by simply choosing again for the Truth. The Atonement patiently awaits all humans' simple choice to flow with the Ascending currents of Natural Law, rather than continue to be caught by the darkness of the ego's created universes of fantasies, of pain and death. This is a choice, a simple choice; once the choice is made, whole-heartedness naturally follows. And following whole-heartedness is the most remarkable series of transformations that leaves, in the end, the human as a full manifestation of God's perfect Creation.