Book Review – The Laws of Spirit – by Dan Millman

  “We can’t teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.”

            Galileo Galilei – Preface 1995

    Dan Millman states: “All journeys are true, but not all are factual.” We           find the laws on the winding paths of life within our intuitive wisdom and     without in the natural world.

 This is an adventure story, an encounter in the wilderness of northern California between the author and a mysterious woman, a mountain sage who offered to share with him her secrets of alchemy. Her secrets were not of turning lead into gold but of transmuting one’s fears, confusion, concerns and difficulties that arise into “the gold of freedom and clarity, serenity and joy” in the laws of Spirit. She explained she had found Spirit in all religions and its laws functioning throughout the universe, as do the mechanics of the universe.  Following these laws leads to prosperity and fulfillment—peace in the light of higher understanding; resistance leads to challenging consequences.

The Law of Balance is first, reminding us we can overdo and underdo on all levels of our being. Her examples are experiential, such as imagining the feeling of calm the egret experiences standing on one leg at the edge of a pond. We learn to discern the difference between ‘normal,’ which could be high tension, and what is true balance and inner peace. The way to find that serene center is through doing and becoming more aware of the imbalances of living your life that need balancing.

The Law of Choices allows us to reclaim our power—choosing our response to circumstances in life and taking action to follow through with it. The sage’s declaration that all choices serve in their own way is a comforting thought, however it feels in the process.

The Law of Process addresses the steps and awareness involved in bringing change, achieving a goal, as well as honoring the completion of each step of preparation toward what has special meaning to us.

The Law of Presence is exemplified in Margaret Bonnano’s quote, “It’s only possible to live happily ever after on a moment to moment basis.” Dealing with what is in front of you is where your body is in the here and now.

The Law of Compassion is defined as “the recognition that we are each doing the best we can within the limits of our current beliefs and capacities.” This freeing thought precludes our judgment of others when we realize Carl Jung’s adage that we reject in others what we cannot accept within ourselves. Acknowledging such tendencies within us brings our shadow side to the light, where compassion and healing can benefit all. It starts with forgiving ourselves. When faced with violence and human cruelty each of us can decide what kind of energy—love or hate—that we want to project into our world. We can learn to see all people as teachers.

The Law of Faith is about trusting in Spirit, universal love and wisdom working through us all. The sage speaks of God as a feeling of wonder and mystery rather than belief and accepts whatever happens can serve a higher purpose for our well-being regardless of how it appears. Awareness of your faith comes from listening to the intuitive wisdom of your heart, not from books, teachers, scientists and psychics. So often we seek outside us for what is within from our birth. External influences can guide you to your internal treasure. Your path may present obstacles, and your faith brings you the willingness to risk, make mistakes and move forward in the process of life.

The Law of Expectation expands our reality. Imagination, assumptions and beliefs at the deepest level determine your experience. Blocks to the realization of what we want come up as doubts in the possibility of achieving it. By expressing aloud all the reservations involved and reassessing can clear the mind’s energy. The perception and focus shifts so that negativity doesn’t hold you back. Our limitations are only in our beliefs in problems; beliefs in solutions change our life and our world.

The Law of Integrity is described as living our truth, our authentic interior reality expressed by our example, not only our words, for our own as well as others’ awareness. Completeness and unity are inferred in being yourself and knowing that is ‘enough’ even with our vulnerabilities.

The Law of Action is demonstrated beyond the thought and into our behavior, the doing that leads to understanding and moving into life. The sage delivers the message: “It’s better to do what is best than not to do it and have a good excuse.” Still, options require consideration that nonaction may be best in certain circumstances. Key is turning to your heart’s wisdom and being aware of your tendencies of impulsivity or inertia.

The Law of Cycles speaks to us of nature’s patterns in time and space. As Kahlil Gibran wrote, “In every winter’s heart lies a quivering spring, and behind the veil of each night waits a smiling dawn.” Change is life, and we often cling to the familiar, comforted in the assumption of control and order. The lessons from nature, e.g. seeds produce only their own kind, you reap what you sow, and cycles end before another begins, enhance our days and our own evolution, a ripening process.

The Law of Surrender points to acceptance of a higher will that involves receiving what is in the present, including your body, mind, and spirit and your life without resistance. Belief in the wisdom of your heart leads to spiritual growth and greater consciousness. “Learn to wish that everything should come to pass exactly as it does.” was the instruction of Epictetus, the ancient Greek philosopher, to his students. By relaxing the body surrenders to the moment versus rigidly holding to what ‘should’ happen. With practice, we can perceive all we behold as Spirit and that life is a mystery beyond our comprehension.

The Law of Unity awareness requires a shift in perception on a higher plane—coming to realize that we re not separate beings on an earth of infinite diversity but rather One Being, One Consciousness. The paradox depends on seeing both perspectives on the state of our awareness—the individual entities vs. parts of the whole. The choice becomes ours. The concept begins as incredulous to our comprehension. The sage, however, suggests being open to feeling it—a sense of deep connection to your presence at that moment, bringing pure peace and joy. How would your life, your reality change by embracing a vision of humanity as One? The oneness dissolves the wounding and heals the wounded with compassion for all creation.

The Laws of Spirit are intended for bearing courage, love and understanding. Yet powerful as these laws are, the sage concludes, without the Law of Love–your connection to your heart’s wisdom–they are secondary. Her prayers for us all: “May you find grace as you surrender to life. May you find happiness, as you stop seeking it. May you come to trust these laws and inherit the wisdom of the Earth. May you reconnect with the heart of nature and feel the blessings of Spirit.” All together they light our journey and remind us of the love that surrounds each of us and the peace that perpetuates.

Nancy  B. Martin

Certified Practitioner

 

Advertisements

Author: nancybmartin

Thought Leader on Aging

2 thoughts on “Book Review – The Laws of Spirit – by Dan Millman”

  1. “Learn to wish that everything should come to pass exactly as it does.” For me, this is the hardest of all to put into practice. Man o man, everybody everywhere is always doing it wrong! 🙂 well, to hear me tell it anyway…

    Thank you, Nancy, for some great “balanced” reporting on what we are all here to learn. AND which would lead to health faster than anything,…if we could succeed.

Please Comment or Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s