Aspire To Wisdom – The Book

Shining Jewels To Dissolve Your Obstacles & Enlighten Your Life

Written by Dr. Asoka K Selvarajah

Aspire To Wisdom by Asoka Selvarajah

Aspire To Wisdom is a kaleidoscope of spiritual and personal development teachings. The most profound lessons are often expressed simply. Therefore, Aspire To Wisdom is full of short, impactful strategies you can apply immediately to create major life breakthroughs.

Here are some of the many power-packed secrets you will discover…

  • Why financial wealth is actually good for your spiritual growth!
  • 10 things you can do to produce a Quantum Leap in your life…. FAST!
  • How to work in the subtle realm of Thought to manifest your wildest dreams.
  • Finally revealed – a key Ancient Mystery School secret to use everything that happens in your life to your growth and upliftment.
  • Discover the amazing Sacred Geometry at the heart of Creation.
  • How to break free of the job you hate!
  • Eliminate low self-esteem, and become the high confidence person you deserve to be.
  • The single best way to achieve financial independence (you’ll totally love doing it too).
  • How the new science of Chaos Theory directly affects your life… and what you can do to benefit from it.
  • How to finally begin your Dream Project today (and kill procrastination dead).
  • Discover the Golden Secret to TOTAL success in life … and it takes just one hour a day!

and much much more….

Dr. Selvarajah inspires and encourages you in his own unique style that has been described as a cross between Tony Robbins and Deepak Chopra. Profound concepts from ancient spiritual wisdom are blended with the latest human potential research to challenge your mind and stimulate your body into ACTION!

About the author:
Dr. Asoka Selvarajah was born in London, U.K. He studies and researches the world’s spiritual traditions, and delves into the latest discoveries in psychology and personal development. His teachings provide a unique synthesis of Eastern and Western spiritual and scientific insights. Asoka gained his Ph.D in Nuclear Physics and then spent eleven years in Investment Banking, forecasting financial market movements with ultra-high accuracy.

You can Click Here To  Order Aspire To Wisdom

Communing With The Universe – The Power Of Oracles

Until recently, scientists were giving us an increasingly mechanistic view of the Universe. The “billiard ball” model of reality – namely, that certain knowable causes always give rise to certain predictable effects – increasingly dominated all areas of our society. Scientists expected that one day, they would have a complete explanation for ALL phenomena. God increasingly became the “god of the gaps” – the gaps that Science could not explain….yet.

However, the advent of Quantum Mechanics and Chaos Theory in particular has ended that dream forever. Instead of speaking of certainties and laws, we must now deal with probabilities (i.e. likelihood’s) and a constant interplay between Order and Chaos. Royal Society Biologist, Rupert Sheldrake, now threatens to upset the established scheme even further with his theory that there are in fact no “Laws of Nature”, but rather ingrained habits built up through countless repetitions!

So everything in Science is in a dramatic state of flux – one that has yet to feed down to the layman. Most people are still caught in the 19th century hangover of Scientific Rationalism. This loosely states that the only things that exist are those that can be verified experimentally, and that logic is the only valid function of the brain for determining true knowledge about reality. This notion still pervades all areas of society.

However, it is an utterly false one. In truth, the universe is increasingly revealed to be a place of profound mystery. The more scientists discover, the more they gasp at the immensity that remains to be discovered. In truth, the Universe is something incomprehensibly complex; from the smallest sub-atomic particle to the vast dimensions of galactic super-clusters. It defies the finite capacities of our minds.

Moreover, for those who have eyes to see, the universe is also revealing itself to be a place of infinite intelligence. Whether it be Dr. Deepak Chopra telling us about the incredible wisdom stored within the Human Body, or Geo-Physicist James Lovelock postulating that the entire Earth can realistically be considered a single living organism – Gaia – many scientists are embracing a holistic approach to reality at all scales.

Within this new reality of the universe as BEING, the ancient methods of perception emerge once more as potentially valid ways of examining reality. In particular, the ancient method of the Oracle deserves our re-appraisal.

Long maligned by Science as contemptible outdated nonsense, and by mainstream Religion as the work of the devil, Oracles nevertheless enjoyed a long and respected history in the Ancient World and throughout prehistory. Science has rightly put an end to such notions as the flat Earth hypothesis, and the belief that earthquakes and storms are the work of unappeased gods. However, Oracles – such as the I Ching and Tarot – seem as resilient today in our modern technological civilization as they ever were. Ironically, Astrology even uses the latest computer technology to do its work far more efficiently and quickly than has ever been possible before!

The eight trigrams
Image via Wikipedia

Before we discount this tendency as solely limited to the realm of the feeble-minded, we should remember that no less a mind than the great Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, took Oracle systems VERY seriously indeed and worked extensively with the I Ching and the Tarot. It is an indisputable fact that numerous Investment Banks around the world use Financial Astrology to assist in their trading decisions. Moreover, the brilliant 19th century banker, J.P. Morgan – whose bank bears his name and is today one of America’s most prestigious financial institutions – is famously quoted as saying, “Millionaires don’t believe in Astrology. Billionaires do.”

Hence, despite the ravages of Science and Religion, Oracle systems remain popular and robust in mainstream society, and are espoused by genius and simpleton alike. Why is this? Why have they not gone the same way as belief in Santa Claus or Werewolves?

Might the reason for their persistence be that Oracles are a legitimate and valid function of the human brain? Could it be that, like concepts of conscious and subconscious, and the left-handed and right-handed functions of the brain, there is actually a part of your brain that is hard-wired to receive and process information in an oracular manner?

This notion might seem revolutionary. However, it is not at all unreasonable. Recall our earlier discussion about how Science seems to be revealing the universe to be a place of Infinite Intelligence and Being. What if the Cosmos really does function through Synchronicity (meaningful coincidences), as Deepak Chopra’s SynchroDestiny and James Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy suggest? Would it then be unreasonable to postulate that Nature might have directly hard-wired into us a means to perceive Reality this way?

It is not unreasonable at all. In fact, it is quite likely.

This would explain how Oracles thrive despite Rationalism’s best efforts to eliminate them. You cannot eradicate a legitimate function of the human brain through argument any more than you can insist that everyone’s right leg is a useless physical leftover from a primitive past!

So where does this leave us? Quite simply, the Oracle is where our individual soul touches the Soul of the Universe. Whereas logic speaks to the scientific/logical left side of our brain, the oracle communicates information from the heart of the universe, through symbol and image, direct to the artistic/symbolic right-side. Each of us is bombarded daily from society with logical/scientific input. We need to redress the balance by stimulating and using the artistic/symbolic right-side of the brain. This will in turn enhance our overall capacity to function in life. Oracles systems like the I Ching and Tarot can help us do that.

In doing so, we need not approach with an attitude of deep fear, as if we are about to lose our souls. Such fears were propagated by established religion for purely political reasons. After all, if you are truly able to obtain essential knowledge and communion with the Source/God directly, why would you need the expensive trappings of large buildings, the priesthood and regular financial donations?

Image via Wikipedia

Rather, we should remember that serious scientists like Jung made studies of the Tarot and I Ching, in line with his studies of Symbolism and the Human Mind. Moreover, the latest scientific revelations of the Universe show it to be a place of meaning and incomprehensible intelligence. Thus, Oracle systems – which seem so in tune with these discoveries – acquire a legitimacy and basis of credibility that they could never have had in previous centuries when these facts were unknown.

Hence, you should choose an oracle and use it regularly. The Tarot and I Ching are particularly recommended. Write your results down in your Journal. Regular use will exercise this vital brain function. Like anything that is exercised regularly, this brain function will strengthen and improve and give you increasingly reliable results.

In doing so, you strengthen your intuition and put yourself in direct contact with the Source of the Universe itself.

Copyright Asoka Selvarajah 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Your Life As A Mystery School

Mystery schools once existed throughout the Ancient World – Greece, Egypt, India, China, South America. These spiritual centers provided a place where students could receive a mystical education by progressing through a series of spiritual trials and initiations. The goal was to provide seekers with the highest levels of spiritual realization – to understand the deep truths of existence, the cosmos and human life. Initiates of the Mysteries were credited with wisdom, as well as great magical and occult powers.

The main method of teaching the Mysteries was through Myth – stories with deep mystical and psychological symbolism; for example, the Greek and Roman Myths. In reality, these stories possessed two different levels. On the mundane level, the myths could be seen as simple entertaining tales with light moral undertones. For most people, this is how they would be received. These were the Outer Mysteries.

However, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, there existed the Inner Mysteries.

Students of the Outer Mysteries would be carefully observed. Some would show signs of recognition – a clear ability to see beyond the superficial level of the stories to the more profound meaning. These few would then be selected for further initiation into the Inner Mysteries. They would serve under the tutorship of the Master (Hierophant) of the Mystery School and be taken to ever deeper levels of spiritual enfoldment.

The teachings were hard. The initiation ceremonies were dramatic and frightening – seemingly life and death situations where the student was exposed to his deepest fears and temptations. Perhaps the mythological stories would be enacted in the depths of a dark cave to the sound of loud gongs and frightening flashes of light. Frankly, nobody really knows. Initiates were sworn to strictest secrecy, even unto death, and these matters were never written down.

Thanks largely to the efforts of organized mainstream religion throughout history and the world, the Mystery Schools have mostly vanished on the physical plane. However, they still exist on the spiritual level. More excitingly, they can come alive right now for YOU in a personal way – through a profound study of your own unfolding life.

Prior to your birth, imagine that the spiritual part of you – known as the Higher Self – made some decisions. It determined precisely the lessons and experiences you needed to undergo in order to learn, grow and perfect yourself in all ways. It then chose exactly the right parents, and the right time and place for you to be born. Ever since your birth, it has been orchestrating ALL the events and people in your life to perfectly present you with all the challenges and lessons you most need in order to develop yourself. From this perspective, nothing happens in your life by chance. Everything has meaning. There are NO accidents.

What is the goal of all this? What is the purpose of your life from this perspective? It is no less than to become a Spiritual Master over as many lifetimes as it takes!

This is the perspective of your life as a Mystery Story. The Master Teacher of the Mysteries is your Higher Self. Through the trials of ordinary life, -through perceiving the mythic dimensions of it – you are presented with the lessons you most need to learn in order to perfect yourself in all ways.

It is a theory which cannot be definitively proven. However, as the great mystical teacher, Paul Solomon, once said, life works far better and makes more sense if we assume it is true, even if it is not!

The Mystery School perspective is very similar to the way in which we regard dreams. Modern Psychology postulates that every person, object and situation in our dreams has deep symbolic meaning. They are created by a part of our mind that understands and thinks only in symbols. The challenge is for our waking consciousness to then make sense of all these meaningful symbols.

This is exactly the same situation that is presented with our waking lives from the Mystery School perspective. In a sense, as long as we participate in life unawares, we are still asleep. As soon as we realize and actively participate in the Mystery School lessons of our lives, the sleeper awakens to progressively greater levels of awareness.

If your life is a Mystery School, everything that happens to you is by design. There are NO accidents. Every person who enters your life, every situation whether joyous or tragic, every challenge you face, is there for a specific reason. From this viewpoint, you have to stop blaming your parents all the time for the way you turned out. After all, you chose them!

Like King Arthur, Perseus, or Odysseus, you are the hero of your own personal Mystery Mythology. The events and characters in your life are the colorful fabrics of which your story is woven.

People and circumstances that you perceive to be enemies and trials are in fact your greatest teachers. In the Mysteries, the initiators could appear to the student as demons or monsters – evil forces that had to be overcome before any further progress was even possible. These were in truth archetypal forces within the pupil’s own psyche that needed to be wrestled with and brought under control before any further progress could be made.

Yet, once the lesson had been learned and the demon overcome, it revealed its true form – as an angel of light. As the Dalai Lama once said, we need to be grateful to people who mean us harm, for it is only through conflict that we can grow. From a Buddhist perspective, there is even more need for gratitude to enemies: they are actively harming themselves, incurring massive negative karma, specifically to benefit you! And they don’t even know it!

How does this apply practically? Well, have you noticed that certain scenarios – work difficulties, relationship problems or whatever – keep cropping up again and again for you? The reason is that if you refuse to learn a lesson, it will simply repeat again later until you do. Please don’t think that you can go on to the advanced lessons until you have mastered the simple ones.

It will not happen.

Wherever you go in the entire world to escape a lesson, you take yourself with you! Thus, you can be sure that your Higher Self will simply orchestrate events to present the exact same lesson/challenge until you finally get the message.

Moreover, remember this. The Higher Self regards your body as perfectly expendable! After all, if you refuse to learn the lesson in this life, it can simply provide you with a new one and the same lesson can start over where it left off!

In summary, viewing your life as a Mystery School is immensely beneficial. It provides you with a powerful spiritual perspective. It makes sense and meaning out of all that happens to you, enormously increases your chances for growth, and helps you work towards a firm purpose that transcends yourself.

Copyright Asoka Selvarajah 2011. All Rights Reserved.

This article is one example of many from the new book, Aspire To Wisdom, which is filled with dynamic strategies for personal change and spiritual growth.

Developing A Reflective Life In the Midst Of Turmoil

When our lives are primarily externally focused, it becomes easy to lose sight of the game plan. What are we doing all this for? What is the point of it all? Like too many stressed out corporate “high-fliers”, we may reach the very top of the ladder, only to find that it is leaning against the wrong wall. The joy of simply living all too easily evaporates as we postpone our pleasure for some unspecified future date.

We don’t allow ourselves to be happy now, but instead promise ourselves that when we have got that promotion, or fallen in love with that ideal partner, or had that baby, bought that new home, or become a millionaire, then we can be happy. Meanwhile the present time, which in truth is all we ever really have, quietly slips away.

One of the most important things you can do in life is to simply find time for yourself. By this, we don’t mean opting out of society or “spacing out“. Value yourself enough to give yourself time to simply be, without any expectation of goal or result. Paradoxically, by doing this, we can often achieve far more in our externally focused lives than we otherwise might.

When our lives are primarily externally focused, it becomes easy to lose sight of the game plan. What are we doing all this for? What is the point of it all? Like too many stressed out corporate “high-fliers“, we may reach the very top of the ladder, only to find that it is leaning against the wrong wall. The joy of simply living all too easily evaporates as we postpone our pleasure for some unspecified future date.

We don’t allow ourselves to be happy now, but instead promise ourselves that when we have got that promotion, or fallen in love with that ideal partner, or had that baby, bought that new home, or become a millionaire, then we can be happy. Meanwhile the present time, which in truth is all we ever really have, quietly slips away.

The biggest trap is to work for money. Many people do this assuming that once a certain amount of money has been amassed in the bank, or once they can see the sheer immensity of their assets laid out before them, then they will be truly happy. Again, it is an utter illusion. The truth is that you have to prepare your mindset for wealth first or else (a) you will never truly achieve it because your inner mind will forever act to keep you within your comfort zone or, (b) if you do achieve it, you will not have developed the habits of mind to be content with it anyway.

Leading motivational coach, Tony Robbins, talks about how much he wanted to become a millionaire but once he actually achieved it, the thrill lasted for about ten minutes. After that, everything felt just the same as before. Yes, there are many millionaires who are happy. However, there are many who are as equally miserable. In fact, many of the latter would agree that their prime cause of sorrow is the money itself; fear of losing it, dissatisfaction at not being as rich as so-and-so who is worth ten times more, etc. The key point is that money itself is not the determiner of happiness and purpose. A correct state of mind IS.

Capturing our purpose is the most important thing we can possibly do. It is not the work of a moment, an hour or even of a few days. It is an ongoing project that brings more riches each and every day. By doing this, we discover who we really are and why exactly we are here. The truth is that you are here for a purpose. You manifested into this life for a reason. So how do we go about discovering this purpose?

The first thing is simply to make time for yourself. Treat yourself as precious and important and find times to be alone in quiet reflection upon your life. Many people meditate to gain deeper insights about themselves. This is certainly immensely valuable. However, if you feel uncomfortable with meditation at this stage, then simply creating moments in the day when you can ponder and wonder can be deeply beneficial.

At several points in the day, try simply closing your eyes and taking a deep breath. Turn your attention inward and remember whatever it is you need to, and as you let your breath out exhale all your tension and concerns.

David Kundtz, in his excellent book Stopping, calls these brief moments in the day “Stillpoints”. They are easier to do than meditation because they only take a few seconds. However, if you do about fifteen or so of these a day, it can make a tremendous difference to your inner calm and perspective on life.

You can also do what Kundtz calls “Stopovers”. These are slightly longer breaks lasting from several minutes to several hours, where you take time to specifically do NOTHING. This is important. There is no agenda. You simply give yourself time to BE. You listen to your body and what it has to say.

You listen to your inner intuition and gradually develop the ability to hear its valuable insights. You develop Openness and gradually by-pass the inner critic that filters out what you heart’s desire really is with negative thinking and being “realistic” By giving yourself more time to simply be and experience your own “being-ness” without preconditions, you gradually awaken to what your soul’s purpose is, one step at a time.

Copyright Asoka Selvarajah 2011. All Rights Reserved.

This article is one example of many from the new book, Aspire To Wisdom, which is filled with dynamic strategies for personal change and spiritual growth.

Animal World: Other Nations

The eye of an asian elephant at Elephant Natur...
Image via Wikipedia

‘We need another and wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals…  We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err and err greatly. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they moved finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth’

Henry Beston

Other nations: a respectful and honoring view of the myriad creatures that share our planet. How very exalted above the base notions generally entertained by the species we are members of.
Modern society has almost completely lost respect for animals and is deaf to the quiet wisdom they offer. We no longer even have the capacity to regard them as equals, let alone superiors, as many of the shamanistic cultures did and still do. The very idea seems absurd. Yet, it may be that if we only had eyes to see, four-legged Buddhas walk among us.

Apart from the shamanistic cultures, every religious tradition without exception debases animals in some subtle way, and stresses the superiority of the human race. Moreover, a scientific justification for demeaning and mistreating animals has now been added in the form of Evolution. In other words, the entire process of millions of years of natural history has led to the flourishing of the fittest species: ourselves!

Actually, it is hardly surprising that virtually every tradition – religious or scientific – seeks to stress the superiority of mankind over animals. After all, it is mankind who created these philosophies! Not so long ago, we also believed that the Earth was the center of the universe. Why? Because WE live on it.

However, those tribal cultures that remain in extremely close relationship with the animal kingdom, and rely upon animals for their survival, also have the most respect for these other nations. From prehistoric times up to the present day, many such cultures have honored and prayed to the very animals they hunt. They understand and respect that the animal is giving its life, its very flesh, for their sustenance. They are thankful and respectful, as if a sacred pact was being mystically entered into.

Indeed, that is precisely what IS happening. You don’t have to look too deeply to see this exact same mystical significance behind many ritual meals of religious sacrifice. The Christian Holy Communion is an exact counterpart of this primeval tradition, and serves the same purpose. Here, Christ as the sacrificial lamb, willingly undergoes ritual death in order that those he feeds may have life through the sacrifice of his flesh and his blood.

Actually, mankind’s incessant need to stress it’s superiority over animals is due not merely to self-serving arrogance, but also to a massive and deeply buried racial inferiority complex. For countless millennia, if not for millions of years, mankind really WAS inferior to the animals; running, hiding, ever fearfully watchful, terrified of every rustle in the grass, petrified of being poisoned, eaten alive or ripped apart by whatever was sneaking through the bushes or lying hidden in the darkness.

It is only in the last few millennia, and truly only in the final few hundred years, that we can truly claim to have achieved ascendancy over the animals and thereby reversed our position on the

The fastest animal on earth...except today..ca...
Image by law_keven via Flickr food chain. Hence, it is a very recent occurrence.

Hence, like the nouveau riche – uncomfortably insecure with their suddenly acquired wealth – the human race feels a rather pitiable compulsion to demonstrate its new-found ‘superiority’ as often, and in as many ways, as humanly possible.

This deep seated inferiority complex towards animals lies entrenched deep in the collective psyche of the human race. It reveals itself in the sad stories we have to tell ourselves to persuade ourselves that we are superior. In the Western traditions, we tell ourselves that God gave Man dominion over the animals. In the Eastern traditions, we find ourselves at the top of the Karmic scale and, should we err too often in this human life, we face the threat of rebirth as an animal. God forbid!

‘So what?’, you might be thinking. Does any of this really matter? Yes, it does.
The stories we tell ourselves create the reality we choose to live. If these stories purely serve our own ends, but do not correspond to external reality, then we must collide with that reality sooner or later. Moreover, like a blind man, we will continually wonder what hit us and why.

There are many practical consequences of our ignorant mistreatment of animals, and the distorted philosophical glasses through which we insist upon viewing them. Here are just a few to ponder:

(1) We lose the window on the sacred that animals offer us. Quiet observation of, respect for, and closeness to animals can lead to many revelations of the sacred at the deepest level. Such revelations are beyond words. Those who have them know. Those who do not will consider the notion nonsensical.

Animals can be among our most profound teachers, if we let them. Many animals, and most commonly domestic pets, can be sources of the purest Love; a love that far anything we can find from human kind. It is a love that transcends words, concepts, mutual expectations, and even species. It is the very Love that the universe is composed of.

Animals can be a window on this if we let them. The fact that they so obviously demonstrate it indicates that it was always latent within them. If it was always latent within them, it means that this Love comes from the heart of the universe itself.

(2) When we disrespect animals and regard them as little more than instinct-dominated flesh robots, we will eventually disrespect ourselves too. Like it or not, we are part of the animal kingdom, although many of us prefer to think ourselves apart from it.

Throughout history, many human beings have sometimes been treated as little more than animals by other human beings. How difficult, even impossible, this would be if we revered animals (indeed ALL life) in the first place and treated them as other nations, rather than just an exploitable natural resource.

Once you divide up the world’s species into the sacred and the exploitable, it is only a matter of time before you find a reason to dump your human enemies into the latter category and treat them accordingly.

lizard dreaming
Image by angela7dreams via Flickr

Even if we must eat the flesh of an animal, we can at least spare a moment to silently thank that creature for giving its very life, in the ultimate sacrifice, in order to sustain our own. It costs us nothing to do this, but a few seconds of silent contemplation. And surely, we are better off for it? This is continuing the tradition of the ancients; giving the respect due to others in the cycle of life and death, who have given their very lives for us.

(3) We fall ever deeper into the trap of our own ignorance and prejudices. For instance, there is demonstrable evidence that many animals, most notably the apes, use language to communicate relatively complex messages. Pigeons have actually been trained in one scientific experiment to distinguish between the paintings of Renoir and Picasso (incredible but true!). Many animals use tools to find and extract food.

All of these capacities (linguistic, aesthetic, tool-use) were formerly considered to be exclusively human. However, now we know better. Or rather, do we? Sadly, the levels of prejudice, even in the scientific community, are so high that virtually unattainable levels of evidence are required to ‘prove’ these assertions beyond reasonable doubt. Many human children, and some mentally handicapped people, would probably fail these insufferably high standards of evidence. Perhaps we are just a little too afraid of the philosophical consequences of having the belief structures of many millennia totally undermined? Hence, it is better to remain blind to these matters.

Yet, it becomes increasingly clear that the distinction between the human race and animals is only a matter of degree. Animals possess many of our capacities, although not always as well refined. Moreover, we lack many of the capacities that they possess.

Should we be tempted to get just a little too arrogant, let us not forget that were it not for a large meteorite striking the earth 65 million years ago, and thereby creating the space for our presence here, the earth might still be occupied by some of the most successful animals in history – creatures that thrived for over 100 million years compared to our paltry 1 million – the

Octopus vulgaris
Image via Wikipedia

dinosaurs! We really had very little to do with our own existence here. It may be the result of a lucky astronomical accident. Lucky for some; unlucky for others.

We do not have to be sentimental about animals. Life lives on life. That is the inevitable truth of life itself. This is not a plea for vegetarianism. However, it is a plea for seeing things as they really are; for throwing off our millennia of self-serving ignorance and deep-seated phobias, and stepping into the sunlight of respect and reverence for all living things.

What goes around comes around. As we disrespect, demote and nullify animals, we increasingly do the same to ourselves too. Only in respecting the animals for what they are – other nations worthy of life, honor and respect – can we ultimately respect ourselves within the entire natural cycle of existence. This will help raise ourselves to a healthier, congruent and more truthful state of consciousness.

Copyright 2011. Asoka Selvarajah. All Rights Reserved.

If you liked this article, then you will love my new book, Aspire To Wisdom, which is filled with dynamic strategies for personal change and spiritual growth.

The Education Enigma

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, with B...
Image via Wikipedia

When I was a kid of about ten or so, I wanted an Encyclopaedia Britannica. My parents couldn’t afford one, and so it had to wait until my late twenties, when I finally had a job and bought myself a set. I have to admit that I didn’t really read it that much. Nevertheless, it looked great on the bookshelf! And I felt I had finally arrived.

Oh well….

Education is a great asset to anyone, and is rightly prized. Yet, there is a difference between education, and the mere collecting and memorizing of facts. The latter is, all too often, the stuff of schools, universities, degree qualifications and the like. Indeed, we see people on general knowledge quiz shows who can regurgitate an almost infinite amount of data. Interestingly, these people, despite seeming like geniuses, often hold quite lowly and poorly paid jobs. Actually, it’s no coincidence.

Who needs a walking encyclopaedia of useless information when there are printed versions readily available?

The modern education system stuffs as many useless facts into a child’s head as possible, teaches them to memorize and regurgitate those facts on a periodic basis, and then throws them out onto the street as ‘educated’, where they promptly forget all that they sweated blood to engorge. Moreover, most of this ‘education’ leaves them poorly placed to get a job.

Really though, what use is it to be force-fed data like: what happens when copper sulphate is added to nitric acid; or to be able to prove some obscure geometry theorem? No wonder the majority of people are totally put off education for life!

Education, in the purest sense, has little to do with any of this. An educated person may have few, or even no, formal qualifications. A truly educated person is one who has a commitment to lifelong learning and excellence; to knowing what needs to be known in order to maximize one’s opportunities in life and expand one’s talents to their fullest, in order to be of the most value and service to mankind as possible.

Too many people come out of the school education system all twisted up, feeling like failures, because they could never get the hang of memorizing and regurgitating endless lists of useless facts, and stringing them together to form even more useless bodies of information that would never be used in real life. They say they are no good at Math, when the reality is that their Math teacher was HOPELESS at teaching it to them, and left them scarred and mathematically handicapped for life! Is it any wonder that kids forget all this stuff within weeks of the exams? They never had the slightest interest in it in the first place, nor any practical outlet where most of that ‘education’ could be used.

Meanwhile, there is a strange absence of the sort of thing that would actually set you up well for life. When were you ever taught to ask yourself what you actually want to do with your life, let alone create a plan for achieving it? So many people lack a life purpose because they have honestly never thought about it. Certainly, their schools never did anything about it. But isn’t this every bit as vital as the reaction between copper sulphate and nitric acid?

Clément-Auguste Andrieux's 1852 The Battle of ...
Image via Wikipedia

Or how about goals? When were you taught how to set them and visualize your desired future until it came to pass? Yet, these are VITAL educational skills that schools never teach us. Instead, we learn who won the Battle of Waterloo – as if we really care.

Certainly, it is important to understand the basics of science, art, mathematics, history and the like. This is NOT an argument against any of that, but rather it is an argument for a proper BALANCE in the training we receive that is supposed to be setting us up for life!

It is vital to be taught how to find the information you seek, and to do your own learning, i.e. to become a self-educator, rather than someone to whom education passively ‘happens’. What is more important is to be given an enthusiasm for learning itself and a commitment to self-education that lasts a lifetime. True education should allow you to explore and expand your awn intelligence, rather than be made to feel like a retarded dumbo – an impression that is often retained for life. All too often, the educational system leaves people swearing that they will never read another book as long as they live, or tearing up their course notes on graduation day. I’ve seen that happen!

Did you know that roughly 85% of books bought in bookshops are bought as gifts for someone else?! There are many people who never visit bookshops and have never bought a book for themselves in their entire lives. Very sad.


True self-education is behind every success story that there has ever been. You only get anywhere in life through a continual commitment to updating your base of knowledge. It makes all the difference in job applications, the amount of money you earn, and even the level of satisfaction you experience in your life.

In America, fully 95% of people who retire do so broke, complaining that the State didn’t do enough to support them, or whatever. However, a continual commitment to education and retraining, coupled with a flexible mind and a determination to be self-responsible, would go a very long way to drastically reducing the numbers who end up this way. They would learn that their own well-being is their own personal responsibility, and not someone else’s.

All too often, you hear people complain that they ‘can’t afford’ some book, course or training seminar that could really make the difference for them. The reality is that they can’t afford NOT to. In this fast changing world, if you are simply standing still, you are really going backwards! For example, people who are poor (in the West) stay poor because they don’t know how to change their situation, even though there is plenty of information available on exactly what to do about it. But they stay poor because they claim they can’t afford the education to change their lot. But there’s really NO excuse for it. Personally, I would beg, borrow or… – well, let’s just leave it at that, shall we? – in order to get money to buy the knowledge I needed!

You hear a similar attitude with companies – mostly small to medium-sized ones. Their grumble goes like this: why waste good money on employee training when they’re only going to leave and work somewhere else? Here’s a much worse scenario to dread: what if you don’t train them and they STAY?!

Do review your commitment to self-education. It is the answer to most any problem you may have in your life. Whatever your experience may have been of the educational system, you were born a genius and, despite the best efforts of the educational system to take it all away, you can be a genius again. All it takes is the commitment to do so. Commit to your awn education and growth, each and every day!

Copyright Asoka Selvarajah 2011. All Rights Reserved.

If you liked this article, then you will love my new book, Aspire To Wisdom, which is filled with dynamic strategies for personal change and spiritual growth.

Goal Setting: Loads Of Goals But No Place To Go

All the personal growth literature tells us we should have goals to work on, affirmations to repeat, and that we should be constantly visualizing our future each day.  All well and good.


If that’s true, then why are most people in exactly the same place after all this personal growth stuff as they were before they started?

The reason comes down to an overall lack of life vision. In other words, there is no master plan for life. What is the point of setting goals, or working on affirmations, if you have no idea where the thrust of your life is headed in the first place? In other words, what are you here on this Earth to do? WHY are you working towards these goals (if you have any)?

Most people do not have any answers to these basic questions. Ask a small child, and you’re quite likely to get an answer to the question, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’. However, if you ask an adult a similar question, such as, ‘Where would you like to be in 10 years time, and what would you like to be doing?’, you are likely to be greeted by silence…

Aren’t you?!…

So, how can we have given up on our dreams to this extent? Part of the answer lies in childhood. Whether at school or at home, the need to be ‘realistic’ and ‘stop daydreaming’ was hammered into each of us again and again. So effective was this mental conditioning that most of can no longer figure out WHY we have no idea what our dreams are! We have been so conditioned from the outside, and have compromised so often on the inside, that there is no dreaming power left. That which is nurtured grows. That which is neglected withers and dies.

Instead, we find ourselves in a place we never planned to be in. Most of us simply drifted there, without plan or design. Then, from that position, we try to create goals and dreams that the critical mind regards as ‘appropriate’ or ‘possible’. However, because these goals are not true to our hearts, they do not motivate us, or fill us with any passion to achieve them.

Goals, and all the rest of it, do no good if you have nowhere specific you are heading to. You really need to get your head above day-to-day concerns to determine what the whole point of your goals is.

Michael Gerber, author of ‘The E-Myth’ describes a similar situation in the world of business. It seems that a lot of people become business entrepreneurs, mainly from a desire to escape the slavery of the 9 to 5 routine, and be free of the boss. The only problem is that, whilst these people may be good ‘technicians’, this does not necessarily guarantee success in their own business. Instead, many find themselves ‘trapped’ in their dream, to the point where they finally hate it, and realize that this was not what they really wanted anyhow.

Look at it another way. Hollywood typically spends over 100 million on a blockbuster movie. With these figures at stake, directors cannot afford to mentally drift. Films made these days are story-boarded first; drawings (or even animations), are created for every single shot in every single scene. Everything is visualized with crystal clarity before filming even begins. By contrast, imagine the sort of movies we would be watching if directors went about their craft the way we do our lives!

Without a clear vision of where we are heading, we can be terribly active achieving goals that take us nowhere specific. Indeed, all this activity can serve as a good excuse for not raising our heads high enough to see where we are actually going. Or NOT going!

So, what can you do? The answer is, develop a vision, as clearly as possible, for what your life is about, and where you are heading. What is your ‘major definite purpose’, as Napoleon Hill termed it? What are you here to do?

If you do not know the answer to this question, this is the first goal you should set; to find out. You must develop a mental image of your desired future, and develop it so clearly that you can see it, smell it, taste it and touch it. Then, keep that vision before you often each day, and use it to fuel your goal creation.

Take time to ponder your dreams. Give yourself a regular period of time each day to do this, especially if you have no clear vision of them at present. This process may take time and cannot be hurried, because you are reactivating faculties that have been long dormant. Without this clear vision, any other goals and affirmations you develop are virtually as good as useless. Yes, they may take you forward a bit. But in which direction, and for what purpose? Without an overall life vision, you really have no idea.

You should ask yourself questions about all aspects of your life. Where do you want to be financially, spiritually, in relationships, health-wise, and so on? Gradually let the vision develop as you relax and take time to elicit it from deep within you. You may wish to write it down as it emerges.

Try not to judge or censor. That will only shut down the creative process. Let it be okay to think of the ridiculous, because nothing is as ridiculous as it may seem. People have taken up mountaineering at the age of sixty five. There was a time when Van Gogh had to learn to draw, and he was already an adult at the time!

Hence, be gentle with yourself, but retain the belief that much is possible if you have faith. It may takes days, weeks or even months. However, if you make developing a life vision your primary goal, then all others will fall into place, and you will find the infinite inner energy with which to accomplish them.

Copyright 2011. Asoka Selvarajah. All Rights Reserved.

If you liked this article, then you will love my new book, Aspire To Wisdom, which is filled with dynamic strategies for personal change and spiritual growth.