To the Reader
There is almost a sensual longing for communion
with others who have a large vision.
The immense fulfillment of the friendship
between those engaged in furthering
the evolution of consciousness has a quality
impossible to describe.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Eventually time proves to be our friend. You think you know what you’re doing until a revelation unfolds and you see what you’re really doing. Then another urge and revelation come, and you see one more facet of the picture. Another comes, and soon you see the connections. If you pay attention, you notice that a cohesive, intelligent pattern to your life is materializing rather deliberately. You realize there’s a higher wisdom guiding your story, and you learn to trust it.
In my unfolding story of coming into greater consciousness, I think back to a time when I’d been teaching intuition development for several years and noticed I was feeling bored. Though I was still in love with intuition, and the experience with people always came alive in new ways that entertained me, I felt a nagging urge to change. “What’s my next courageous act?” I asked myself. “It’s time to write a good, classic book,” my inner voice responded.
At that time, my colleagues and I were on a pioneering, leading edge trying to mainstream intuition, that magical sense of knowing something directly without reference to logic or proof. Even saying the word “intuition” to an unprimed professional or businessperson could cause ridicule and rejection. We were constantly seeking credibility, and vocabulary was everything. I walked on eggshells to prevent people from labeling me as a “psychic” or an airy-fairy New Age channeler, and discounting me as someone who lived in a dream world. I remember latching on to the word “demystify” to help describe my motivation. I was going to demystify supposedly supernatural abilities and the superstitious beliefs that kept us locked in limited ways of thinking and knowing! I was going to help make intuition normal!
So I followed my guidance and wrote The Intuitive Way: The Definitive Guide to Increasing Your Awareness. I had Post-it notes all over my workspace: “Each sentence is a jewel; each paragraph must come alive.” “The words must carry the experience of the truth.” The act of writing that book wove many idea-threads into a lovely tapestry inside me, and my own intuition deepened. It registered in a more physical way, teaching me what it really meant to “be in my body.” I became much more sensitive and empathic, and lo and behold, I demystified intuition for myself in a way I hadn’t known I needed! How our souls trick us sometimes!
Welcome to the Present Moment
My next book was The Present Moment: A Daybook of Clarity and Intuition, and in it, I had to come up with 365 stories and ways to apply intuitive knowing. “I have plenty of stories!” I told myself. I listed them; I had thirty-three. Shocked, I moaned, “How will I ever think up 332 more of these?” So I did what I could do and wrote the thirty-three I had. I was staring for what seemed forever at the new blank page and the blinking cursor, when out of the blue the phone rang. It was a woman from Texas who wanted to tell me a story about some intuitive children she was teaching, and it was the perfect piece number thirty-four for the book.
It kept on that way, the stories coming just as I needed them, as long as I kept my attention in the present moment. If I jumped ahead to look at, say, November, and groaned about how-will-I-ever-get-that-far, the momentum stopped. Back to the blank page and blinking cursor. When I re-entered the present moment and felt cheerful and expectant, the supply resumed effortlessly. Once again, writing was initiating me into a higher understanding. Someone summed it up quite well: “Worrying is praying for what you don’t want.” I was experiencing firsthand, in a precise way, how the mind and the moment can stop or start the natural flow of ideas, creativity, and energy.
I continued to write—two books on dreams—and meanwhile, I cultivated the habit of paying attention, in the present moment, to the subtle intuitive signs and inner messages my dreams and life experiences were bringing. I was teaching myself about the mechanics of consciousness, and much of my education came from doing clairvoyant-empathic life and business readings for clients. I could see patterns of consciousness—how problems had formed, how they were being maintained, and how they could be solved or cleared—in other people that I couldn’t see in myself. It became evident that many problems could be solved, or transformed into nonproblems containing useful energy and information—not necessarily with physical action or by applying cleverness, effort, and control—but by using perception in a skillful way. More and more, it seemed that our lives were a function of our imagination, attitude, choices, and open-mindedness.
Glimmers of Transformation
My insights accumulated and fit together like pieces of a big puzzle. I began using my intuitive, empathic ability to feel into life—to sense the currents of what was happening energetically under the surface of reality—and interpret how those flows might materialize as events in the world. As I practiced this year after year, I could feel life accelerating relentlessly. Waves of buzzy energy and higher consciousness rolled through my body, causing me to experience an initially uncomfortable process of intensified psychological and spiritual growth. My colleagues, friends, and clients were experiencing this too. I paid attention and tracked the nuances of this process.
A larger understanding dawned: I was not just helping people open intuition and improve their lives—we were all undergoing a profound transformation of consciousness. At first I wasn’t sure what this meant. What was really happening to us? I knew viscerally that transformation was more than mere change—in fact, it was dramatically, radically different. My intuition told me we were shifting into a whole new kind of reality, becoming a new kind of human being. Life would function according to new rules. The whole thing was so much bigger than I had suspected! From this point on I focused entirely on discovering what these new forms of expression would be like and how transformation would come about.
I became so excited about every new perspective I gained concerning the transformation process, that I’d want to write a book about it immediately. And I did write many book proposals over a period of years, but each one was premature. A new series of insights would soon eclipse my previous view and add more important detail. I knew I was being psychically anxious, pushing the river, wanting to get to “the real thing”; I also knew I needed to be patient and continue observing and experiencing. The fruit wasn’t ripe yet.
Finally, it felt like a good time to write an advanced version of The Intuitive Way. Intuition had become much more mainstream, and I thought it was time to address the topic of empathy. The acceleration of energy in the world was, after all, causing us to become ultrasensitive and often overwhelmed by information, negativity, and the sheer stimulation of life. As I contemplated the topic of empathy, I saw that it related to the transformational shift we were all making. Our increased sensitivity to energy was allowing us to pick up energy information—insights contained in the very vibrations we received from people, situations, and even events at a distance—with our budding empathic ability. What we needed now were the heightened intuitive skills to decode this preverbal, nonrational data.
Frequency and Personal
All these ideas wove together, and it turned out that empathy was just one aspect of what the next book wanted to be about. Frequency: The Power of Personal Vibration detailed the stages of the transformation process and the symptoms of each phase, then sketched a rudimentary picture of what it will be like when we live in a transformed reality. It addressed the new “energy reality,” how everything and everyone has a particular frequency of energy, how we can change our vibration to produce varying experiences, and how we can work with our vibration to improve life and smooth our transformation. It was the right time for Frequency—the vibration of the world had risen to a level where the concepts could make sense and seem like the next useful thing.
Even so, the process of writing Frequency stirred me up. It often seemed to write itself and it shocked me, challenging many of my old reality constructs. I felt as though I were being rewired and repatterned at a deep level as the words appeared on the page. When I finished, I couldn’t remember what the book was about! It wasn’t until I went on the book tour and had to talk about it repeatedly that the material slowly integrated into my daily life. As I became saturated by the experience of keeping my vibration at the level of my home frequency, or the soul-in-the-body state, my life effortlessly changed for the better, just as the book had described.
Looking back on my process of writing, it’s fascinating to see how the “deep me” knew things before my conscious mind knew. The understanding of a complex body of material was doled out in bite-sized insights, in a sane sequence and a timely way, as if my soul were helping my personality match the vibration of the times and the new knowledge, right as it was emerging, so I could experience the vibration and make it real. This is what I mean when I say that time is our friend—how eventually we see how compassionate the growth process really is. The vibration of the times, of our own selves, and of the information is resonating harmoniously like a beautiful chord. And of course, this growth process doesn’t stop! After Frequency, new insights continued to emerge.
On to the Next Thing: Attention and Perception!
Sometimes, I see and hear certain words; they stand out in books and conversations as though highlighted in bright yellow. For the past few years I’ve been noticing the words “attention” and “perception” everywhere. My inner self seemed to be laying a breadcrumb trail of concepts, directing me to examine attention, perception, and consciousness next. I wanted to drill down below the explanation put forth in Frequency to understand the inner dynamics of how consciousness could transform. What was the role of perception and attention in smoothing our transformation process? I could see that where there is consciousness, there too is perception, revealing the territory.
Skillful perception was a term I’d heard described years ago by some of my Buddhist friends that resonated in my core and remained in the forefront of my mind. As I understand it, skillful perception is a concept connected to the three pillars of Buddhism—virtue, mindfulness, and wisdom—that advocates using the mind properly to heal your own wounds while not adding more pain and suffering to the world. This made sense to me because I had seen how so many of my clients’ problems were caused by an unconscious use, or even misuse, of attitude, decision-making, fixed beliefs and opinions, and a lack of intuition and trust. And certainly, much of the pain we experience is due to this same unskilled use of consciousness by others. I sensed that skillful perception could reveal a more sophisticated, expanded consciousness—the kind that would characterize our transformed reality and new sense of self. Learning to use consciousness— perception and attention—skillfully became my next new fascination and primary focus.
A Live Connection with the World
I began to see that attention is intimately interwoven with the overall act of perception itself. It is the adjustable lens of perception—the tool we use to make consciousness into knowledge, to understand the many dimensions of ourselves, and even to materialize our life. I could feel how the skillful use of attention and perception could do so many amazing things, and how this was the key to personal transformation. I also saw how our attention skills were atrophying due to today’s technology-dependent culture. Everywhere I looked I saw people in the throes of fragmented, shallow attention and “attention deficit disorder.” Yet I sensed that somewhere inside us, perhaps deeply buried, we do recognize a need for true reality and the unity that attention can bring.
I remember something poet David Whyte said in a talk years ago, that “attention is a live connection to the world.” It is this live connection that keeps intuition open, and reveals unity and the Flow—all important factors in the transformation of consciousness. In my various vision quest experiences, in the quiet desert or on a mountaintop, I have often experienced this live connection. If I stared at a plant for a sustained period, for example, and “felt into” it, I could feel it seeing and experiencing me. As I merged with it, it merged with me. I knew the world from its point of view and it knew the world from my point of view as if we were each other, which we were! Those vision quests were experiences of using attention consciously and perceiving skillfully to remind myself of universal truths.
As time passed, more revelations poured into me about the skillful use of attention and perception to aid transformation. I began to feel in my body how energy and consciousness were aspects of the same thing, and how they immediately affected each other; I began to call it consciousness-and-energy, for lack of a better term. Interestingly, the science of neuroplasticity became popular about this time, introducing the idea that consciousness and focused attention can affect the brain, a refinement of the older idea that the brain determines consciousness. There was increased public interest in the brain’s structure, and the roles and capabilities of the brain’s left and right hemispheres. Science and psychology were coming closer to each other—and to spirituality too.
A New Book Takes Shape
The end result of this buildup of insights was a solid conviction: the transformation of our personal self and life is absolutely doable, it is not that difficult, and we can do it in our lifetime—by using our perception in more “modern,” updated ways. Now I was ready to write a new book! Leap of Perception finally crystallized, and as you will see, it weaves together many almost futuristic ideas about how consciousness-and-energy function, all relating to furthering your personal growth toward transformation and living in a transformed world. As usual, I’ve been going through the process I’m writing about as I write it. I’m in it with you—clearing and polishing the perceptual lens, seeing through the illusion of solidity into the consciousness-and-energy world, and practicing the faster more holistic ways of perceiving and knowing.
If we can learn to use perception wisely, there are two big benefits. First, we can more easily and quickly navigate the difficult phases of the transformation process. We’re breaking longstanding, deeply ingrained habits of perception to instigate new ones, and this is incredibly challenging. Second, once we get there, skillful perception can help us adapt to life in the transformed reality and function successfully according to the new rules. The more “early adopters” who embody and model this new way of life, the greater the influence of the new, and the more quickly and effortlessly the next wave of people can slip into the enlightened reality. And so evolution will progress, with geometrically increasing ease, until we’re all living in a new, high-vibrational, consciousness-and-energy world. This is the dream I feed with my attention.
It is these two big benefits—easing your transformation process and living successfully in the new transformed reality—that I focus on in Leap of Perception. The sooner you learn the principles of new perception and practice the new attention skills, the faster your life will streamline and take you to magical heights.
Making the Leap of Perception—Together
The transformation process is unveiling expanded consciousness for each of us in our own way, with our own sequence of events and timing. Yet it is increasingly obvious to me that our stories are echoing each other more, and our paths are joining. We have answers for each other, we precipitate lessons and solutions for each other, and we are truly interwoven in this evolution of consciousness. Together we are bringing forth the new reality, and we are beginning to experience the communion inherent in the huge vision that is drawing us all in.
As Teilhard de Chardin said in the opening quote, we have a sensual longing for spiritual friendship—and spiritual family—and this experience is indeed showing up now as our collective consciousness expands. The deep familiarity this new state of interconnection brings is just one byproduct of the astonishing reality that’s coming, as we make the perceptual leap into what I call “the Intuition Age.”
(Old-perception habits) used to be comfortable because they helped us survive. Denial used to work. Now these habits limit and slow us down, especially when used as the only methods for achieving a successful life. The problem with these reptile-brain and left-brain perceptual habits is that they’ve become unconscious, ingrained, automatic defensive behaviors. They feed fear through their constant attention to it; they expect fear and exist to deal with it, so fear never really has a chance to be transformed. What we resist persists. By constantly paying attention to fear, and by trying to deny and suppress negativity, our vibration remains at a low level. Meanwhile, the vibration of the planet is rising dramatically, creating obvious dissonance and stress!
When you’re in the Flow, there is an oscillation that contains the kind of contraction and expansion that promotes evolution. Healthy contraction is about focus and choice, while healthy expansion is about creativity, growth, and release. But with old perception, there’s a tendency to contract in ways that lead to paralysis, or expand in ways that lead to hyperactivity. Both end in exhaustion. Old perception can prevent life from renewing itself easily or flowing into new cycles of creativity and growth. It slows and often stops the Flow, denies the soul’s reality, keeps us from being in the present moment, blocks guidance, perpetuates fear and scarcity, causes illness and mistakes, and creates pain and suffering.
To move forward, try questioning these accepted behaviors—these unhealthy perceptual habits—and actively seek to recognize them when they occur. Once you can see what you’ve been agreeing to, what’s been influencing your choices and actions, and that it isn’t what you want, you can make different choices about how to think and act. You can catch yourself midstream, pause, unplug, and choose anew, responding from your heart and soul instead. In the next chapter, we’ll look at the exciting counterpoint to old, linear perception, and see what’s possible.
I believe the attention practices we’re resorting to in these last years of the Information Age— multitasking, hyper-activity, attention blind-ness, attention-splitting, subliminal attention-getting, and planned distraction—are frantic yet transitional. They are loosening us up and readying us for the shift to a new, calmer, more elegant, spherical-holographic way of working with perception and attention. And, as transformation occurs more globally, they will be superseded, outmoded, and revised appropriately.
Linear perception is hard-focus; it uses attention to zero in on one thing at a time, seeing the object of attention as external. Spherical-holographic perception is soft-focus; attention focused this way is like the radiant sun, shedding light on many things simultaneously because they’re all in the present moment, within your personal field.
What you perceive with spherical-holographic perception, you know directly. Your left and right brain are integrated and you perceive with your whole self, trusting the Flow and your Inner Perceiver to guide your attention and reveal what you need to know. It’s easy, then, to attend to something as long as is necessary—with full presence. Attention is effortless and continuous. There is no unconsciousness.
Think of Intuition Age attention as something that fills the present moment fully, encompassing the entirety of your sphere. It allows you to perceive any amount of time and space, any frequency or dimension, and any depth of understanding you need. Your attention matches the scope of your sphere and brings you the understanding of a complex, holistic pattern of information all at once via direct knowing.
Every possible reality exists in the imaginal realm. The imaginal realm is your deep inner world—the realm of the collective consciousness and the origin place of the Flow. It’s a term used by psychologists like James Hillman to differentiate it from the negative or misguided connotations we have with “imaginary.” As serious “adults,” we usually equate imagination with unreality or escapism, yet the imaginal realm is just the opposite: it is super-real and causal. It is also David Bohm’s implicate order, the realm that sources the explicate order, or outer world. Everything in your life begins in the imaginal, consciousness-and-energy world and projects out, or down in frequency, becoming a physical movie.
When you place attention on an idea, you call it forth from the field of the imaginal realm and it forms itself into a reality by first becoming an inner consciousness-and-energy blueprint. The longer you maintain focus on the idea, the more attention penetrates into the inner blueprint and the more physical it becomes. . . .
One morning recently, I was sitting at a local bakery staring out the window in a slight daze, readying myself to write. The scene was full of tiny, enthusiastic, jumping toddlers holding hands with their mothers, coming from story hour at the library. Inside and all around me were clusters of retired folks who like gathering to chat over a sweet roll. I shifted my gaze to the fresh flower in the vase on my table. It was an unusually large Gerbera daisy, audacious in its riotous, school-bus-yellow radiance.
Looking closer into its face, I saw it had three geometrically beautiful rings of petals in descending size and density. And it didn’t stop there—it erupted in the very center with some extra tall, squiggly, lilac-tinted petals like fireworks, like an extra layer of icing on an already fabulously decorated cake. Life just couldn’t stop! The soul of that plant really wanted to express itself. Then I realized I was imagining that flower in all its vitality and magnificence, along with the giddy toddlers and social seniors. I had forgotten I could be so creative! I thought, then, how often we skim the surface and are dulled by what we see—until we really look.