By: Deepak Chopra
Published: June 2007
When ancient peoples considered the vastness of the universe, they felt something very surprising, they felt connected, a spiritual connection cannot be seen or touched, yet we have a way to verify invisible things by using a faculty more powerful and reliable than the five senses - consciousness.
Only if you are aware that something is real can it become real. Awareness tells you that you are alive, that you think and breathe. It tells you if you are happy or sad, and also if you are succeeding in fulfilling your life. Everything that is alive is an example of the elegant expression of nature's intelligence and this intelligence operates through what I call the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. How they operate is a mystery as deep as spirit itself. Achieving success in nature is governed by the same laws that govern all of nature. When we put ourselves in harmony with nature we create a bond between our own desires and the power to make those desires materialize. Anything we want can be created. True success is measured by how efficiently, how effortlessly, you have learned to co-create with the universe. Here is how the Seven laws operate...
The Law of Pure Potential
The law of pure potentiality says that your essential state, your ground state is one of infinite possibilities. The first spiritual law is the source of all creation, a place where the dreamer manifests the dream. To have anything you want, anytime you want, and with least effort, you must be grounded in the wisdom of uncertainty. Uncertainty is the fertile ground of pure creativity, and also imagination. It means stepping into the unknown in every moment of our existence. Uncertainty is the fertile ground of pure creativity, freedom and evolution. Within uncertainty you will find the freedom to create anything you want.
And when you experience uncertainty you are open to a whole range of possibilities, you are on the right path. The law of pure potential tells you that you are consciousness itself, both as it manifests in the material world and as it lies un manifest in your being. Therefore, spirit lies at the source of all achievement in life.
The Law of Giving and Receiving
Everything is constantly on the move in the universe. It's the flow of energy and information. It's the effortless movement of consciousness ultimately that results in the diversity of expression in the universe "currency," our word for money, derives from the Latin word meaning to run or flow. Money is a symbol of constant, flowing exchange. If your intention is to hoard your money, you will stop its circulation back into your life instead, you have to keep energy and the free flow of ideas-- circulating in the world.
Every relationship is one of give and take this requires sincerity and openness. You have to be able to appreciate and to see that what comes to you isn't something you earned but a gift that was freely given by the universe, which means by a deep awareness of what you need. In your willingness to give and receive, you keep the abundance of everything the universe has to offer, circulating in your life. Abundance has material expression, but the ancient sages understood that what's really circulating is consciousness.
This is reflected in personal relationships. You can give someone money, but that's not the same as relating. To relate, you give of yourself and you appreciate and value and understand someone else. Every spiritual law is about invisible bonds, but this one especially so. The duty of hospitality, which runs very deep in every traditional culture, is connected to the law of giving. The mutual exchange of appreciation and gratitude forms a bond we must preserve. If you want to be blessed with all the good things in life, learn to silently bless everyone with all the good things in life.
The Law of Karma
The word karma simply means action. Actions have meaning beyond what we can see on the surface. Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind. What we sow is what we reap and when we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, that action becomes part of us. On the material plane, we often see how one action leads to a reaction, one move to a countermove. But karma is more elusive on the invisible plane. Every day we perform subtle actions that hugely influence what life brings to us. Everything that is happening at this moment is a result of the choices you've made mentally in the past. The choices that we make have consequences that are either evolutionary or destructive. By consciously paying a karmic debt, you can convert adversity into a positive experience.
Many times karma works unconsciously. How are we to act when the consequences are uncertain and unforeseeable? We trust in the evolutionary impulse that the law of karma describes. Step back for a moment and witness the choices you are making. You may not think they are choices at all but they are. Witness the choices you make in each moment in practical terms, ask yourself what are the consequences of my choice? Out of an infinity of choices there is always one, the right choice, that creates maximum happiness for you as well as for those around you.
How do you make the right choice? Pay attention to how you feel.. if you feel uneasiness or discomfort in your body even as you ask the question, then it's probably not karmically appropriate. If you get a message or a sensation of comfort, then the choice you're making is karmically appropriate. The future is generated by the choices we are making in every moment of our lives.
The Law of Least Effort.
This law is based on the fact that nature takes the course of least action and no resistance; observe nature at work, at every turn. Grass doesn't try to grow, it just grows. Birds don't try to fly, they fly. This isn't an abstract principle of efficiency. It is something quite spontaneous. Think of the words we apply to this aspect of nature: elegant, graceful, unforced, and above all, natural.
We could find ways to satisfy life's demands with less stress and strain. Whatever increases chaos and disorder is operating against the law of least effort and therefore leads to frustration and futility. Instead of assuming that chaos is natural, look closely and you will see how unnatural it really is. The destructive effects of chaotic thinking and action cannot be missed, the first step is to back out of the chaos and disorder. Is something simpler at work? If so, then consider if you can change things on a simpler basis.
Once you aren't part of the chaos, the second step is to ask for the simplest outcome that will bring order and comfort. The law of least effort assures us that there is always a simplest and best path to fulfillment. Once you adopt this attitude, upsetting situations will become an opportunity for the creation of something simple, natural, and satisfying. There's an art to accepting things as they are, not as you wish they were. As you master this law, you will be able simply to have a faint thought, and the manifestation of that thought comes true. Steadily you do less and accomplish more. Ultimately you arrive at the state where you do nothing and accomplish everything.
The Law of Intention and Desire.
There's a secret in the Vedic wisdom tradition that may be the most valuable of all; inherent in every desire is the mechanics for its fulfillment. Pure consciousness is silent and still until it's sparked into action by our desires. When you introduce any intention in the fertile ground of pure potentiality, you put this infinite organizing power to work for you. When you focus thought, you have the power to transform.
With the power inherent in your consciousness you can change the energy and information of your world, and cause things to manifest in the most efficient way possible. this infinite organizing power is found in a snowflake, a flower, or a cell. This isn't a mystical notion, because every time you want run or lift your arms, your intention incites millions of chemical reactions and electrical impulses that obey fixed laws of nature.
The fifth law applies the same mechanics to desires reaching far beyond the physical body. When you have an intention from the level of your soul or your spirit, then that intention has all the power of the universe. What blocks the universe from assisting us to get what we want? The ancient indian seers answered this mystery through the sixth spiritual law of success, the law of detachment.
The Law of Detachment
The universe responds best when you are detached from your desire. That is, you are not desperate or obsessed. When you think "I must have this" or "if I don't get this I will be a failure," you are locking your awareness into a fixed, rigid mode. When you master the sixth law, you are able to maintain an unshakable serenity while being committed to your goal with intense passion. Detachment is a quality of attention. Your intention is for the future, but your attention is in the present. As long as your attention is focused in the present, then your intent for the future will manifest; our intentions create reflections in the outside world.
Whenever things don't seem to go our way, there is a negative reflection and you can see this directly. When the sixth law is fully mastered, individual attention expands its field to take in cosmic attention. You see the physical world through the eyes of the soul. The wisdom of uncertainty means that you don't seek fixed moments when everything is going to work out perfectly. Instead, every moment in life is allowed to be filled with excitement, adventure, mystery. Allow yourself to embrace, this moment and if you do that there'll suddenly be an insight. It's a quantum leap. In detachment from the outcome lies the wisdom of uncertainty there are opportunities when grounded in the wisdom of uncertainty.
Every situation you have in life is the seed of an opportunity.
The Law of Dharma
We have arrived at the biggest mystery of all. What is the cosmic plan? What does our life mean in the scheme of the universe? The seventh spiritual law of success is the law of dharma or purpose in life.
Everyone has a purpose in life, a unique gift or special talent to give to others. When we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals. Your unique destiny, your place in the cosmic plan, is known as dharma. Dharma implies more than seeking work that you love. Dharma is a shift in consciousness that begins by aligning yourself with your highest vision and then becoming the manifestation of that vision.
The force that bridges you to such a transformation is also known as dharma, but it's cosmic dharma rather than individual. First comes the moment when you realize that life cannot succeed without a vision. The root of the word dharma in Sanskrit is a verb that means 'to uphold.' This is a valuable clue. You know you've become part of the cosmic design when the universe upholds and supports you. The seventh law brings the preceding six laws to fruition for when you master the dharma, the whole universe is on your side. Every law of nature comes to your aid, every power supports you spontaneously. Self-exploration isn't a task you accomplish and then abandon. Every person is a never-ending project of the universe. We are ships in the night, and the current that holds us up and carries us toward the dawn is dharma.
We began by speaking of invisible connections; there is one connection that upholds all. The universal mind choreographs everything that is happening in billions of galaxies with elegant precision and unfaltering intelligence. Its intelligence is ultimate and supreme, permeating every fiber of existence from the smallest to the largest, from the atom to the cosmos. I am an impulse of the universe, at this particular moment in time, part of a collective wave of consciousness. After I'm gone, I'll have done what I came to do,
And that's enough.