• Fifty million people have experienced divorce
• Seventy-five percent of doctor visits are stress-related
• Forty million people suffer from anxiety
• Forty-three million people abuse alcohol or prescription drugs, or use illegal drugs
• Over 38,000 people commit suicide each year and more than 400,000 are treated for self-inflicted injuries
• More than 100 million people in United States are obese.
Relationships cause many of our emotions. These cold hard statistics peel away the lies. Our relationships range from poor to mediocre. Look at marriage. We spend more time, emotion, and energy in making marriages succeed than in any other single relationship. Despite this, almost 50 percent of first marriages disintegrate but even more frightening: 67 percent of second marriages and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce. This doesn’t include the millions who remain married in unfulfilling, stagnated relationships. If this is the best we can do, where does that leave our other relationships?No couple announces on their wedding day “We’ll stay together 7 years, have two children, and then visit havoc, destruction, and misery on everyone involved.” Everyone wants and strives for great relationship; but the statistics show the results of our best efforts. Our lack of understanding or our incorrect understanding about relationships guarantees repeated failure. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting. If nothing changes, NOTHING changes.
3. YOU CAN Join the 1% of people THAT KNOW THE SOLUTION
In 1902, William James, the father of American psychology, wrote about people he called the twice-born. All of these people had undergone a spiritual experience and then “changed from a state of tenseness, worry, selfishness, and morbid melancholy to one of calmness, receptivity, and peace—reflecting a paradise of inner tranquility and a feeling of safety.” A few decades later, Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist, reported that through religious experience certain people learned to cope with unpleasant life situations; that “they could calmly face circumstances that would drive others to suicide.” Both agreed that these were rare and exceptional examples of humankind.
In the mid-twentieth century, psychologist Abraham Maslow introduced the concept of self-actualizing people he called the apex of hum human development.These people had undergone a “peak experience” connected to a personal inner religion. They acted and reacted to life differently than other people. They maintained happiness, poise, dignity, and serenity In face of external chaos, disfavor of other people and even disastrous events. After a lifetime of study and research, Maslow estimated that less than one percent of humanity ever achieved this level.
Thomas Strawser, author of Spiritual Engineering says “After 30 years research and observation, I agree with Maslow. Less than one person in one hundred learns to access their inherent inner spiritual energy and allow it to fully contribute to their lives. Spiritual Engineering provides the process by which anyone can join this elite group”
4. Spirituality + Science = solutions that work
Spiritual Engineering harmonizes spirituality, science, and psychology to access the awesome spiritual power residing within each person—the God within. Practical, simple tools help anyone unleash this power to improve their life. This results-oriented spirituality proclaims “You do not have to believe anything to try this.” Exercises and guidelines establish, test, and verify the value of the spiritual relationship and develop healthy self-love and extraordinary relationships with all people. This is like a scientific experiment: Follow the process, experience and evaluate the results, and then form your own belief based on the results.
Do you have a problem believing in some unseen power you can’t touch? Strawser says, “Don’t worry about it. You already believe in powers that you can’t see.”
For example, everyone in the developed world believes in electricity. Why? We can’t see it. We can only see how this power affects other objects. This unseen energy flows into our homes and behind the walls as a potential power until we use it. We flip a switch and the light comes on. The light bulb is just a piece of glass and filament until it accesses the electrical power; then it dramatically changes. It’s still a light bulb, but the flow of unseen energy has helped it accomplish its intended purpose—to produce light.
You don’t have to be an electrical engineer to benefit from the power of electricity; you just have to plug in and turn on. Nor do you have to understand theology to access the spiritual power already inside you. This force flows inside of you as a potential energy, just as the electricity flows unseen behind the walls of your home. But it only produces results after you make a connection.
5. LEARN TO BUILD EXTRAORDIANRY RELATIONSHIPS
There’s a hard way and there’s an easy way to do many things in life. We use terms like “on the beam, in the groove, and going with the flow”to describe these. Canoeing downstream requires much less work than going upstream. Goingwith the flow represents a natural order in the physical world—a way that aligns our energy with a pre-existent energy.
Spiritual Engineering discovered that a natural order for relationships is similar to building a house. In both cases, we begin by building a foundation, then erect the walls, and lastly, we add the roof. It must be built in sequence.
The Natural Order for Relationships is:
1. A relationship with our inner spirit (the foundation)
2. A healthy relationship with our self (the walls)
3. Relationships with others (the roof)
Strawser points out, “If we’re building a house, we wouldn't work on the roof before the walls and underpinning were solid; however, we repeatedly do this with relationships, and then we wonder why they come crashing down. We focus our attention and effort on our relationship with the other person (the roof) while we ignore a crumbling foundation and the cracks in the walls.”
6. LOVE YOUR SELF or OPTING OUT OF MISERY
Our relationship with our self is the one relationship that we engage every moment, every day, and every place we go. It is also the supporting structure for every relationship we have.
Recognizing that all relationships connect to this all important self-relationship is nothing new. Over 2,600 years ago, Buddha said, “Consider others as yourself” Then, centuries later, Jesus told us to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” These admonitions imply two great truths: 1) We should extend love all people, but 2) We can only bestow such love as we love our self. This is exactly what causes many relationship problems. Our lack or healthy self-love impairs and contaminates every relationship we have.
Spiritual Engineering teaches that learning to love our self involves a three step process. It takes a little work but the payoff is fantastic—a totally new life.
- Know yourself. Understand the how, what, and why of your existence.
- Perceptions (how you see the world)
- Expectations (what should happen)
- Motive (why you make decisions and actions)
- Accept yourself just as you are at this moment
- Resistive acceptance (I really don’t like it, but have to live with it.)
- Neutral acceptance (Ok, there might be some reason for this.)
- Total acceptance (Hey, it’s a great thing. Why didn’t I see this before?)
- Love yourself
- Nurture each area of your life
- Unify your personality
- Nurture each area of your life
Integrate the physical, mental, and spiritual natures—allow each area to perform its natural and intended function
7. Enjoy the life of the 1%, the elite
- Achieve peace of mind, self-acceptance, and self-love
- Alleviate or minimize worry, anger, guilt, anxiety, jealousy, and fear
- Release the past and all fear of the future—live in the moment
- Take responsibility and control of your emotions
- Form relationships to augment and enhance—but not create—happiness, serenity, integrity, self-worth and the absolute joy of living.
- Develop an understanding of love that enhances all relationships
- View adversity and disappointment as challenges and irksome people as teachers
- Experience the truth that logical spirituality enhances physical health, mental clarity, and even sexual enjoyment.