“The Car Goes Where the Eyes Go – The Art of Steering our Lives”
Rosemary C. Hyde, Ph.D.
Talk Presented at Unity Center of Peace, Sunday October 9 2011
I recently read a popular book because I thought it would be entertaining, and I was ready to be entertained. It’s ”The Art of Racing in the Rain,” by Garth Stein. I was actually attracted by the wonderful dog portrait on the cover! The book turned out to be the story of a fictional Formula One racing driver who has perfected the skill of winning races when it is raining. His incredibly spiritually aware dog is the narrator and commentator. The book was a lot more than entertaining—it was spiritually gripping.
Apparently, a muddy track for a race changes all the dynamics of racing – as an icy road changes our driving experience. This driver, having chosen to become the master of driving on a rainy track, eventually reaches the pinnacle of success and adulation as a driver, and is invited to lead the famed Ferrari Formula One team. His secret? He explains it in one sentence: “The Car goes where the eyes go.” The core discipline for him has been always keeping his eyes on where he wants the car to go, no matter how apparently disastrous a situation may appear. Drivers who are less disciplined about always looking to the goal might come out of a spin and crash into the wall, because in a crisis they start to think about their dilemma rather than their destination. It’s understandable! I generally do the same thing when I’m in pain or distress. For instance, a couple of weeks ago I was thinking about this while also wondering how I could stop thinking about the pain in my elbow – thinking about the pain more, of course, as I wondered… I find it hard not to think about fear, apprehension, and discomfort when I’m experiencing it.
I haven’t found Formula One racing especially fascinating, so I was surprised that I couldn’t stop reading this book. The story provides an eloquent example of an ordinary man bogged down in ordinary life sludge – family disagreements, career detours, long stretches of depression and despair, temptations to “settle” for what seemed to be the most easily attainable compromises. Through the grace of circumstances and friends, though – especially his tuned- in dog — he manages to muddle through, to focus enough on spiritual life fulfillment so that in the end he manifests the happiness and prosperity to which he has felt drawn from the start. The book was actually about the Law of Attraction, and how it works, in its often circuitous way, for ordinary folks and – yes! – also for dogs.
According to the Law of Attraction, what we focus on manifests. We surround ourselves with what we see as real. As we drive along on the often muddy track of life events, peering through the spattered windshield, where we focus the eyes of our heart determines where our life goes in its spiritual resonance.
Jesus, who, by the way, is one of the great metaphysical teachers, referred often to the manifestation of this law. I always am amazed by how often Jesus referred in his teachings to the universal Laws that seemed like new discoveries to me when I started studying New Thought. For instance, Luke, (17) quotes Jesus: “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. Nothing will be impossible for you”
Wow! Every time I’ve read that, I’ve thought that obviously I don’t even know what Faith is! Nothing will be impossible for me? Hmmm…. Yet, Jesus demonstrated this truth many times in healing people, in conquering death, in walking on the sea, in feeding multitudes, and in other actions. He always referred to the Faith of the individual he was helping. AND He often told his disciples to do what he was doing. He told us, according to John (15) “ If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” Could he have spoken any more clearly? Faith – understanding that what we ask is already ours – is always needed. When we believe, we manifest.
The same message comes to us through other spiritual traditions. In fact, one of the most important realizations that comes when we study the major faith traditions is that all are tuned in to the same spiritual truths, even if expressed in different words and metaphors. For instance, in the first line of the Dhammapada, Buddha — like Jesus, but with no direct knowledge of Jesus – also spoke of the correlation between thought, faith, and reality. He said: “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make our world. All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.”
Buddha and Jesus were talking about the same spiritual truth, using very similar words.
The Law of Attraction is often used as a formula for attracting material wealth of various kinds, and indeed, most of us are initially attracted to the Law of Attraction by imagined bling. . Maslow’s Hierarchy leading from physical goals through emotional satisfaction to spiritual awakening describes well our natural emotional and spiritual evolution. First, we must satisfy physical needs before we can enter the later stages of moral evolution. In fact, both Buddha and Jesus are talking about spiritual joy, serenity, and bliss; Material goods, despite their lure, teach us quickly that our Truth involves a more transcendent set of desires – that the only deep satisfaction comes with the peace that we find on the path to enlightenment.
Essentially, our inner life – the life of our soul – reflects the general resonance of our spiritual vision over time, sort of as an A1C blood test reflects what’s gone on with our blood sugar levels over a few months, or a chemical hair analysis reveals what minerals we’ve ingested over time, proving that indeed we are what we eat, as well as what we think. Similarly both our outer and inner lives reflect our average level of thought vibration over time.
We actually do vibrate. Our brain waves vibrate at different frequencies, at different times, ranging from the tizzy of fear and anxiety to our normal waking, busy beta rhythm through alpha relaxation, theta meditation, to delta near-coma. Meditation is where we find the bridge to spiritual bliss. When we are operating in fear, our brain waves oscillate at a frequency that makes us totally unable to perceive the frequency of spiritual truth. At those moments of fear and anxiety, all we can perceive is fear, and the Law of Attraction brings us more fear. The Law of Attraction doesn’t admonish us or warn us or judge us – it just echoes back to us what we are sending out. We could use a warning spirit similar to “Mother Nature” in the old margarine commercial. She stood there, saying, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” For us, she needs to warn, “ It’s not good to stay in negative thoughts!”
In contrast to our fear vibrations, when we meditate, or when we relax into the experience of love, we are approaching the spiritual frequency of truth. So part of the skill of attracting the universal good that we desire resides in our ability to focus and resonate on a spiritual level. We accomplish this by shifting gears – into the four forward speeds of Gratitude, positive Expectation, Release, and Giving. These gears make our attraction -engines purr. Prayer is an excellent quick tool for shifting gears. I’ll share in a bit a prayer that helps me to move back into the kind of resonance I want to maintain.
In considering the Law of Attraction, learning to drive a vehicle has some parallels with learning to drive a life. In all lives, things happen; We must deal with unexpected developments from the outside. But we get to decide how we’ll steer around and through them.
Most of us in the last few days have thought about Steve Jobs. He’s a wonderful example of someone who, at least in his work life, manifested his desires, seemingly effortlessly – certainly way beyond most people’s success. Like the race car driver in the book, he remained focused on being who he was, no matter what might have driven him off course. He did not benefit from education or from growing up in a prosperous, well off family. An adopted kid who dropped out of college almost as soon as he started, he just knew what fascinated him. He started this off the wall, geeky company in his parents’ garage with his high school friend. How many people do that without even succeeding on the first lap? He built an amazingly successful company from which he managed to get fired before he was 30. He then picked up the pieces and formed two more companies that allowed him to stay in the race, continuing on his original path. Eventually, his first company bought out the second one, bringing him back into Apple, the original company, which he then led to becoming the most profitable company in the US. How? He just kept on being who he was, staying tuned in to his individual path and following it through all the twists, turns, disasters, and near-crashes of a lifetime. Jobs certainly changed the world in important ways. He wasn’t a saint, nor a spiritual leader nor a great philosopher. But, like the fictional race car driver of “Racing in the Rain,” he provided us with a wonderful example of someone who, at least in some ways, pretty much “maxed out” the law of attraction. He showed us that it can be done.
Like Formula One racing drivers, we all encounter rainy laps with slippery, muddy conditions that can obscure our view, make us swerve, or cause us to crash. We may actually experience a bunch of crashes, each of which can help us learn better how to steer. When we hold our intention and continue to follow the directions we receive from the Universe, we correct our course over and over, and keep moving toward the outcome on which we’ve fixed our minds and hearts.
Before we say our gear-shift prayer together, I invite you to pause in silence for a minute to identify and write down an important desire in your life, preferably one that has persisted since your youth. What did you admire or envy most in the lives of people you met in your young life? Or what did you find fascinating to do even as a young person that has remained a desire for you? These lifelong desires often represent our highest good. When you get a picture in your mind, express the vision in a single sentence, writing it on the prayer sheet and affirming that it is manifesting now. You can start with
“Divine love is _____________________. Or with “I am…” Keep it simple! You can change your mind as often as you like – you don’t have to say it all perfectly here!
I invite you to print out the following prayer and use it in your daily practice. As we pray together, we are practicing the art of racing in the rain. We are focusing beyond the mud, steering our lives toward a divine abundance of blessings. We are joyfully claiming the amazing abundance that is already ours.
In praying together, we are re-affirming to ourselves, to each other, and to the listening Universe our spirit’s great desire in this life. In reading the prayer aloud, when you come to the line about your heart’s desire, say aloud your sentence. Please join me in praying enthusiastically together:
I am awake and aware that I am perfectly lovable and loved by the Divine One who made me.
I am one with God-energy; I am open to love and to abundance.
I know, deep in my soul, that my Maker sees me, just as I am, as perfect, and that I deserve to be happy.
I accept that when Jesus said “Ask and You shall receive,” and “Nothing will be impossible for you” he was speaking a profound Truth about universal Law.
I know that I was made with a deep desire for love, beauty, peace, and happiness, in common with all of God’s creatures. In desiring those things I am fulfilling the Divine Plan. Therefore, according to plan, those desires are already mine; to experience them, I need only picture myself enjoying them. I am daily growing wiser, happier, and more serene as a container to hold all the good that is mine.
I use the tools of Gratitude for the many good things I already have in my life, proactive Giving of my time and assets, rock solid Expectation that God is good and I am an expression of God’s good, and wisdom to release what is no longer working for me so I have room to accept my greater good.
Through the love of the Universe, I am now _____________________________.
(this line is where you say your heart’s desire).
My heart’s desire is unfolding now.
I feel and express my deep joy and satisfaction at the wonderful gifts that are now mine. I rejoice, and say, Thank you, God! Amen!!!!
Repeating this prayer frequently will, over time, help you shift gears and begin to enjoy the reality of the words you are saying. It will help you to stay focused on the goal, despite the mud that life throws your way. And so it is!